Welcome to 2012! We hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season. Those of you sending the kids back to school are probably seeing some sad faces in the morning as they realize their holidays are over! But they will come home excited at having spent the day with friends they have not seen in a while!

As great as the Holidays are, it is nice to get back into established routines. It is also nice to introduce some new changes designed to make life better for you and your loved ones.

For us at Rideau Dental Centre, one of the changes is the manner in which we will communicate with you and help educate you about your dental health concerns. Given our great relationship with our friends at the Metro Newspaper, we will continue to promote our educational articles there.

However, the actual articles themselves will only appear on our website. We look forward to your feedback on how this change works for you.

And speaking of change, it is that time of year when resolutions abound! Hopefully, if you have made some resolutions designed to improve your lives in 2012, you are sticking with them. After all, the hardest part of making a change in your life occurs in the first couple of weeks while you break from your old routines! If you can get past that time, what was once new now becomes part of your daily life!

So many popular resolutions may not be made with oral health in mind. However, anything that improves overall health also improves oral health given how closely the two are linked!

Some of you may have resolved to quit smoking! We fully support you in this choice. Smoking wreaks havoc on the mouth by staining the teeth, creating or adding to bad breath and exacerbating periodontal disease. Breaking this habit is one of the best things you can do for your mouth.

Improved eating habits are another popular choice at this time of year. Eating fewer processed foods and more whole food products can do wonders for your smile! Improved nutrition shows up on so many places, including strengthening your teeth and gums.

While these are a couple of the more popular choices, we would like to suggest a couple more that really are minor commitments! We would like you to resolve to properly brush and floss regularly and to visit your dentist at least twice per year.

Compared to changing your diet or quitting smoking, these are truly minor commitments. “Proper brushing” means brushing your teeth at least twice per day and taking two minutes to complete this task. Most people spend just over a minute brushing their teeth and this is not enough time to properly do the job. An additional minute twice per day is not a big commitment in time, but the results in your oral health by properly removing all debris is worth the investment.

So too is visiting your dentist. All that we ask is two days out of your year. Up to four visits per year visits may be required if there are problems that need to be addressed. When compared to other resolutions, it is not asking for much.

But the results will be fantastic. Your health and your smile will improve. It is not too late to add these small resolutions to your list. Start by booking your appointment now. We would be happy to see you at Rideau Dental Centre…because visiting your dentist is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Martin LaBoissonniere

Dental Surgeon