Christmas and New Year are over. The tinsel and the tree are gone, and everyone is failing dismally at their New Year’s resolutions.
What is a New Year’s resolution?
It’s the declaration of the intention to form a new habit. Unfortunately, a declaration of intent isn’t the habit itself. And it’s the habit that matters.
There are 5 things that your mouth wishes you would make an unbreakable habit.
1. Brushing – Your teeth, your tongue, the inside of your mouth, they all need brushing – and brushing correctly. No vigorous movements, no hard bristled brushes.
New Year’s Habit: Brush gently after every meal for 2 minutes.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take one thing with you, dentists would beg you to take floss. Flossing keeps your teeth from the ravages of bacteria and plaque.
New Year’s Habit: Floss at least twice a day.
While you may be doing everything correctly, for which your dentist and your teeth thank you, your dentist can better assess the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. They can also detect early stages of mouth cancer, which you may miss.
New Year’s Habit: See your dentist every six months.
4. Oral health therapy
There are some dental hygiene procedures for which a dentists will refer you to a dental hygienist or oral health therapist. These include the removal of plaque against which brushing, and flossing, are ineffective.
New Year’s Habit: See your oral health therapist every six months.
5. Protect your teeth
If you want your own, strong, healthy teeth at the end of the year, make it a habit to not open bottles with them, to bite and tear non-food stuffs, and avoid hard food like candy and some nuts, and reduce your wine and coffee intake.
New Year’s Habit: Be more careful how you use your teeth.
How long does it take to form a habit?
What really helps is understanding the nature of habits. A habit is something you do on such a regular basis that you do it without thinking, for your entire life. There are two types of habits:
- Good habits
- Bad habits
It’s likely your bad habit has been with you for a long time. You won’t break it overnight, unless you are supremely self-disciplined. Most of us aren’t. The pursuit of a good habit begins with a seed; your New Year’s resolution. It needs to be planted, nurtured, protected on a daily basis if it has any chance of supplanting the old bad habit.
Change your goal from ‘brush 3 times a day’ to ‘create the healthiest teeth, and the freshest breath, I’ve ever had.’ Small, incremental, daily changes – brushing twice a day instead of just once – will build life-long habits. It takes 650 days for an action to become a habit. You may forget one day. And that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Remind yourself of your big-picture goal and keep going.
Contact us on 0508 TEAM DENTAL Make an appointment today and make sure your teeth benefit from your New Year’s habits!