The new year is a good time to think about the things we would like to change in our lives.
This is when we resolve to start exercising more. Maybe we decide to run our first 5K or our first marathon.
This is also a good time to start thinking about making other health decisions, such as eating better or at least eating less.
Our dentist, Dr. Stuart, and the rest of the staff at Legacy Smiles in Billings hope that oral health is important to you and your family, too. With that in mind we are sharing some “dental resolutions” you may want to consider for 2016.
Good luck with whatever resolutions you make for yourself. Here’s hoping that you and your family enjoy a safe and happy new year.
Brush and floss every day
We hope you are doing this already, and we hope you are following the American Dental Association’s recommendations for your daily oral hygiene routine.
Brushing and flossing are the best ways of cleaning your teeth between visits to the dentist office.
You should be brushing your teeth twice a day. You should brush two minutes every time you clean your teeth.
If you aren’t sure that you are brushing for two minutes, you can do something as simple using an egg timer or a stopwatch. You can even download apps for your smartphone to help with this. Brush DJ (which plays music while you brush), Aquafresh Brush Time, and Chomper Chums are all free apps that work with iPhones and Android phones.
You should be flossing every day, but we know that’s probably not the case. A recent survey by the American Dental Association found that about half of Americans floss regularly, and 20 percent never floss.
Flossing is just as important for cleaning your teeth as brushing. When you floss, you reach the places that your can’t get with your toothbrush. Dental floss (or other interdental devices) allow you to clean between your teeth and between your teeth and gums.
Brushing and flossing remove much of the bacteria and plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. You need to do both every day to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
Visit Legacy Smiles every six months for a professional teeth cleaning
Brushing and flossing will keep your mouth in great shape, but even the most careful person misses things. Our hygienists, BreAnn and Lisa, will give your teeth a thorough cleaning to remove any tartar or plaque that has formed in your mouth.
During your visit, we will also keep an eye out for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Regular exams give us a better chance of catching problems early. That way we can treat them before they become big problems.
Ask about dental sedation
This isn’t for everyone, but it could help you accomplish the previous resolution if you suffer from dental anxiety or dental fear.
Dental sedation is safe for children and adults, and it is a good way to help you stay relaxed during a teeth cleaning or other procedure.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral conscious sedation are the most common types of dental sedation. Both can help you get through a professional cleaning (and maintain your healthy teeth) without worry.
Wear an athletic mouthguard
This is true for anyone who plays a high impact sport. Football players are required to wear them as part of their protective equipment, but mouthguards are important for others sports (like basketball and volleyball), too. Any sport that involves lots of physical contact or frequent impacts on your joints can affect your jaw and teeth.
A mouthguard can prevent you from needing emergency dental care in the event of an accidental elbow or fall during competition.
Fix your teeth
This can include any number of things.
If you have bite or other teeth misalignment issues, you should ask how Invisalign can help. Straight teeth look better, and they are often healthier because cleaning them is easier.
Maybe you are missing teeth or have a tooth that is damaged or chipped. Our dental crowns and bridges and dental implants may help restore your smile.
Porcelain veneers are another way to address problems with the appearance of your teeth, and our professional teeth whitening can improve your smile.
And keep in mind that we offer free consultations on our cosmetic dental services.
Quit using tobacco
Tobacco use is linked to a higher risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. The yellow stains caused by tobacco making cleaning your teeth more difficult, and tobacco can cause bad breath.
We know quitting can be difficult, but it will do wonders for your health and your teeth.
We love to see your smiles when you come our dentist office in Billings. Our team at Legacy Smiles also loves seeing our regular patients, and we look forward to all the new patients we will meet in 2016.
Again, from our team to your family, have a happy and healthy new year.