December 20, 2018
2019 is almost here. There’s no better way to start the new year than by making appointments for all your family members with your family dentist. You’ll know right away if there are any dental health concerns you should know about. Also, you’ll be able to plan your cavity-prevention strategy for the entire year.
10 Ways to Have a Tooth-Friendly 2019
Most of us don’t give much thought to our oral health. That’s unfortunate, because teeth and gums are the gateway to the rest of the body. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for a tooth-friendly 2019:
- Make dental appointments for the whole family, including yourself. There’s no better way to teach the importance of oral hygiene than by setting a good example. Plus, this will tell you where you and your loved ones stand when it comes to your teeth and gums.
- Bring your coverage information with you and ask the office staff to review it. That way you’ll have no unexpected delays in getting treatment.
- Set appointments for exams and cleanings. A good rule of thumb is to see the dentist twice a year, once in summer and later when winter rolls around. Ask the office staff to give you a reminder text message or phone call when the time comes near.
- Double-check your coverage. Make sure it’s not due for expiration or changes during the next 12 months. You should also check your co-pays and coverage limits, so you’re not caught unawares by an unexpected bill.
- Begin to phase out sugars and simple starches from your family diet. Sugar-free versions of favorite treats are easier to find than ever before. Without a steady supply of sugary fuel, cavity-causing bacteria will have a much harder time attacking your family’s dental health.
- If you or any of your family members smoke, then make 2019 your year to quit. Tobacco products of any kind, including vaping devices, can have devastating consequences on your health. Ask your dentist about new medications and treatment strategies that can help you to kick the habit for good and all.
- Buy new toothbrushes for everyone in your household. Dentists recommend replacing your brush every two months on average. But most of us wait far too long to attend to this simple task. A new brush is far more effective at keeping teeth clean than one which has become worn and frayed.
- Teach your children the importance of good dental care habits. Set a daily brushing and flossing schedule that works with everyone’s commitments. Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day; after every meal is even better. Daily flossing is important as well.
- Use positive reinforcement to help your family members practice good oral health habits. For example, you might reward your child for behaving at the dentist with a trip to the movies or a sugar-free treat afterwards.
- At the end of 2019, have a family conference to discuss how well each of you adhered to your yearly plans. A little accountability is important for staying true to your goals.
The new year is all about starting things afresh. Make 2019 your family’s year to take better care of your teeth and gums. There’s no better way to greet the future with a smile on your face.
About the Author
Dr. William Olafson earned his DMD degree from Nova Southeastern University in Florida before completing a one-year residency at Philadelphia’s Albert Einstein Medical Center. He is trained in many advanced aspects of dental care, including implants, root canal therapy, and oral surgery. You can reach his office online or by calling (781) 337-6644.
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