In honor of National Dental Hygiene month I want to review the importance of implementing good oral hygiene habits. A habit is a behavior that is repeated regularly, and make up our daily routine of life. Many of the personal development books I have read discuss the importance of good habits and how they make for a smoother routine. Creating good habits start 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. How can you 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. Start by creating a strategy on how you want to accomplish your goal.
Part #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
Suggestions on Flossing:
Pick a time of day you want to floss – Floss the same time every day (morning, noon or night)
Suggestions on Rinse:
Keep it out on the counter – “out of sight out of mind”
Part #2- Remind yourself this is important to you and for your overall health.
Add a daily reminder to your phone about flossing (this is the most commonly forgotten)
Keep a positive mindset- If you tell yourself you can’t, or you don’t want to, then you won’t!
Part #3- 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.
Benefits of better oral hygiene
· You have decreased the bacteria in your mouth, which gets into your bloodstream and affects your heart, diabetes, and pre-term low birth weight babies.
· Less plaque & bleeding = easier dental visit.
The above strategy is just an example on how to implement a better oral hygiene routine. I know it can be difficult to turn bad habits into good ones, but you can do anything you put your mind too!