At the end of every year, I offer up my Oral Health New Year’s Resolutions. This month of May, with the juncture of spring and college graduations, I’m offering a version of my Oral Health New Year’s Resolutions and calling these important pearls of wisdom, Dr. Gary Glassman’s My New Life Oral Health Resolutions!
Graduates, and parents of graduates, please listen up! What I share below will make a big difference in personal oral health care, without compromising an exciting, busy and new lifestyle. I know there will be a balance of learning to manage a new life including work, social life, exercise, family and friends. But good habits help create structure for healthy living.
I’ve talked about the important oral health rules and regs below on TV, radio, and in print for years, because they’re the gold standards when it comes to keeping mouths and bodies, healthy. So, please copy, forward, place the My New Life Oral Health Resolutions on your or your graduate’s phone and electronics, or simply put on the refrigerator as daily reminders! Here they are:
I will floss every day! Only 25% of people floss their teeth every day, and if you don’t, then you’re missing cleaning 40% of every tooth’s surface in your mouth. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
I will go to the dentist regularly! Recent statistics over the past five years show that less than 70% of adults and 80% of children go to the dentist, twice a year. Your dentist can decide how often you should have your teeth checked, but twice a year is protocol.
I will replace my toothbrush or toothbrush head, every 3 months or sooner! Buy a new toothbrush or replace your electric brush head every three months, if the bristles show wear, or you’ve been sick. Germs on your toothbrush can lead to infection.
I will brush my teeth two or three times a day! It’s also important to make sure you’re using the right type of toothbrush, specifically for your mouth. Soft bristles are best, and manual or electric is personal preference. Remember, it’s not the toothbrush, it’s the brusher!I will cut my sugar intake! Eat less sugar and consume fewer sugary foods and drinks. This includes honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. Minimize your cavity potential!
I will cut down on teeth-staining foods! Tea, coffee, wine, berries, sauces and sports drinks are some foods that will stain your teeth and erode natural tooth enamel. If you’re going to consume these items, make sure to brush or swish water around your mouth immediately after.
I will not “brush” off tooth pain! Pain is your body talking to you! If you have a toothache that lasts more than one or two days, notice swelling around a tooth, loose or broken brackets, soreness, or experience severe pain or fever, make an appointment to see your dentist immediately!
I will start my year off fresh and not let my breath sour! There’re many different steps to prevent bad breath such as scraping your tongue and avoiding foods that are notorious for causing it. But if you brush and floss regularly, get regular check dental ups, rinse with non-alcohol mouthwashes, don’t smoke, increase saliva, your natural tooth cleaner, by drinking more water, and chew sugar-free gum, it helps!
I will get rid of stress, once and for all! Stress can have a huge impact on your oral health. It can cause bruxism or grinding your teeth, so ask your dentist about getting fitted with a night guard. Stress can also lead to cold sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome and even gum disease. Some ways to help alleviate stress are through exercise, yoga, meditation, social interactions, and liking what you do for work and play.
I’m going to get moving and exercise at least 20 minutes a day! Your general health has a direct effect on oral health, and vice versa! Physical exercise is important, keeping all parts of your body healthy: it strengthens your bones and immune system, stimulates the brain’s “feel good” endorphins and even keeps your teeth healthy. Less inflammation in all body systems can mean a reduced risk of periodontal or gum Adisease, leading to a healthier heart and potentially longer life!
So here’s to the new life of a graduate, My New Life Oral Health Resolutions and living in the real world. Enjoy responsibly!