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Posts Tagged ‘new year’s resolutions’

New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The New Year is here in full swing! Many of us partake in New Year’s resolutions – goals to make this year our best yet. Did you make any for 2017? Have you been sticking to them?

Often times our resolutions relate to healthy lifestyle choices. We inherently know that healthier habits keep us feeling better and enjoying life longer. Check out this list of resolutions that will help keep your smile healthy and your oral health on track – this year and always!

simple-resolutions-for-a-healthier-smile

1. Brush Daily

One of the most important commitments you can make this year – if you aren’t already – is to brushing twice per day. Brushing cleans and protects your teeth from decay and your gums from disease and inflammation. Brushing is also helpful to maintain fresh breath and a bright smile.

The best part? It only takes a few minutes per day! Without brushing regularly, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, increasing your risk of inflammation, infection and decay (1, 2).

2. Floss Daily

Flossing is equally as important as brushing! Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. These areas account for approximately 35% of the surfaces that need cleaning and can’t be reached with brushing alone, and they are often the places where decay and gum disease first begin (1).

3. Make Water Your Beverage Of Choice

Water is the best beverage for your smile’s health for many reasons. First, it rinses away sugars and food particles after a meal or snack. It also helps restore and maintain a proper pH level in your mouth.

Acidity in the mouth from things like coffee, soda, sugars and other food items weakens your teeth and makes it more prone to disease. Water helps to neutralize the pH level. Lastly, staying hydrated helps to avoid dry mouth and the potential bad breath that can accompany it.

choose-water-over-other-beverages

4. Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed Options

Eating well is vital to your dental health. Poor nutrition affects your gums, immune system, inflammation levels, and tooth strength. Processed foods tend to have more sugars, starches and additives that are harmful for your overall health as well as your oral health.

Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals to support and strengthen your teeth and gums. As a bonus, crisp fruits and raw veggies such as apples, pears, carrots and celery help to keep your teeth cleaner and plaque at bay because of their fibrous quality (1, 2).

5. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Brush

A firmer toothbrush might sound like a better scrubber, but it’s actually not the best choice. Harder bristles irritate the gums, can lead to gum recession, and even sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled brush works just fine; stick to brushing for 2 whole minutes (don’t rush!) and it will get the job done effectively – and most importantly – safely.

6. Avoid Using Your Teeth As “Tools”

Our jaws are strong, and our bones are tough. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for some people to use their teeth for tasks around the house: tearing open a bag of snacks or other tricky plastic containers, twisting open a beer bottle, using a bite grip to open that stubborn bottle of nail polish, or ripping a tag off clothing. But these seemingly simple “jobs” are very hard on your teeth. Even though your teeth are strong, these are not tasks they were meant to perform.

These types of activities place trauma and pressure on the bones and jaw, and can cause a weakened tooth to chip or fracture. Keep scissors, pliers and rubber grips handy so that you can easily reach for those tools when frustrated with that plastic, metal or paper – instead of defaulting to your teeth (3, 4).

7. Double Check Your Calendar

Has it been over 6 months since your last dental checkup? If so, it’s time to give us a call! It’s always surprising how fast the weeks and months fly by. It’s a good idea to check and make sure it hasn’t been longer than you realized since your last appointment. Consistent visits to our office will allow us to prevent or detect problems early – before they become painful, expensive, and tough to treat. And our examination will help let you know if there are any habits you can change to enhance your oral health.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

We want you to succeed in all your oral health resolutions so that you can love and maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/new-year.html
  2. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/5-new-years-resolutions-healthier-smile
  3. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/do-you-have-these-5-bad-dental-habits#1
  4. http://www.210wpfd.com/5-easy-new-years-resolutions/

New Year’s Resolutions—How to Set Yourself up for Success

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Oral and total body health

Each New Year’s, one out of every two of us will make New Year’s resolutions. (Sources: Psychology Today and Journal of Clinical Psychology.) According to researchers, usually the first two weeks of starting any new new at this time of year, goes pretty smoothly.

Then, after just four weeks—by February—people start so slip, and old habits start to creep back in.

Maybe it is quitting smoking, eating healthier foods, starting to floss regularly, losing weight, or starting to exercise. Whatever the change in behavior may be, how come it can be so difficult to keep our resolutions?

1. We actually aren’t intrinsically motivated to change our behaviors. 

Professor of Psychology Timothy Pychyl explains how sometimes, resolutions are a bit of cultural procrastination. In certain situations, he argues that we make a resolution to show that we are committed to changing certain behaviors. In reality, we don’t yet have the real, intrinsic motivation required for long-term change.

In other words, Pychyl asserts that we create a resolution to motivate ourselves, instead of being motivated, and then changing our behaviors as a result. With a real lack of motivation at the core of our intentions, we end up failing to break our habits.

2. We set unrealistic goals or expectations.

Another concept for why we can fail to keep resolutions has been deemed the false hope syndrome. Psychology professor Peter Herman and colleagues assert that we make goals that can be greatly out of alignment with our real view of ourselves. In some cases, the resolution just may be significantly unrealistic.

In the end, making a goal that we can only hope for doesn’t mean we give ourselves a chance to really change our ingrained habits.

So what should we do to fight these two common traps people often fall into? 

First, be realistic with your goals. If you aren’t exercising at all, don’t expect yourself to be able to exercise 5 days a week. Also, set yourself up for decision-making so you can ease yourself into making the right choices each day.

For example, if you are giving up soda, perhaps gradually give it up, instead of going “cold turkey.”

Have a friend or colleague help you set goals that can be accurate, and that can be adjusted over time as you incrementally find success. Remember that the more you believe you can effect and maintain change, the more success you are likely to have, a concept that’s backed by science.

Next, be sure to choose a resolution you truly find value in.

If you aren’t ready to start eating vegetables every day, it’s going to be hard to maintain change over time.  Consider writing down all the underlying reasons why you want to change a certain aspect of your life, and that can help narrow down a worthy behavior change.

Start preparing, and then acting on, your intentions.

Approach any resolution as a process. Just like your oral hygiene and other health-related habits, habits and our resulting sustainable lifestyle choices are what we do over time. One day off, or one day without a certain activity, doesn’t “make or break” our routine. By seeing our resolution as a process of change, we are better able to enter the actual “action” stage that comes with so many of our resolutions.

Ready to have better oral hygiene this year? Give us a call today.

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