A habit is an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation. It may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition, and is usually “triggered” by circumstance. You’ll notice that, in the preceding definition of a habit, there are no value judgments made; no difference offered between and bad habits, between unhealthy and healthy habits.
No, what is important to consider in this definition is that habits are, largely, automatic reactions in response to situations or conditions. This matters, because it means that habits are malleable; capable of being shaped or changed. In other words, you can replace a bad habit with a good one, is you learn how.
Building Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
There are four simple steps to habit formation, which can be used to create new, healthy habits:
- Determine your Reason – Starting a new habit works best when you get something out of it. Maybe you crave that squeaky-clean feeling your teeth experience after your dental routine or perhaps you’re looking to meet The One and know that your smile and oral health are key to attraction and kiss ability.
- Create a Cue – Habits are triggered by a cue in response to an action, like buckling up after getting in the car. You can try using part of your bedtime routine as a cue. For example, washing your face can be the cue to brush and floss. The cue you create will begin to automatically trigger the action you want to form, and continued performance will eventually create a habit.
- Eliminate the Stress – Flossing daily may be the goal, but remembering to do so can be hard at first. Start by flossing once a week, and then work up to daily. You might experience the desire to floss more often after you do it a few times, which will motivate you to floss every day.
- Make it Enjoyable – If you don’t enjoy doing something, you aren’t going to stick with it. Find ways to make maintaining good oral health habits as enjoyable as possible; maybe play your favorite song to ensure you brush for the full two minutes or choose a cupcake dental floss to satisfy your sweet tooth and encourage you to floss daily.
By using these steps to create healthy habits, you’ll be well on your way to success. Once a new heathy habit is formed, you’ll reap the rewards and have the confidence to tackle even bigger changes that can truly transform your wellbeing.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.