New Year, New Smile

At the start of a new year, we often think of all things “new”.  Many make resolutions to form new habits, start new routines, or try something new. Have you considered adding your smile that that list of new things?

New Oral Hygiene Habits

The easiest way for you to incorporate oral health into your new year is by forming new (good) oral hygiene habits.  It takes over 40 days to develop a new habit, so try to commit to six weeks of an oral hygiene routine before you despair of sticking with it.  A great oral hygiene regimen consists of the following:

1.                 Brush twice daily.

When brushing your teeth, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush.  It is important to make sure the bristles touch the edge of the gums, which is where the most dental plaque accumulates.  If using a manual brush, move in gentle, circular motions.  With an electric toothbrush, simply hold the bristles against the teeth, lightly touching the gums.

2.                 Floss every night.

You cannot have good oral hygiene without flossing.  You just can’t.  It’s the only way to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth.  Your toothbrush bristles don’t reach between the teeth, and mouthwash won’t remove sticky plaque. 

Flossing at night is slightly better than flossing in the morning because we have less saliva when we sleep to fight the acid attacks of bacteria.  Removing plaque just before bed leads to a lower dental disease risk.

3.                 Use the right kind of mouthwash.

How do you know which is the “right” kind?  Ask your dentist.  The various ingredients in mouthwash serve different purposes.  You have to know your specific dental risk factors to know which one to choose.  In general, it is safe to say that no one should use mouthwash containing alcohol.  Alcohol acts as a drying agent and can actually cause more plaque buildup.

New Commitment to Consistent Dental Checkups

It’s easy to fall off the wagon of consistent dental visits.  We get it.  Everyone is busy.  The new year is a great time to re-prioritize your schedule.  Sticking to consistent dental visits with professional teeth cleanings, x-rays and oral evaluations lowers your overall risk for dental problems.  Start by scheduling an exam and cleaning for yourself.  Then when you are checking out, schedule your loved ones for their own visits.  Getting back on track is as easy as a phone call.

New Smile

You can also give yourself a “new” smile with various cosmetic improvements.  Is this the year you will finally work toward the smile you’ve always wanted?


Whitening is a simple and inexpensive way to make noticeable changes to your smile.  Teeth whitening with custom-fitted carrier trays and professional strength gel can give you a bright, white smile in as little as seven to ten days.  Our take-home whitening allows you to reach your whitening goals quickly and to maintain the shade of your smile for years. 

The custom-made whitening trays will last for many years, and you can purchase refills of the professional strength whitening gel as needed.  People who drink coffee, tea, dark soda, or red wine on a regular basis may require maintenance whitening every few months.  The great thing is that you are in charge.  When you notice a relapse in the color of your teeth, simply perform a few whitening treatments until you’re back where you want to be.


Straightening your teeth with Invisalign is a wonderful way to achieve a new smile.  Invisalign “invisibly” moves teeth into a new prescribed position with clear plastic aligners.  Instead of wearing unsightly brackets and wires to move your teeth, Invisalign allows you to correct orthodontic problems as surreptitiously as possible.

Invisalign works by putting precise amounts and directions of force on the teeth to safely move them into a new desired position.  Because orthodontic movement of teeth involves the breakdown and rebuilding of bone around the teeth, it is essential to have a dentist’s supervision.  In rare cases, unsupervised tooth movement has led to uncontrolled bone loss and the loss of teeth!

Replacement of Missing Teeth

Another great way to improve your oral health is by replacing missing teeth with new ones.  Dental implants are the most natural and reliable way to replace a missing tooth.  Not only do they provide the most cosmetically appealing result, they also provide the best chewing function. 

When you are missing even a single tooth, you are unable to chew with adequate force.  Chewing is the first step in digestion, and it is an essential one.  Inadequate chewing can cause digestive problems as food isn’t properly broken down.

Replacing a missing tooth is not simply a cosmetic issue.  It actually improves your health!

More Questions about a New Smile for You?

Call 940-382-1750 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chowning.  We will help you start new oral hygiene habits, a new commitment to dental visits or a completely new smile!

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