One of Japan’s New Year’s Eve traditions is the annual bell ringing at temples nationwide. It is called Joya-no-Kane. “Joya” is one way of saying “New Year’s Eve” in Japanese, while “kane” stands for “bell.”
According to ancient custom, the bell is typically rung 107 times on December 31 and once more when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s. One hundred eight bell strikes represent 108 worldly desires. These desires refer to the anxiety and hardships caused by material wants. When the bell is finally struck for the 108th time, it is believed that you’ll be cleansed of your problems and worries from last year.
No matter your ancestry, it is an excellent thought to start fresh in the new year by putting the past year behind you and making resolutions for the New Year.
One of the top surveyed resolutions for 2023 is “Eat healthier.” This resolution is always a good place to start because healthier eating leads to better overall health and oral health.
We want to share with you some of our ideas for resolutions to improve your oral and overall health holistically.
Brush, brush, brush!
We know you’ve heard it repeatedly, but brushing is essential to keeping a healthy mouth. Brushing your teeth after meals keeps your teeth clean, whether you have traditional braces or clear aligners. Brushing helps prevent plaque buildup, bad breath, and cavities that can cause gum disease and discoloration of your teeth (and aligners if you wear them).
Floss at least once a day.
Flossing is essential because brushing alone is not enough to remove the plaque from your teeth. Not taking care of plaque can lead to problems such as cavities and gingivitis. Flossing gets the areas your toothbrush can’t reach.
Let’s look at this from an oral health viewpoint (but you should evaluate this for your general health too).
Holistic dentistry involves the entire body with your overall dental health. The foods you eat will impact your overall health as well as your oral health. For example, eating foods that cause your body to be acidic can negatively impact your oral health and cause other problems in your body. In holistic dentistry, we emphasize eating highly alkalinizing foods and minimizing acidic foods.
You can read more about Alkalizing Diets from Everyday Health. But you can start immediately by eliminating sugar from your diet and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Drink plenty of water.
Drinking plenty of water can significantly improve your overall health and oral health. For oral health, drinking water helps rinse away food particles that can get trapped between your teeth. If food particles are left behind after you eat, they become a feeding source for bacteria to grow and multiply. Did you know that rinsing your mouth with water or drinking a glass of water after a meal can reduce the harmful bacteria in your mouth by 30%?
Also, water keeps you hydrated, which helps your body produce enough saliva to protect your mouth from bacteria.
If you don’t like drinking plain water, sparkling waters, as mentioned in our Dec blog: Smile White for the Holidays, are a great substitute– especially when you make your own using thin slices of fruits or herbs. Remember, “natural flavors” are NOT natural–they are still chemical compounds derived from natural sources, and you should avoid them to promote your health.
Don’t use tobacco products.
Smoking doubles your risk for gum disease, and tobacco will stain and damage your teeth. There are many sources to help you kick your tobacco habit. If you can’t find any, ask us, and we’ll help you locate some. You can also reach out to friends and loved ones who can help you make the change.
Replace mercury fillings if you have any.
Mercury is toxic, and this poison is recognized as a chemical element of significant concern because it poses a dangerous threat to public health. Mercury accumulates in the body, and any mercury taken into the body should be considered hazardous. You can read more about mercury dental toxicity from the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
At Dental Arts and Wellness, Dr. Manami, uses the SMART method to remove mercury fillings. SMART dentistry stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. Dr. Yamaguchi is SMART certified through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). Because removing amalgam fillings can release additional mercury vapor, safe removal is essential.
Keep your dental checkup appointments.
We recommend getting your teeth professionally cleaned and checked by your dentist every six months. Dr. Manami will thoroughly examine and address anything that could affect your oral and dental health.
At Dental Arts & Wellness, we encourage you to keep your New Year’s resolutions for your dental and oral health, and we will help you along the way. We are in the business of helping you have a confident smile. Please contact us to schedule an appointment and get any questions answered. We hope you accomplish everything you want to in 2023.
Happy New Year!
Your Friendly Team at
Dental Arts & Wellness