Every New Year there’s a certain amount of pressure to make and keep a New Year’s Resolution. Did you make one? If you need an idea, how about taking better care of your teeth? Keep your teeth healthy with these easy to keep resolution ideas from Evanston’s hometown dentist office?
Brush and Floss
Keep your smile healthy by resolving to brush at least twice a day and to floss once a day. Brushing helps remove the plaque and tartar that builds up on your tooth surface. Flossing removes the plaque and tartar between your teeth and below your gum line. Keeping your smile healthy will promote your overall health as studies have shown that gum disease is tied to other diseases such as diabetes. If you are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant, brushing and flossing is especially important as the hormones released during pregnancy sometimes put you at an advanced risk for developing gingivitis. Maintaining a good oral health routine will help protect you against the bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease.
Some steps to can take to help you keep this resolution are to keep a toothbrush and floss at work or in the car. That way if you forget or don’t have time to brush your teeth before you leave, you can still brush at the office or on the way. At our Evanston dentist office we have many different shapes of floss carriers – including a business card that you can carry in your wallet. So you can have floss with you wherever you go.
Cut Down on Your Sugar Intake
This resolution is not only good for your teeth, it’s good for your waistline as well! The sugar found in food is what the bacteria that cause tooth decay feed on. If you can limit the amount of additional sugar that you consume, you can reduce the damage done to your teeth from these bacteria.
At Stephens Dentistry, we have a soft spot for sweets, so we understand that it’s sometimes hard to give up sugary foods. We have found a “loop hole” with xylitol. We love xylitol candy and xylitol in our coffee. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is most commonly produced from birch wood. It can help prevent tooth decay as well as help to reduce the pH in your mouth after eating. As an added benefit, xylitol has 40% fewer calories than normal table sugar. You can start by replacing the sugar in your coffee with some xylitol, or you can grab a xylitol candy instead of regular candy the next time your sweet tooth starts talking.
See Your Dentist Bi-Annually (or sooner!)
No matter how much at-home care you do, your genetics can contribute to the strength of your teeth. Combine that with the opportunistic nature of the bacteria that cause tooth decay and sometimes it ends up that you still get a cavity. It’s best to see your dentist twice a year – or more often if you have gum disease or tenacious tartar. Dental issues do not get better if you “let them be,” so addressing a cavity when it is small or keeping your periodontal disease under control can help save you time and money and keep your life more stress free.
At our dental office we offer helpful e-mail reminders. You can add your appointment to your calendar, get reminders of upcoming appointments, and be reminded when you are due (or overdue) for your next visit. We’ve set up this system to help keep you on track with your oral health.
This year don’t let your resolutions get the better of you. Often people find that they can keep their resolutions better if they have support. Our Evanston dental office works hard to provide you with the support and care you need to make sure your smile is as healthy as it can be.