I don’t pay much attention to the Chinese Zodiac..maybe that has to do with being born in the Year of the Monkey. But this year, 2012, is the Chinese Year of the Dragon. The Chinese symbol of the Dragon is considered to be the mightiest of zodiac signs..symbolizing strength and determination. People born in this year are natural leaders, fearless and determined. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Maybe, we should all adopt the Dragon symbol as our symbol this year and believe ourselves to be fearless and determined..only imagine what we could accomplish!
I sometimes have patients say they don’t feel they can change their dental health. They feel defeated before they even start. But you can harness that Dragon Determination to turn your dental health around with small, easy to do habit changing steps.
Step 1. Brush and Floss. Floss and Brush. Every single day. I know you hear us say this all the time, but brushing and flossing are the foundation of good dental health. And everyone can do it. It doesn’t take expensive equipment, or a membership in a health club. Use fluoridated toothpaste and brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Brush all the surfaces of your teeth, gently and thoroughly. Then floss. If you have trouble with arthritis, use one of the special flossing tools available at most drug stores. Flossing will protect keep your gums healthy, which scientific evidence tells us not only can keep your smile healthy but your heart too!
Step 2. Stop the Pop. Acidic, Sugar laden soft drinks can cause a tremendous amount of damage to the enamel of your teeth. You may be surprised at the amount of sugar and acid in popular soft drinks. Look at this informative chart to learn how much sugar and acid are in your favorite soft drink. Then start replacing pop with healthy water. And better yet…water costs a whole lot less! It’s a win win!
Step 3. Visit us at least twice a year. Get your teeth professionally cleaned, and let us check to be sure your teeth and gums remain healthy. Life changes so quickly and so can your health. We know that for many diseases, your mouth is a window into what is happening inside your body..a dental check up can help identify problems while they are small and treatable.
Step 4. Oral Cancer Screening – It can save your life. Did you know I do an oral cancer screening every time I examine your teeth and gums? About 30,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and unfortunately, about 8,000 will die from this disease. Although many cases of oral cancer are linked to cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use or the use of both, recent studies have shown an alarming rise in oral cancers caused by the HPV virus , especially in younger patients. Risk free behaviors and regular oral cancer screenings by your dentist are your best safeguards against this increasingly prevalent disease.
Harness that Dragon Determination that is in each one of us, and let’s make 2012 not only the year of the Dragon, but the year of good dental health. Happy New Year!