It is the New Year! Which means it is a time to consider ways we can all improve our physical, emotional, mental, and other wellbeing. Every year, we take time to think about our health and wellness goals for the upcoming year. One common goal is to improve healthy habits. Day-to-day healthy habits from our diet and exercise routines to sleep, hydration, and of course oral health are all great goals to have. But how to help make those goals endure throughout the year? Whether you are looking to do a better job yourself when it comes to brushing and flossing, or you are trying to help your kids improve their oral health, we have some helpful tips on keeping track of those new year’s goals throughout the year.
One of the most important things with any health habit is consistency. Tracking consistency is a great way to inspire yourself to keep up with a habit. There are a few ways to do that. One option is to hang up a calendar in the bathroom, where you and your family members can check off everytime you brush and floss each day. One way to make this fun for kids is to give them their own calendars and let them decorate them with stickers. Each time they brush or floss their teeth they can add a sticker, and over the course of a month they will see their day-to-day progress. A good goal is to not be upset with a miss here and there, but to see how from month to month you continue to grow.
For teens and adults you might want something more sophisticated than stickers and calendars. One option is to find an app that lets you track healthy habits. There are many free and paid apps on the app store that can help you track your health goals all in a single place. Some of them even add games or have reminders. With so many social media apps focusing on daily streaks, it is an easy connection to translate those streaks to healthy habits. Many teenagers probably already have a social media app or game app on their phone that reminds them to open the app at least once per day. A health app can help turn that day to day usage into a healthy habit.
Of course a third option is to create a manual spreadsheet or calendar. Some people prefer to either have a physical calendar that they can add checkmarks to or even a digital spreadsheet. The key is to figure out what works for you.
Consistency is key but there is still more you can do. When it comes to brushing your teeth your goal should be to brush for at least 2 minutes. A great way to accomplish this is with either a timer on your phone or even listening to a song that is over two minutes long. When the song ends you know you have brushed your teeth for enough time. Another thing to consider with brushing is when to get a new toothbrush. There are running apps that help runners track their shoes so once they hit a certain mileage they can retire the old shoes and get new ones. You should consider something similar for toothbrushes. It is recommended to replace a toothbrush every 3-4 months. Whenever you get a new toothbrush you should consider adding a reminder on a calendar to replace it in 3-4 months. Another way to remember is to pick a specific date. For example you can use the first of the month every three months (i.e. January, April, July, & October) or you could use the seasons. Since there are four seasons spaced three months apart each, you can use them as a good measurement tool for when to swap your toothbrush.
One of the best things you can do for teeth and gums is see a dentist twice a year. A professional exam and cleaning goes such a long way in preventing gum disease and tooth decay and finding/addressing any issues. And of course, seeing a dentist is always a great way to get tips on brushing and flossing and help stay on track with your oral health goals!
Here at All Pro Dental in Revere Massachusetts we work with patients of every age to help prevent issues like gum disease and tooth decay. If you are interested in setting up family dental appointments, please contact our team form ore information about dental services.
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