Make good oral health your goal in 2013Thursday, January 10, 2013 by: Kate AdamsCanadian Dental Hygienists Association
A New Year’s resolution is a commitment we make to improve habits and achieve goals. At least 45 per cent of adults make at least one resolution each year but only 10 per cent actually attain them. A new year provides a fresh start and new opportunities. But don’t just think diet and exercise. Think whole body wellness starting with your mouth. Make 2013 the year you realize all the benefits of improved oral health.
“The links between oral health and overall health are proven and strong” says Sandy Lawlor, president of the Canadian Association of Dental Hygienists (CDHA). Unchecked plaque on your teeth can result in gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth decay. Research suggests that periodontal disease is a risk factor contributing to serious life threatening illnesses such as lung and heart disease, stroke and diabetes. “Making a commitment to good oral health is a resolution that will not only keep your smile healthy but will keep you healthier overall,” says Lawlor.
2013 is a milestone year for dental hygienists in Canada as we celebrate 100 years of the founding of the dental hygiene profession and 50 years of our national association CDHA. Make 2013 a milestone year for you too! Celebrate with us this year by resolving to make oral hygiene a regular priority in your daily life. Set new goals to achieve better oral health by following these five simple oral health tips:
1. Eat and drink healthy
Avoid sweets and sugars. Eat lots of crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples and celery.
Choose to drink water instead of soda, sugary juices or sports and energy drinks.
2. BFR (brush, floss, rinse) every day
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and night, with fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush that you replace every 3-6 months; rinse with antibacterial mouthwash and floss at least once a day.
3. Care and caution
Don’t chew hard items. Ice cubes, pens, hard candies, even finger nails can cause damage to your teeth. Wear sports mouthguards for protection while at play.
4. Visit your oral health professionals regularly
Get an annual checkup and see a dental hygienist for cleanings at least every six months.
5. Toss the tobacco
Tobacco use can cause bad breath, yellowed and stained teeth, periodontal disease and oral cancer. Ask for an oral cancer screening and notify your dental professional immediately if you notice unusual patches on your gums, cheeks or tongue, sores that fail to heal within two weeks, or an unusual hard spot on the side of your tongue.
Following these simple strategies can go a long way towards helping you achieve a healthier smile and body, not just for 2013 but for a lifetime.
Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 24,000 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 16,500 individual members including dental hygienists and students. Dental hygiene is the 6th largest registered health profession in Canada with professionals working in a variety of settings, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit: www.cdha.ca