The ball is going to drop soon and it will become a New Year. Many people tend to go through a period of self-reflection as December winds down. They take an inventory of both the good and bad things that they did… both to themselves and other people. Were they as kind as they could be? Did they budget properly or did they grit their teeth every time the credit card bill came in? How about their dental visits? Were they relatively fast affairs with the dentist or hygienist or was it an excruciating event with a lecture afterwards? In an effort to avoid any repeat performances, it might be best to make some early New Year’s resolutions for your teeth.
Resolve to try to avoid a lot of sweet and sugary foods too often Yes, they can be quite tempting since they are in your face all the time in nearly every store that’s in the area, year-round. There always seems to be a holiday that features candy of all kinds. You can eat them every now and then, but be very diligent about brushing your teeth afterwards because the sugar can wind up doing a number on your teeth without you being aware of it at first.
Also, this is the year to pledge to be gentle with your teeth and gums. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, preferably an electric one that does the work for you. Use gentle strokes, since brushing too hard can wear down the enamel of your teeth and also cause gum irritation and recession. Be mindful though and spend roughly 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. This is going to be the year that you don’t grab a toothbrush, dab some toothpaste on it, spend five seconds on each quadrant and then call it a toothbrushing session. 30 seconds apiece in each area is 12 seconds… or two minutes.
Then comes the next important part… and this is where a lot of people fall off the wayside – flossing. Flossing helps get rid of food particles that get stuck in between teeth or even stuck in the gum area. Leaving those particles there can lead to a host of problems including cavities and gingivitis. Floss regularly, otherwise you’re going to be spitting some red out when you do it. If will become second nature and your dentist will likely give you a good report.
Like all New Year’s resolutions, there may be some bumps in the road – but you can always get back into good oral habits very easily. Dr. Shaista Najmi and the great staff at Ivory Dental Jacksonville will gladly help you have a fantastic year.