We are all familiar with the typical New Year Resolutions. Last year, the top two resolutions made in the U.S. were to eat better and exercise more.
Unfortunately, statistics show that most people—upwards of 80%—fail completely and give up on their resolutions by February! One of the reasons is that these resolutions are too vague and don’t provide enough parameters. What does it really mean to eat healthy? The ambiguity leads to lenience, which eventually dissolves into giving up.
Instead of picking broad goals (or, in other words, common ones), we at Josey Lane Dentistry have suggested some unique resolutions for you and your family. While these may be outside the scope of what you had in mind for the new year, you shouldn’t be too surprised, since they are coming from your dentist!
Let’s dive in.
Commit to visiting the dentist regularly
This can be a big step for a lot people, particularly those who suffer from dental anxiety. However, a baseline appointment at least every six months will serve as a starting point on your journey to brighter and stronger teeth.
Even if your teeth feel fine and look good, that doesn’t mean something is happening beneath the surface. Schedule your appointments now since the first of the year is a popular time to get everything back on track. If you do have severe dental anxiety, make sure to ask about sedation dentistry. This safe and comfortable option will allow you to completely relax—and maybe even nap—while in the chair.
Commit to regular flossing
Yes, dentists can tell when the only time you floss is right before your appointment. Your gums will be red and raw, for one (and that’s not even the only clue). Did you know that only 40% of Americans even bother to claim they floss every day?
Brushing alone is not adequate. Plaque can easily build up between each tooth and on the gum line if you’re skipping the flossing part of your routine. This can result in cavities and tooth decay, and that’s just for starters.
Remember, it takes 27 days to create a new habit. Commit to your new flossing habit on January 1st, and by February you won’t even have to think about it!
Commit to examining you diet
We know we said that broad resolutions like eating healthier normally lead to failure, however we’ve narrowed this big idea one down to make it more manageable. Instead of trying to fully overhaul your diet on January 1st, take it step-by-step. For example, examine how much sugar is in your diet. Not only will this affect your whole body, it will drastically improve your teeth if you cut down. Increased artificial sugar in your diet directly relates to an increase in the amount of tooth decay.
Small changes will add up. In addition to eliminating certain foods, consider increasing the number of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and dairy in your diet. Many fibrous foods act as natural toothbrushes that scrub your teeth as you eat. Lean protein sources and dairy can also increase the strength of your teeth and jaw bone. This will help prevent against chipped teeth or tooth loss later!
Commit to stop smoking
Each year more than half of smokers make the resolution to quit. Unfortunately, at the one-year mark far few have actually achieved that goal. While the health effects of smoking are well known, the effects it has on the mouth are less obvious (at least immediately). Smoking and tobacco use cause stained teeth, bad breath and a diminished sense of taste. In addition, the use of tobacco—especially smokeless tobacco—increases your risk of oral cancer, which can be aggressive due to the abundance of blood vessels and lymph nodes in your head and neck.
If you’re in Carrollton, Texas and struggling to come up with a New Year Resolution, then we hope you will take these unique resolutions into consideration.
We look forward to seeing everyone back in 2019!
Also published on Medium.