New Year, New Dental Habits

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At this time of year, you may be thinking about resolutions you want to adopt in 2018. The beginning of January is a great time to set your goals for the year, including actions that can improve your oral health and dental care.

That’s not to say it will be easy – research indicates that only a small fraction of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions achieve them by year’s end. But by getting clear on what your goals are, and taking constructive steps now, it’s much more likely you’ll be successful.

Here are a few positive dental habits you can establish this year to boost your wellbeing and your appearance.

Dental care resolutions for 2018

  1. Brush and floss every day – A great goal for this year would be to achieve consistency with your daily oral health routine, if you aren’t doing this already. If you travel a lot, perhaps your goal might be to keep your brushing and flossing on a par with how frequently you do it at home. Also make sure you use fluoride toothpaste, practice proper brushing and flossing technique, and replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
  2. Stop using “teeth as tools” – Make a commitment to finding the right tool for whatever your ripping, cutting or tearing task is. Your teeth are NEVER the right tool! This dental care habit can save you a trip to the dentist to fix a cracked or chipped tooth.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly – The ADA recommends that you consult with your dental care provider to discover how many times a year you should return for an exam and a dental cleaning. The interval between visits will depend on your overall health, the health of your teeth and gums, as well as a number of other factors.
  4. Use a night guard if you grind your teeth – Bruxism, or tooth-grinding, can cause facial or jaw pain, and damage your teeth if left untreated. Your dentist can create and custom-fit a night guard for you that will protect your teeth.

“Dental care resolutions can be easy to make, but hard to keep,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “Your dentist can provide you with tools, techniques and tips to help you successfully reach your oral health goals.”

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