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Many of us resolve to set goals at the start of a new year. While you may have your own personal objectives, we all share in a desire to feel and look good. Here are a few thoughts on how dental health resolutions might fit into your overall health goals:

Schedule a dental appointment. Dental check-ups are recommended twice a year, along with teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist. Check-ups are a safe bet to help maintain good dental (and overall) health. If you haven’t been in for a while, start the New Year off right with a visit to your dentist.

Improve your brushing and flossing routine.  Use a soft bristle manual or electric toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day. If you’ve been an intermittent flosser, vow to get on a daily schedule – pick a time to floss (maybe just before bedtime) and stick with it. And your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months.

Quit smoking.  Aside from the obvious health dangers to your oral and overall health like throat and lung cancer and heart disease, smoking can be the enemy of white teeth and fresh breath. Now’s the time to make a resolution to stop.

Take advantage of your dental plan. A new year usually means new dental plan benefits, so it’s a great time to get started on restorative work you’ve been putting off, like crowns, implants or fillings, which will help preserve existing tooth structure. Don’t let your benefits go unused!

Consider straightening your smile. Braces not only result in a more appealing smile, but also, and most importantly, can ensure better dental health in the future. And braces aren’t just for kids and teens. If your teeth have shifted over time, or if you just want to straighten up a few misaligned teeth, there are lots of options available to address your particular issue.

Of course, you may have New Year’s resolutions for other aspects of your life, but if you follow these tips, you’ll help to make the new year a healthy and happy one.

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