Any Dental Related New Year Resolutions?
Are you taking part in Dry January by giving up alcohol for a month? If you are, this is one way to help your teeth and gums, although an overall reduction for the whole year would probably be more effective. The fact is that there are many relatively simple things that we can do to improve our oral health and sometimes, all it takes is just a few small changes in our daily habits.
Whether you make new year resolutions or not, it is worth taking a look at your present life style to see if there are any changes that you can make that will be beneficial to your teeth, and often for your general health too. For your consideration, the team at the Foxhall Dental Practice have put together a few suggestions that will help you keep on track.
This should really be a ‘no brainer’ in as much as its unhealthy effects are now well known. Giving up isn’t always easy though, especially if you have smoked for a long time. Nicotine is highly addictive, with some claiming it to be more addictive than heroin. The action of smoking is also often embedded in our lifestyle .. for example, a cigarette after a meal. These habits can take some breaking and it would be advisable to seek out a local support group.
As well as benefiting your pocket, stopping smoking will greatly reduce the risk of gum disease and oral cancers.
Alcohol, drunk in moderation, shouldn’t cause too many problems but it is still worth looking at whether you can cut back at all. Although perhaps not as dangerous as smoking, excessive or regular alcohol consumption can also contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
We know that some of our patients probably don’t want to hear this, but adding flossing to your daily teeth cleaning regimen is a really simple and effective way of reducing both gum disease and tooth decay. Yes, it can seem fiddly at first but if you persevere, you will soon find yourself flossing in just a few minutes each evening, removing food debris and bacteria from places your toothbrush won’t reach.
You may need to try a few different types of floss before you find the one most suitable, but that, combined with guidance by our dental hygienist on how to floss effectively, can provide a great improvement to the health of both teeth and gums.
Cut down your sugar consumption
It is said that obesity is the new health epidemic and there has also been a rise in the number of cases of diabetes. Our often unhealthy diet contributes to these and we should really look at what we eat and whether we need to eat so much (or even any) of the ‘bad things. Amongst these, sugar is the number one enemy of our teeth and any reduction in our sugar consumption can only be a good thing, leading to fewer cases of tooth decay; a habit we should aim to pass on to our children too.
See your dentist
Hopefully we are preaching to the converted here, but even those who usually see a dentist regularly can fall out of the habit because of ill health or perhaps have had to cancel an appointment and not re-arranged it. Your regular six monthly check up at the Foxhall Dental Practice is essential if you want to maintain healthy teeth. If you haven’t got your appointment made yet, now is the time to pick up the phone.
Do you see the hygienist?
You might think that seeing a dentist is enough. It is certainly an excellent start but if you don’t see a dental hygienist at our Ipswich practice then you are missing out on a great opportunity. Seeing a hygienist every six months allows you to discuss your oral health with them. They may ask specific questions about your lifestyle and your cleaning habits and make suggestions as to how you can improve. You are under no obligation to carry out the suggestions of course, but we think that you will find these discussions useful and beneficial.
The hygienist will also carry out a scale and polish which removes hardened bacteria and mineral deposits from the teeth and gum line. This not only makes them look and feel cleaner, but also reduces the likelihood of gum disease.
Although we appreciate that smoking may not be easy, all the rest of the above are relatively straightforward and easy ways of improving your oral health, leaving you with healthier teeth and gums.
For those of you who have skipped a dental appointment and would like to make one with us, we look forward to seeing you again. Appointments can be made at our Ipswich dental clinic by calling us on 01473 258396.