In the upcoming weeks, millions of Americans – ourselves included – will make promises to ourselves that we’ll do this or do that in 2015. We all call them New Year’s Resolutions and, let’s face it, the resolutions usually involve weight loss, getting in better shape, or generally some improvement to people’s bodies.
Well what about getting your teeth back in shape? Repeat after us: “In 2015, I will take better care of my teeth and gums then I ever have.”
Say it again, just for good measure! OK, so what exactly does “Getting your teeth back in shape” entail?
1. Get proactive about checkups
When was your last checkup? If the answer is more than a year ago, then it’s time to get serious about dental checkups. The problem is that we tend to get this image in our head that since it’s been so long since our last checkup, our teeth are too far gone. “At this point I should just wait for a problem and then go to the dentist.” This line of thinking is almost a surefire way of ensuring that your golden years will involve dentures in a glass of water at bedtime.
Instead, get on the phone and give your dentist a call. Many practices – Smiles At The Square included – are always accepting new patients, and, no, we aren’t going to lecture you or scold you for not getting your annual checkup! We know that life is crazy and sometimes dental health is pushed to the backburner. But let’s make 2015 different! Call up and set that appointment!
2. Look for the “ADA Acceptable” symbol on all oral products
Have a pack of Orbit gum handy? You’ll notice that it carries the ADA Accepted logo on the wrapping. That means it’s been officially accepted by the American Dental Association. This is the symbol you should look for when buying toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, and really any product that is somehow related to oral hygiene. Believe it or not, there are toothpastes out there that aren’t accepted by the ADA and rely solely on looking exactly like the other brands.
3. Start flossing!
We know, we know – this is the tough one. The hardest part though is just remembering a routine. Here’s a good plan for tricking yourself into making a routine:
– Try placing your floss next to an item that’s involved with a daily routine. For example, put your floss next to the coffee pot. When you start brewing your daily pot of joe, reach for the floss and go to work while you wait for it to brew.
– Don’t go 0-to-100. Try two weeks of flossing once a week. When you’ve got that down, add another day so that you’re flossing twice a week. After two weeks of that, add a third day. A good progression is Week 1-2: Wednesday, Week 3-4: Wednesday, Friday, Week 5-6: Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
If you can go an extended period of time flossing three times a week, you’re already ahead of most people out there!
If you’d like to get a head start on Step 1, give us a call at 215-545-4024 and ask to set up an appointment here at Smiles at the Square.