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2024 January-February

A Fresh Start: Setting Dental Health Resolutions for the New Year

As we welcome the new year, we should take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on our habits and set resolutions for a healthier lifestyle. Why not extend this reflection to your oral health? Let's explore two essential aspects of dental health resolutions: the commitment to regular flossing and understanding the importance of frequent oral exams. Our goal at Innisfail Family Dental is to share our knowledge with you so you can make informed decisions about your dental health.

Resolution #1: Flossing Every Day

Making Flossing a Habit

One of the simplest yet often neglected habits is daily flossing. While brushing your teeth is crucial, flossing plays a key role in removing plaque and food debris between your teeth and the gumline. Make it a resolution to floss daily to enhance your oral hygiene routine. 

The Importance of Plaque Removal:

Plaque is a sticky transparent film of bacteria constantly forming on the teeth. It can be detrimental to your oral health if not effectively removed regularly. It contains millions of bacteria that survive on the food and drinks you consume daily. If not regularly removed through brushing and flossing, bacteria deposits from plaque on teeth can cause tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and tartar buildup. 

Here's why plaque removal is crucial:

1. Acid Erosion and Cavities: 

Plaque is more than just a thin film on your teeth; it is a breeding ground for acid-producing bacteria. The acid can erode the enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth, causing discoloration, white spots, and cavities. Over time, untreated cavities can worsen, leading to more serious dental problems. Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque solidifies into tartar (calcium deposits). While you can remove plaque at home, tartar removal requires the help of a dental professional. Prevention is KEY!

2. Missed Surface Area with a Toothbrush: 

While brushing your teeth is a fundamental part of your homecare routine, a toothbrush has limitations. It misses around one-third of the tooth surfaces, primarily because it cannot reach between the teeth and under the gums. Plaque tends to accumulate in these areas and cause the most harm.

3. Flossing's Role in Removing Plaque:

Flossing is a targeted and effective way to remove plaque from areas a toothbrush can't reach. Did you know that there is a proper technique for flossing? Gently slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it around the tooth in a "C" shape. Slide the floss up and down the tooth from base to tip a few times. Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Remember the backs of your last molars! Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles. Effective flossing will disrupt the formation of plaque colonies and help prevent the onset of cavities. Plaque, being a sticky surface, tends to attract stains. However, removing plaque can effectively enhance your teeth' appearance without going through the whitening process. In other words, eliminating plaque from your teeth can help you remove the staining and restore your teeth' natural shine.

Tips for Successful Flossing:

  • Choose the right floss for your teeth and comfort.
  • Take your time; don't rush the process.
  • Be gentle to avoid damaging your gums.

Why Flossing Matters:

Flossing helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. It reaches areas your toothbrush can't, ensuring thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums. By making flossing a daily habit, you're taking a proactive step towards a cleaner and healthier smile.

Conclusion: Flossing is not just a supplemental step in your oral hygiene routine; it is a proactive measure to combat plaque, the root cause of cavities and gum disease. Make flossing daily one of your New Year resolutions; you'll take a significant step toward preventing potential dental issues and maintaining a healthy smile!


Resolution #2: Prioritize Regular Oral Exams

Scheduling Your Way to Better Oral Health

In addition to personal habits, regular dental checkups are a cornerstone of good oral health. Many individuals only visit the dentist when a problem arises. Still, preventive care is vital to catching issues early and maintaining a healthy smile.

Frequency of Oral Exams:

  • Adults: Schedule a dental checkup at least once a year that includes x-rays (radiographs). 
  • Children: Introduce regular dental visits early for a lifetime of healthy habits. Children should see the dentist once every six months because of the constant changes in their oral environment. 

Why are radiographs (x-rays) Important?

A dental radiograph gives your dentist an inside look at your hard tissues (teeth and bones) and the soft tissues surrounding your teeth and jawbones. They help the dentist see cavities that develop between the teeth or around and under your existing dental work, diseases in the bone, periodontal (gum) disease, infections that develop under your gums, and some types of tumours. These are only a few benefits of Dental radiographs.

Benefits of Regular Oral Exams:

  • Early detection of dental issues before they become problematic.
  • Personalized advice for maintaining your optimal oral health.


As we embrace the new year's opportunities, let's jump into 2024 by prioritizing our oral health. By committing to daily flossing and scheduling regular oral exams, you're taking proactive steps toward a healthier, happier smile. Your smile and body will thank you!

Remember, your dental care team at Innisfail Family Dental is here to support you on your journey to a healthier smile. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need guidance on your dental health resolutions. Here's to a year filled with bright smiles and optimal oral health!

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin.

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