Tis the season to make New Year’s Resolutions. We have just closed 2011 and 2012 is waiting for us, full of potential and promise. The best way to make the most of this blank canvas is to make resolutions, otherwise known as setting goals. Most often, people’s resolutions have to do with their health: going to the gym, quitting smoking, or going on a diet. Unfortunately because people can’t see down inside of their own mouths, oral health is often forgotten.
This year, Dr. Potter encourages you to put your oral health at the top of your list of New Year’s Resolutions! Dr. Potter feels this is truly important because improving oral health has multiple benefits and is an indicator of overall health. Ignoring the health of your mouth can absolutely have a detrimental impact on your full body health.
There have been multiple studies that connect poor oral health and gum inflammation to heart disease, diabetes, trouble conceiving and preterm birth. Even the insurance companies are on board. Philip E. Ross, a former Scientific American contributing editor, reported that “Aetna Dental announced the results of a study of policyholders that had both dental and health insurance. It showed that treating periodontal disease in heart patients lowered the total cost of treating both conditions.”
Therefore, in order to put your oral health at the top of your Resolution list, Dr. Potter recommends:
1) Brush twice daily – Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
2) Floss daily – Your toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth; flossing cleans the spaces between teeth, depriving bacteria of a safe haven.
3) Have at least two dental cleanings a year – A professional cleaning supplements your daily brushing and flossing by cleaning pockets where bacteria can hide.
4) Get a regular dental checkup at least annually – Preventative dentistry is better for your health and your pocket book! Most people only visit a dentist when something is broken or hurting. These problems are expensive to fix, can cause pain and affect other teeth. A checkup and a simple filling can head off thousands of dollars of repair.
5) Get an Oral Cancer Screening – Dr. Potter can provide an oral cancer screening with cutting edge devices such as the Velscope, which can illuminate oral cancer in its very beginning stages. When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% survival rate.