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Resolutions are dead – long live resolutions!

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Home  /  Implants - Dental News  /  Resolutions are dead – long live resolutions!

By this stage, over 90% of people have broken all their New Year’s resolutions. And don’t take OUR word for it – survey after survey backs us up on this. But maybe right now would be a great time to re-commit to a healthy oral health regime?

When you think about it, it’s no real surprise that so many of those optimistic New Year’s resolutions fail. First of all, we come from a period of plenty directly into a period where we promise ourselves very little.

By way of example, we could be eating three thousand calories a day over the Christmas holidays, yet we believe we can go straight into a 1,500 calorie a day regime – just at the click of our fingers.

Also, we pick a completely arbitrary date – January 1st – even though, for many people, this may still be right in the middle of our holiday period.

So here’s what we’re suggesting. Let’s just forget those failed resolutions and start from scratch – but this time in a more thoughtful and planned manner.

Repetition, repetition, repetition!

Habits are formed through repetition, so if you want to change a behavior (anything from not smoking to going for a walk every day) you need to work extra hard at the early stages, until the new behavior becomes a habit and you no longer have to think about it any more – it’s simply part of your life.

Also, don’t heap any more pressure on yourself than you need to. For example, if you were looking to shift a little weight, don’t tell the world and its mother that you’re going to fit into ‘that little black dress’ by Easter.

That said, however, it can be brilliant to have one or two trusted buddies in your new venture. Going for a walk alone each day might be a pain in the ass, but if you have someone who’s waiting for you every evening at 7.00 p.m., it becomes much easier.

Applying these principles to your dental care regime

  • Make it an unbreakable promise that you will brush your teeth at least twice a day for the next 21 days. You’ll be surprised how quickly the new habit becomes set in stone. If possible, do it at exactly the same time each day, e.g. right after your breakfast and before you hit the sack for a well-earned night’s sleep.
  • Challenge one or two people to do exactly the same thing – comparing notes can act as an added incentive as you won’t want to fail in front of others.
  • Pick one other time of the day for flossing or using your interdental brush. This could take place after your lunch in the office, for example. And it’s always a good habit to have brush, paste and your full set of requirements to hand during the day – especially if you need to freshen up for an important meeting.
  • When you’ve got to the end of that 21 days, then congratulate yourself and start another manageable period – perhaps for the next ten days. Little by little, you’ll find that your new behavior becomes second nature to you.

Your new regime will pay for itself many times over

This may seem like an extra effort to make – but surely any achievement takes effort? We’re fond of telling our patients that toothpaste costs a lot less than the cost of teeth implants or other serious dental treatments.

So face up to the challenge once again – and console yourself by thinking that you could put that notional tooth implant cost towards something you really want.