Developing Healthier Habits

Now that January is coming to an end, you may be reflecting on how successful you have been at keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions.

If you have stayed committed to your goals, kudos to you. However, if you are struggling or have already given up on some of them, you are not alone!

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions that deal with health, sticking to them may result in a healthier, happier you.

If you are trying to develop a habit, such as brushing twice everyday or drinking more water, here is a tip:

It often takes longer than 21 days to develop a habit. Don’t be discouraged by this. While it may take a while, with perseverance, habits can be formed in time.

Psychologists often divide the process of forming habits into 6 stages:

  1. Precontemplation. During this stage, we have not yet considered changing our ways.
  2. Contemplation. During this stage, we recognize the problem, but are not yet sure of the solution.
  3. Preparation. During this stage, we develop a general idea of the change that we would like to make.
  4. Action. During this stage, we begin implementing changes in our lives to reach the goal.
  5. Maintenance. This stage involves the necessary actions to maintain our progress towards accomplishing our goal.
  6. Termination. The final stage in the process, termination involves the termination of the old behavior now that the new behavior is a habit.

If you have created a New Year’s resolution, you are likely at stage 3 right now. The goal now is to take action and work to maintain your progress until you reach your goal! Don’t be afraid of setbacks, and take your time.

We wish you the best of success accomplishing your goals in 2018!

Source: “6 Stages and 16 Tips for Developing Good Habits” by Barbara Markway, Ph. D.  Psychology Today.


September Dental Challenge

September Dental Challenge

With August ending soon, it’s as good a time as ever to issue a dental challenge for next month! This isn’t just any challenge – it’s one that can improve your smile.

The Challenge:

Brush twice daily and floss once daily every day for the rest of the month!

What You’ll Need:

  • A Toothbrush – Manual or electric, whichever you have. Be sure to check your toothbrush bristles; if they are frayed and worn your toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if you have an electric toothbrush) may need replacing! Typically, toothbrushes need replacing every 3-4 months. 
  • Toothpaste – We recommend using a toothpaste that contains fluoride.  
  • Floss – We recommend using traditional string floss, but if you have difficulty doing so you may find it easier to use floss sticks or other interdental cleaners. There are several  different types of floss, find the type that is most comfortable for you.

The Benefits:  

Cleaning your teeth properly and regularly is key to having good oral hygiene. By brushing and flossing regularly, you  can improve your gum health, prevent tooth decay, and freshen your breath.

If you already brush and floss regularly, good for you! This challenge should be a piece of cake. If not, you can do it!

Overcoming What’s Keeping You From Having a Healthier Smile: 

If you are struggling to brush and floss regularly, you are not alone! Here are a few common reasons why people don’t brush and/or floss, and how you can overcome them.

  • #1: Forgetting to brush or floss, feeling that you are too busy, or are too tired at night. One key way to ensure that you are brushing and flossing regularly is to set a routine and stick to it until it becomes habit. Check out our blog post on setting an oral hygiene routine for help with this. 
  • #2: Feeling that flossing doesn’t matter. While brushing does clean your teeth, it is not enough. Flossing removes plaque and food debris from those areas your toothbrush can’t reach. For more on the benefits of flossing, see our blog post on making flossing a priority
  • #3: Struggling to floss properly. Flossing can be difficult, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. As mentioned earlier, there are several different types of floss and interdental cleaners available. Our post on making flossing a priority can help you overcome this flossing obstacle, as well. 

So there you go! We hope that you will accept our challenge and get on a path to maintaining a healthier smile. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 919-468-6410.

Take care of your smile!