Did you know that the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions started with the Babylonians 4000 years ago? Since the Babylonian New Year coincided with the planting of new crops, their most common resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. That’s probably not one of your resolutions, but there is something about that blank calendar or planner that makes the start of a new year a logical time for a fresh start.
Today the most common resolutions have to do with health issues such as losing weight, exercising more, or eating healthy. Here are four resolutions that will improve your dental health in the coming year.
- Schedule your dental checkup. Even if you’re not having any dental problems, call your dentist at the first of the year to schedule an appointment. Use your new calendar or planner to record the date.
- Commit to brushing and flossing. Most of us brush twice a day but often neglect to make flossing part of our daily routine. Just as you keep your toothbrush easily accessible on the bathroom counter, put the floss where you will see it when you brush your teeth.
- Reduce your sugar intake. Reducing the amount of sugary foods and beverages you consume can reduce your risk for tooth decay. Start with easy substitutions like sugar-free gum and replace sodas with water. Add more dairy products and high-fiber foods to your diet. Your waistline will also benefit!
- Stop smoking. Most of us know the health risks associated with smoking, but we may not be aware of the increased risk for gum disease. Use your new calendar to schedule healthy activities to help take your mind off the cravings. Enlist the help of your family and friends. Look forward to the day you can write “Tobacco Free” on your calendar!
Studies show that it can take thirty days before a new habit becomes routine so don’t give up. Commit to these resolutions for your dental health one day at a time!