In continuation of my blog last week I thought I would focus this week’s topic on the importance of implementing good habits. Habits are behaviors that are repeated regularly and make up our daily routine of life. It’s important to have good control of your habits because if you don’t they may end up controlling you. How can you succeed in creating new habits such as working out, eating healthy, or good oral hygiene? It all starts with your commitment to change. You cannot just say you want to do something, you physically and mentally need to commit to the change and take action, no matter how difficult it may be. Remember things generally get harder before they get easier. I’m going to give ideas on how to make oral hygiene a good daily habit.
Different studies have discussed the length of time it takes to create a good habit, it’s been determined it takes 21-30 days of solid dedication to instill a good habit. How do you do this? Start by creating a strategy on how you want to accomplish your goal. In most cases you will want to break it up into three phases; Phase #1 is the most difficult because its new and you need to get into the mindset, Phase #2 is when things start to get easier but you still need to push yourself and Phase #3 is when you have conquered the habit and it has become part of your daily routine and you now feel you can’t live without it.
Example: Oral Hygiene
Phase 1 – Commit to your oral health and overall health.
Remember your mouth is the key to your overall health, it’s full of bacteria and everything we eat or drink goes through it and into our blood stream.
Suggestions on brushing:
Morning- when you 1st wake up before you get too busy and are rushing out the door.
Night- before sitting down to watch your favorite show and get too tired to brush
Pick a time of day you want to floss – Floss the same time every day (morning, noon or night)
Keep it out on the counter – “out of sight out of mind”
Phase 2- Remind yourself this is important to you and for your overall health.
Add a daily reminder to your phone about flossing
Keep a positive mindset- If you tell yourself you can’t, or you don’t want to, then you won’t!
Phase 3 – Congratulations! You improved your homecare and flossed for 30 days!
Think about how clean and fresh your mouth has felt over the last 30 days and the difference it will make at your routine cleaning appointment. Less plaque & bleeding = easier dental visit. You have also decreased the bacteria in your mouth that can get into your bloodstream and effect your heart, diabetes, and pre-term low birth weight babies.
The above strategy is just a simple example on how to implement a better oral hygiene routine. You can use similar strategies for working out, and eating better too. I know it can be difficult to turn bad habits into good ones, but you can do anything you put your mind to! Remember if you continue to tell yourself you hate what you are doing, or you can’t do it, then your mindset will never change and you will never accomplish your goal to change your habit.