How to Make Oral Hygiene a Habit

Phoenix_Cosmetic_DentistMost people are aware that habits shape much of our daily lives. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 40 percent of our daily routine is influenced or controlled by the force of habit.

Your Phoenix cosmetic dentist can verify how important good oral health habits are to form and maintain. Everything we eat and drink impacts the health of our teeth and gums, and every action we take to clean our teeth influences how free they are of the bacterial plaque that can lead to tooth decay and infection.

How to form good dental habits: Tips from Phoenix cosmetic dentists

  1. Focus on establishing the most critical habits for your oral health. You don’t have to try to change everything about your life to improve things for your teeth and gums. Making intelligent food and drink choices, quitting tobacco products, brushing and flossing consistently, and visiting your dentist regularly can all make a huge difference.
  2. Create a supportive environment to make your habits stick. It’s far easier to establish good habits when everything around you facilitates that. If you want to floss on a daily basis, find a way to establish a cue that reminds you to do it. You can pair it with brushing your teeth, like many people do. And you can make sure that you visually prompt yourself to engage in the flossing habit by putting whatever type of floss/flossing device you use where you can clearly see and access it. (And for flossing on the go, you can extend the usefulness of this tip by putting floss in your travel bag and your car.)
  3. Build in a reward for participating in your dental habit. Many people are encouraged to brush and floss each day because they love the feeling of how clean their teeth are Others use smartphones or other mobile devices to track their habit progress with an app, which can be fun. Still others reward themselves with a non-essential splurge purchase, such as a Blu-Ray movie disc or a book, when they pass a certain number of days of engaging in their habit, or if they get a good report from their dentist at their regular checkup.

“Our brains thrive on habit – the key is to program them with healthy oral hygiene habits that support the long-term health of your smile,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a central Phoenix cosmetic dentist

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