Whether or not you believe in making new year’s resolutions, there’s never a better time to start establishing healthy habits than at the beginning of the new year. So get out there, buy some floss, replace your toothbrush, and think about making these changes for better oral health.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking may be the most challenging on the list as there are things like nicotine addiction to consider, but doing so will impact your entire body for good in the long run. Besides the fact that it will improve your mood, stamina, and reduce your risk of lung cancer, it will also decrease your chances of mouth cancers as well and prevent your teeth from becoming discoloured.

Bi-Yearly Dental Visits

You would be surprised at how many people avoid going to the dentist and miss their twice yearly appointments. If it makes it easier, schedule them in advance and mark them on your calendar so you don’t forget. Stick to the appointment and make it a priority. If you have to reschedule, make sure you do it on the day that you cancel as you may forget to phone back.

Brush and Floss

Dentists recommend brushing three times a day, after each meal preferably, and yet most people only brush their teeth once a day, if at all. Brushing your teeth takes no more than five minutes, so plan out your morning before work to incorporate it in your routine. Buy a travel toothbrush and travel size toothpaste as well to freshen up at work before you come back from your lunch break. The last one of the day is the easiest as you can do it before going to bed. If you’re the type of person to watch TV until you fall asleep, rush your teeth beforehand so you can just fall back into the pillows for a long, relaxing slumber.

Dental Procedures

If there is something that your dentist has been recommending for awhile, the new year may just be the time to do it. Whether it’s a crown, an implant, or maybe even something cosmetic like a veneer or two, save up or finance the procedure, and stop putting it off. 

When a bacterial infection becomes present in the tooth, an abcess can appear, which forms a pocket of pus. These abscesses are typically very painful, even being felt in the neck or ear, and should be looked at right away because they can lead to life threatening conditions.

There are many symptoms that can indicate the presence of an abscess, including:

  • Radiating pain
  • Pain when eating
  • Redness and swelling in the face
  • Worsening pain when lying down
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever

To treat an abscess, a dental x-ray may need to be taken to check and see if the infection has spread anywhere else. Depending on the severity, your dentist will recommend one of the following treatment options:

  • Making an incision and draining the abscess
  • Root canal therapy
  • Antibiotics
  • Removing the tooth

If you’re unable to reach your dentist right away or have pain, over the counter medication can be taken to relieve the symptoms until medical help can be given.

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