Heading into the new year, the thought of making changes, starting fresh, and improving ourselves is both common and beneficial.
Unfortunately, the average “New Year’s Resolution” gets a pretty bad rap because so many people decide on something they want to do and then slip back into their old ways within a few weeks. But, if you’re the kind of person who knows how to psyche yourself up for a challenge and maintain self-discipline over a period of time, New Year’s Resolutions can drive real, positive change in your life.
With that in mind, we’re challenging you right now to set some important goals for your oral health in the new year. As with any goals that are really going to stick and produce successful results, you’re going to need a level of determination and desire to improve. So, consider this article your inspiration and get motivated to change your oral health for the better in 2018!
The daily program
The fundamental foundation of your new and improved oral health habit is your daily program:
What you need:
- Dental floss
- Tongue scraper
The main reason oral hygiene is necessary is the fact that your mouth is home to billions of bacteria. For the most part, these organisms are not harmful. In fact, most play an important role in maintaining a healthy mouth and they aid in digestion. However, they need to be kept in check, or they become the root cause of tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and more.
Fortunately, controlling the bacteria and keeping your mouth clean and fresh is an easy task and doesn’t take a lot of time. The formula is simple:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, for at least two minutes each time.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day, or whenever you notice food stuck between your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth at least once with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Scrape your tongue once a day (preferably first thing in the morning).
Altogether, this daily program should take no more than 8-10 minutes of your day. The return on that meager investment can be years of hassle-free oral health!
The monthly program
With your daily program well established, the remainder of your new and improved oral health habit involves your calendar.
What you need:
- A calendar
- A grocery store
- A dentist you trust
- A discount dental card (optional)
While getting in the habit of caring for your oral health at home is vitally important, it’s not sufficient on its own.
"The main reason oral hygiene is necessary is the fact that your mouth is home to billions of bacteria. For the most part, these organisms are not harmful."
For one thing, the supplies you use to keep your mouth clean naturally wear out over time and it’s important to replace them so they continue to accomplish their purpose.
Secondly, no matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, you’re not going to be able to do a perfect job. Over time, plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth and then hardens to become tartar. Removing tartar requires a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist.
Finally, a routine examination by a licensed dentist is not only important for your oral health, but it can actually have a significant impact on your overall health as well.
You’ll want to open whatever calendar you use the most — for many of us, it’s our phone — and map out some reminders for yourself based on the following guidelines:
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles begin to fray or bend.
- Replace your tongue cleaner every 3-4 months as well.
- Visit the dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and routine examination.
While it’s not required to maintain excellent oral health, having access to a dental discount program certainly makes following this entire new set of habits less costly and easier to handle. This is especially true if you don’t have access to affordable dental insurance, like many Americans. If you can use up to 50 percent savings on both general and advanced dental services, add this optional fourth step to your monthly program:
4. Renew your dental discount plan membership each month, or annually.
With these two basic programs in place, 2018 is going to be a great year for your mouth! Be sure to come back to this blog often for more great tips on maintaining your oral health and saving money on dental care. And, have a great New Year!