New Year Update 2024

new year oral health advice boston lincolnshire

New Year Update 2024

A new year, a fresh start – it’s like having a big white page of paper to draw on!

Many of us have our new years resolutions and this time of year allows us to reflect, look forward and set goals – to lose weight, to become healthier, to stop smoking…these lists could go on and on!

Here are a few ideas to help you get on a healthier and more confident track in 2024 without stress or pressurising yourself.

Smoking and your oral health...

We all know that smoking is bad for us – not only for your dental health but your general health as well as your pocket!

If you are trying to quit, then have a look at these tips to help you on your way, courtesy of the NHS stop-smoking site:

  1. List your reasons to quit. (This is something you can look back on when you are having a wobble!)
  2. Tell people you’re quitting. (You will be surprised by how many people want to support you and it will help to remember loved one’s positivity when you are wavering.)
  3. If you have tried to quit before, remember what worked. (Was it that glass jar where you could see your savings grow daily? Or the list of reasons why you want to be healthier?)
  4. Use stop smoking aids. (There is plenty of professional support out there and they will be more than happy to help you on your way with the best aids to suit you.
  5. Speak to your GP, Practice Nurse or pharmacist or go online for more information, click here.
  6. Have a plan if you are tempted to smoke (write it down – from distraction techniques to people you can call when you have the urge)
  7. List your smoking triggers and how to avoid them. (Is it when you’re in the pub or with certain groups of friends? Is it when you are stressed or extra busy at work? It will be difficult to avoid all these situations, but you can definitely reduce them with good planning!)
  8. Keep cravings at bay by keeping busy. (Try a new hobby that will keep your mind busy or go for a brisk walk to get a lungful of fresh air)
  9. Exercise away the urge. (Pop on those running shoes or your gym gear and banish those urges!)

Eating more healthily...

We’re not going to preach about losing weight or counting calories, but did you know that your dental health affects your physical well-being too?

Recently there has been more studies proving the links between dental health and heart disease for instance. So how can we eat more healthily to avoid decay and erosion of tooth enamel?

  1. You don’t need to knock sweet treats out of your diet completely, but when it comes to your teeth it is better to reduce the number of times you give those pesky bacteria a sugary snack. The more often you snack, the worst it is for your teeth! Try having a sweet treat only at a mealtime instead of mid-morning or during the evening for example. The main point to remember is that it is not the amount of sugar you eat or drink, but how often you do it!
  2. Finish meals with a small piece of cheese to neutralise acids.
  3. Reduce fizzy drinks as these can wear down your dental enamel – replace with milk or even better water to keep you fully hydrated. Acidic foods and drinks can cause dental erosion so aim to avoid those with a pH of less than 5.5 e.g. pickles, vinegar and grapefruit. Fruit juices are acidic too so try to keep these to mealtimes (diluting slightly with water can also help.)
  4. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which helps to cancel out the acid in your mouth after eating or drinking. It has been proven that using sugar-free chewing gum after meals can prevent tooth decay. However, it is important to use only sugar-free gum, as ordinary chewing gum contains sugar and therefore may damage your teeth rather than help.

 

Of course, good oral hygiene is vital to keep your mouth healthy – so brush twice a day (it’s especially important to brush before bed) and keep flossing or using your inter-dental cleaning aids that lucy and Beth recommend! Don’t swill out after brushing (with water or mouthwash) as this washes away all that lovely protection from your fluoride toothpaste!

Whatever you are aiming for this year, we wish you all the best with it – don’t forget we are here to support you when it comes to your dental health, so pick up the phone or drop us a line if there is anything concerning you.

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