New Year’s Dental Resolutions

Visit your dentist at least 2 times a year!
a. 1/3 of people in the US don’t see a dentist yearly
b. Even if your teeth look and feel fine, enter a reminder in your phone or calendar to book your appointments, stop procrastinating!
c. Regular appointments allow both dentists and hygienists to monitor the health of your mouth
d. People who have at least 2 cleanings a year reduce their risk of having a heart attack by 25%
e. Make the process of scheduling visits easier by booking your next appointment before you leave the office

2) Brush your teeth at least 2x day for 2 minutes, not a recommendation but a must!
a. Will reduce incidence of cavities by removing bacterial plaque
b. Brush with a soft bristle toothbrush at a 45° angel towards your gum line for healthier gums
c. Set a timer for 2 minutes or invest in an electric toothbrush that automatically turns off after the recommended time
d. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when it begins to fray
i. Using a frayed toothbrush is less effective at removing plaque

3) Commit to Flossing Daily!
a. Place a container of floss next to your toothpaste for a reminder, as well as carrying one in your purse or desk at work to floss after eating in between brushings
b. Gum Disease affects 85% of the adult population
c. It is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults
d. Will add 6-7 years to your life by reducing inflammation and gum disease linking to diseases beyond your mouth such as:
i. Heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes, low birth weight-pre-term births and even Alzheimer’s disease

4) Cut back on Sugar and watch what you eat!
a. 1 can of soda per day equates to 35lbs of sugar consumed in a year
b. In addition to damaging your teeth, it will:
  i. Adds 10lbs of weight
  ii. Increase your risk of developing Type II diabetes by 85%
c. Good oral health is a critical part of your overall fitness
d. Add more orally healthy foods to your diet such as:
  i. Dairy products: high in calcium and great for your teeth
  ii. Fibrous foods: produce more saliva and scrub away plaque and other food bits

5) Kick the Habit!
a. Smoking doubles your risk for gum disease and is linked to other health issues
  i. Bad breath, stained teeth, gum disease, gum/tongue/mouth cancer, etc.
b. Pick a date to give up smoking, get rid of your tobacco products in your home and solicit support from family, friends and/or co-workers
c. There will be cravings along the way, choose a healthy activity to engage in such as exercising!

6) Restore, Preserve Teeth and De-Stress!
a. The New Year is the perfect time to complete your recommended dental work
  i. Crowns, implants, fillings or out of alignment
  ii. Dental problems such as plaque buildup, chronic gum disease and cavities, do not hurt in the beginning stages.

Example: a cavity tends to only hurt once it has reached the center of the tooth where the nerves are located. At this point it is too late for a filling and might require a root canal and crown, if the tooth can be saved at all!

b. Teeth grinding caused be stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or out of alignment. Symptoms include dull headache, jaw soreness, painful teeth, or fractured tooth surfaces.
c. Ask your dentist about solutions!

7) Have an Oral Cancer exam by your dentist at least once per year
a. HPV is the most common cause of oral cancer
b. 15 million Americans have HPV (7% of the population)

8) Smile More!
a. Smiling not only makes you happier and healthier, but it is also contagious spreading happiness to others
b. Think of it as the New Year’s resolution that keeps on giving
c. Eat and feel better with a full complement of teeth
d. If you are unhappy with the look or brightness of your smile, just give your dentist a call

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Dr. Gary Vander Vliet

Preventive, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry


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Hastings Commons, Building 2B;
486 Schooley’s Mountain Road;
Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840


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