In order to maintain exceptional oral health, it is important to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, as well as visit your dentist for a check-up or cleaning twice a year. However, many people miss doing the things they need to do to keep a great smile.
Those who have a bad habit of forgetting to floss or visit their dentist often make excuses, or promise to start doing it “next time.” Fortunately, it is never too late to get back on the right track.
Turning Bad Habits into Good Habits
According to several neuroscientific studies, habits are comprised of three parts – the cue, the routine, and the reward. The cue prompts us to act, the routine is the task we perform, and the reward is the reason why we do it in the first place.
For example, if you skip your evening teeth routine often, your cue could be wanting to sleep, the routine is putting on your sleep attire, then the reward is more time for sleep. The most effective way to transform a bad routine into a good one is by changing the cue and routine, while the reward remains the same. So you want to still maximize your sleep, but increase your time to clean and floss your teeth.
You could create a new pattern by either moving your dinner forward a few minutes earlier, get your clothes for the morning ready for bed, or cut down on watching television. Due to the increased time available in our evening, it will be easy to start a new routine without creating shortcuts.
The following are effective ways to stay on track with your new and improved routine:
- Keep track of your progress by creating a chart to check off every day you accomplish your goals, providing a visual of your improvements.
- Set a repeating alarm on your phone to let you know that it’s time to brush your teeth.
- If you live with family members or a roommate, you could always ask for their help and hold you accountable for your actions.
If you need a teeth cleaning, schedule an appointment with Austell Dental Associates today.