Our minds have massive computing power, but even they need shortcuts to handle the sheer number of processes going on at any given time. These shortcuts created by our brains are meant to make life easier, but sometimes they end up creating habits detrimental to our everyday life. Common bad oral health habits are forgetting to brush your teeth, poorly cleaning them and not spending enough time brushing.

With new research popping up every day spouting the importance of great oral health, we all know that building a better hygiene routine is well worth the effort! But how do we begin? By creating a new brain loop.

It turns out that habits are nothing but repeated prompts, followed by a specific routine and the receipt of a reward. The prompt is whatever first entices you to do something while the routine is what you actually do. The reward is why you do it. Now that you understand the process, spend time analyzing your own oral health habits.

Once you’ve identified your prompts, routines and rewards – you can find ways to tweak these to your benefit. The goal is to identify simple ways to integrate your new routine into your life. Since most people fail at their new routine within the first few weeks, the following advice can help any dental care patient in Tampa beat these odds.

  • Create Rewards: Look to the near and distant future by setting a few milestones to achieve along with a relevant reward. Remember to scale your rewards depending on how difficult each objective is to attain.
  • Set Reminders: Use sound to alert yourself to your new habit. Chances are good that you already have the perfect tool for this job – your cell phone!
  • Record Your Growth: Stay motivated by using visuals to document how far you’ve come! Keep it in a prominent place as a frequent reminder of the oral health goals you’ve already achieved as well as those you’re working towards.

Now that you have the tools to build a better oral health routine, you’re ready to understand the good habits you’re attempting to develop. Because the truth is, great dental care in Tampa actually starts at home.

For starters, proper brushing should last a full two minutes, which is much longer than most adults typically spend on this daily task. The next time you brush your teeth, use a timer to get a better sense of how long you’re actually brushing for. And spend that extra time cleaning your tongue to rid your mouth of bacteria-causing bad breath. It’s a simple step to help you avoid unnecessary embarrassment!

Flossing should NEVER be overlooked, but it often is. Just like brushing your teeth, flossing should also be performed twice a day. Its main purpose is not to remove food stuck between your teeth but rather to clear out trapped bacteria. If you’re still not convinced you should be flossing.

Now get out there and develop excellent oral health habits!

Would you like more information about your dental care options in Tampa? North Pointe Dental is waiting for your call at (813) 961-1727!