Maintaining good dental care habits can be a challenge. Dentists recommend brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and prefer their patients do that after every meal. Brushing at least twice a day can help reduce the chances of developing gum disease, tooth decay, plaque buildup, and cavities. The reason most people don't brush twice a day is a matter of habit.
It takes about 21 days to develop a habit, so the first step in changing your habits is to start developing new habits. Developing a new habit for your dental care has to be a deliberate process. Here are a few ways to help yourself develop better brushing and flossing habits.
1)Leave notes on the bathroom mirror. For most people, starting a habit (or breaking one) is a function of simply getting off "autopilot" and remembering to do something different. If brushing and flossing isn't a habit, then is most likely isn't a part of your routine. Placing a note on the mirror that you can see while you are getting dressed for the day, or as you are getting ready for bed can help remind you of your new routine. Eventually, you will get into the habit of brushing and flossing twice a day.
2)Take a toothbrush to work. For a lot of people, brushing during the day is an inconvenience. Take a separate toothbrush, toothpaste , and floss to work and leave it in a zip lock bag in your desk. If you have your own office and bathroom, set up a place to store at work. Then leave a note for yourself to remember to brush and floss after lunch.
3)Floss every day, even if it is painful. In the beginning, flossing may be uncomfortable - even painful. It will take a few days to get used to flossing if you don't do it regularly. Plan to tough it out for a couple of days and your gums will eventually get used to it as you begin to get rid of built up plaque and bacteria. The hardest days are the first few days, but if you can get through those, it gets much easier and much more comfortable.
4)Visit the dentist twice a year. Seeing the dentist regularly can help catch any issues before they get serious. You can also know how healthy your teeth are. Taking care of them along the way will help them last longer. There is a strong correlation to dentist visits and overall tooth health.
5)Get a toothbrush you like to use. If you plan to use a toothbrush twice a day or more, get one that you like using. Many people prefer the electronic toothbrushes with rotating and vibrating action. These costs a little more, but they can help you develop better habits if you enjoy using them. They also tend to do a better job at removing particles and getting your teeth cleaner.
6)Have your teeth whitened. Surprisingly, people expressed that if their teeth were whiter, they would think about taking better care of them. If you are one of those people, then this could help you think more about your dental health and help you develop some better dental care habits.
In order to maintain proper dental health, good habits are essential. The key to success in keeping good dental habits is to make it a part of your routine, and that takes time. Proper dental care habits are not automatically obtained, but instead, you have to work at building them into your routine. Hopefully, with these tips, you can start developing new habits and improve the health of your teeth.
William Rice Dental is an Athens GA dentist that advocates for better overall tooth health and good dental care habits.
How To Keep Good Dental Care Habits