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Creating a Habit of Brushing Your Teeth

Not everyone grows up with the habit of brushing teeth regularly.  A recent study in England showed that one in four adults surveyed didn’t brush twice a day, and one in ten admitted they often regularly forgot to brush their teeth at all. Do you, or someone you know, fall into a similar category? How do you motivate an adult to change those unhealthy behaviors?

Change Habits
Dentists recommend twice a day brushing, but even brushing once is better than not at all, so that’s a good place to start. It only takes 21 days of doing something to create a habit, and here are some ways to help establish a routine:

Keep the Brush in Sight
Avoid “out of sight, out of mind” by placing the toothbrush in a cup where it will be easily seen every day, such as by a bathroom sink.  

Create Reminders
Tape notes to mirrors and other places they are likely to be seen. Use an alarm set at a convenient time for teeth to be brushed. Ask someone close to you for reminders, even if they have to call.

Make a List
Everyone already has a routine, even if they don’t consciously realize it. Create a list of the things done in the morning and at night. Find the best time to insert brushing teeth into the lists. If the lists are too full to fit in good health, then the lists need revising.

Keep a Record
Set a goal, like brushing every day for a month, and mark it off on a calendar. Keep the calendar where it will be seen to provide the incentive to continue. Don’t quit if a day is missed, just resolve to continue the next day.

Make Dental Checkups a Habit, Too
Once regular daily brushing and flossing is a habit, make sure those well taken care of teeth are kept beautiful and healthy through regular dental checkups!

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