Happy New Year from Winchester Dental! Here are five steps to a healthier year, from your dentist’s office. Think of it as your Jolly January list.

1. Exercise to manage your stress.

Chase your toddler, make an extra run up the stairs, pace while you talk on your cell phone, do anything you can to get your heart rate up more frequently this year. Or, feel free to participate in the commonly accepted forms of exercise and relaxation. (You know what those are, so we’re not going to list them. Did someone say yoga? Dr. Gio says he loves yoga!)

 

 

2. Eat plenty of crunchy raw fruits and vegetables.

Of course you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating. By working out your jaw muscles, you will keep them strong. Keeping them strong can help keep your bite aligned and also help you keep your mouth closed while you sleep. PS: Did you know that if you keep your mouth closed while you sleep, it can reduce your risk of cavities?

 

 

3. Practice nasal breathing.

While this is the least romantic of items on our Jolly January list, nasal breathing can have a powerful impact on your overall health. Why?

  • Your nose acts as a filter to keep harmful bacteria and particles from reaching the lungs.
  • It humidifies the air you breathe so that it reaches the lungs at the proper temperature, promoting better oxygen exchange.
  • Additionally, keeping your mouth closed and breathing through your nose, especially while you sleep, protects your teeth from exposure to the same bacteria and particles in the air, and it reduces the risk of TMJ disorders due to misaligned jaws.

If you find it difficult to keep your mouth closed and to breathe through your nose while you sleep, we may be able to help. Read more.

 

 

4. Brush, floss, and use a water flosser daily.

You already know to brush. If you haven’t done so already, add daily flossing. Ready to go for extra credit? Use a water flosser too. It will help remove anything not reached with regular floss.

 

 

5. Schedule regular dental hygiene appointments.

Need an excuse to come see us again? When you schedule regular visits for cleaning—normally twice a year—our hygienists can help keep your teeth free of plaque buildup, monitor the health of your gums, and alert your dentist to any new developments requiring further attention.

Last but not least, have FUN! Even the most mundane things can be playful. The more fun you have, the better your health. If you have kids or grandkids, try one or two tips from this Jolly January list together and make it into play. Better health allows for more fun, and more fun creates better health!