Oral Health New Year Resolutions

Woking dentist, Jaymish Patel, offer some suggestions for 2021

Dentist in surgeryFew of us will be sorry to see the end of this year and will be hoping for a more positive 2021. There are still some challenges ahead for sure, whether that be Brexit or new variants of the C-19 virus. There is hope though, and the roll out of vaccines will hopefully start to speed up in the new year and allow us to start planning for a new start not too far into the  year.

For those of us who make New Year resolutions, it might seem an odd year to be doing so, but there are some resolutions that are always worth making.

One of these is to make sure that you look after your teeth better in the new year. There is always room for improvement in the way that we do this and unhealthy teeth and gums can have a negative impact on our daily lives.

With this in mind, here are a few possible resolutions you might like to make, put forward by some of the Synergy Parkside dentists.

Refreshing your tooth care kit

A new year, a new toothbrush; that is unless you have bought one very recently. Many of us use brushes which have long gone past the point where they are effective at removing bacteria and debris from our teeth and gums.  In fact, you should change your brush (or head of an electric) at least every three months. Use the start of the new year to refresh this and perhaps, if you don’t already possess one, treat yourself to an electric toothbrush in the January sales. Most dentists agree that these are more effective. You might also wish to look at changing your toothpaste if you usually buy yours out of habit. Some particularly target gum disease for example, and could help you to avoid gingivitis if you use it.

Give up smoking

New year is a time when smokers traditionally pledge to stop. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always last long and they soon start smoking again. Not only is smoking very harmful to your oral health, being a major contributor to gum disease and mouth cancers, but can be a very difficult habit to break too. Use the festive break to research some local support groups to help you with this. You may find that this will help you to stop smoking permanently.

Cutting down on alcohol

The odd drink will do little or no harm, but if you have gotten in the habit of drinking more because of the events of this year, January is a good time to take stock and look at how you can gradually reduce your alcohol consumption. Like smoking, alcohol is a contributing factor for gum disease and oral cancer.

Register or make an appointment

If you haven’t already, make sure that you register with a local Woking dentist so that your mouth can be monitored regularly. This is important and will help to prevent the need for any more extensive treatment that might be needed as problems reach an advanced stage. An early detection of a small cavity which is subsequently filled could well prevent you from requiring root canal surgery further down the line.

See the hygienist

Seen by too many people as an optional extra, a trip to the dental hygienist is, in fact, a great way to give your mouth a real boost with a thorough professional clean. This enables hardened bacteria and minerals to be removed from the teeth and gum line, helping to prevent gum disease and its many potential unpleasant symptoms. These can include sore and inflamed gums, receding gums, bleeding gums and also loose teeth. The scale and polish treatment you will receive will go a long way in helping to prevent this.

You can also benefit from these visits from an educational perspective. The hygienist will be happy to discuss any aspect of your oral care and may suggest a more appropriate mouthwash for example, depending on each individual patient.

Eat more tooth friendly food

Anything with sugar is going to be bad for your teeth. This doesn’t mean that you should necessarily eliminate sugar from your diet, but it is a good idea to mind how much you do consume. Switching to more tooth friendly snacks such as nuts and cheese instead of chocolate and toffees will be beneficial for your teeth. Remember too that even natural sugars such as those found in fruit can also damage your teeth, so try to eat these as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Some basic oral health new year resolutions there for you. None of these should be too hard, possibly with the exception of stopping smoking, although that is certainly worth persevering with. We hope that you find them useful and include at least some of them in your own list.

In the meantime, from all of us at Synergy Parkside in Woking, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jaymish Patel – Dentist – GDC number 251643

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