Major points of transition in our lives always feel like a chance to start over. Whether it’s a new school, a move for a new job, or celebrating a new year, we tend to think of these times as opportunities to remake ourselves. ‘This time, I’ll be more confident and funny’, ‘I’ll stay organized and ask for what I deserve’, or even ‘I’m going to floss every day, and I really mean it this time!’.
The intention for a positive change may be there, but it can be hard to change your habits and it’s easy to fall back into our old, comfortable ways, again. Far too many adults, for instance, fail to brush and floss their teeth as often as they should [4 in 10, according to this survey]. Despite years of education and being reminded of the importance of dental hygiene.
What’s going to be different this year? What are you doing differently, this time to keep them coming all year long? Let’s discuss a few strategies you can use.
Setting Incremental Goals
Some people will find that tearing off the band-aid quickly will be effective, going cold turkey on a bad habit and replacing it with a new, healthier option. Most (as many as 92%) will ultimately fail when they try to change this way.
When establishing a new goal, such as taking better care of your teeth, it’s best to break that down into small, bite-sized chunks that are easy to tackle. For example, if you only brush your teeth once per day, for the first month of the year, put all of your focus into getting that second brushing in before bed.
Once you have established the second brushing as a part of your new routine, the next month add in daily flossing. Each month focus on one small change to integrate into your life, and your odds of success will be much greater.
Even with high degrees of athleticism and skill, with multi-million dollar contracts and fame on the line, athletic stars with every motivation in the world will sometimes slack off. The coaches are for accountability; they get the player to do the training, run the laps, and practice the fundamentals for the 10,000th time. Ultimately, we are all like this. We will perform better when we are held accountable– we don’t like to fail in the eyes of others.
Sports analogies aside, daily flossing/brushing is important and there aren’t many support groups for it, but we can help! Make this year the year you maintain your oral health. Schedule cleanings, exams, and other dental work so we, your Boise dentist, can hold you accountable and check your progress.
Make it Convenient
The first step is to make it as painless as possible. We often find ourselves making resolutions that we know we won’t keep.
Preparation is key. Are you the type that rushes out the door every morning without eating? Then keep your toothbrush and floss at work or in your purse (for the last time, it’s a satchel!). Taking two minutes to brush-up is a great thing to do while the coffee is brewing and you’re settling in.
Whatever it it takes to follow through, do it, even if it is not ideal. A not-so-perfect regimen that you will follow is much better than a perfectly designed plan that you fail to execute, because it is hard to adjust to.
Make the Change
We can help. We can hold you accountable. Begin the year right by scheduling a cleaning and get off on the right foot with a dental care plan specifically for you.