Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for your smile. Healthy teeth make a beautiful smile. Brushing can also help with gum health and even keep your breath smelling sweet. At Hammond Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Provo, we want all our patients to have good dental health.
The best way to build brushing into your routine is to make it a habit. A habit is an automated practice that becomes hard to give up. If you can make brushing your teeth a habit, you’ll be one step closer to a life of successful checkups.
Keep It Simple
One of the best ways to create a habit is to keep the requirements simple. Brushing teeth is already a simple task, but we can focus on the simplicity to help it stick as a habit.
Don’t complicate the instructions for your kids. Keep it as simple as possible at the start. A small amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush, brush for about two minutes, rinse with clear water. Simple.
One of the cornerstones of a habit is routine. Routine is rooted in consistent timing. Choose at least two regular times to brush your teeth. Set a timer if you have to, but it’s best to create a habit around other regular activities. “First thing in the morning” or “after breakfast” are good times. After dinner or just before getting into bed are also good.
Regardless of when you choose, make sure it is a daily activity, and that it is tied to another routine or habit as a reminder. In this way you are actually appending an existing habit or routine, and that makes it easier.
Stick To It
Research indicates it takes about two weeks to create a habit. You have to do a task for at least two weeks in a row before your brain will turn it over to auto-pilot and make it into a habit. Your brain tries to do this with routine things so you don’t have to keep the task in your short-term memory.
If you can stick with a task for two weeks, you’ll be well on your way to creating a good habit. If you can hold on for 30 days, you’ll imprint your new habit as a reflexive routine. You may never have to think about it again!
Finally, any good habit needs constant improving. You can improve your habit of brushing your teeth by working on proper form, or by adding a little bit of time. Work toward the two minute mark; any longer and it may start to cause damage. You can also make sure you are using a soft or medium brush, and that you are using floride toothpaste to keep your teeth healthy.
At Hammond Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Provo, we want all our patients to brush and floss daily, and see us for regular checkups. We offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule an appointment today!
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