Good Habits For Long Term Oral Health

by - 11:57 AM

Maybe you’re someone who worries about oral health? Or maybe someone who doesn’t really know what steps they should be taking to ensure good oral health? Maybe you just want some advice as to how to reinforce consistent routine in your oral hygiene practices to make them habits? Today we’re going to explore habits and why they’re so important to make positive changes in dental care long-term and especially what habits your dentist in St Johns Wood think you should be focusing on. 

Happy Habits 
Habits come in all shapes and sizes, some good, some bad and let's be honest some are pretty ugly! Good habits come from long periods of effort and insight, when people choose to make a positive difference. Bad habits come from laziness and neglect. It’s the difference between making sure you always hang your washing out as soon as it leaves the washing machine and leaving it in the basket overnight - only to then need another trip through the washer the next day (as it now smells like damp dog). Sound familiar? You aren’t alone. The really cool thing about habits is it’s the brain's natural way of making our life easier, and being more efficient. Our brains in general just want to get as much done without wasting time and energy unnecessarily and habits facility this. 

Routine vs Habit 
When looking into habits one thing that struck me as super interesting was there is actually a really fundamental, important difference between routines and habits in that routines need deliberate thought and practice behind them in order to make them happen, whereas habits just occur through subconscious. And what’s really interesting is that it’s routines created by you that turn into habits. So you really do have the power to make change. 

Steps to move routine to habit 
There’s a super famous psychologist called Charles Duhigg who wrote a book called ‘The Power Of Habit’ and he says that the core of all habit starting is something called the habit loop. Let's look at how this converts into oral health care. 

FIRST - CUE/TRIGGER - The brain is constantly on the hunt for rewards and dopamine and this can come from anything as simple as ‘cleaning my teeth will make me feel cleaner and make me feel better’. So you clean your teeth. 

SECOND - CRAVING - Craving is the reason why we do the habit. In the case of brushing our teeth, once they’re brushed we can move on with the day knowing we have clean teeth and fresh breath. 

THIRD - RESPONSE - This is the response the activity you’ve completed gives you. If the input feels more than the output you won’t want to do it again. When we look at teeth brushing we can see it’s a small output that makes us feel much better about ourselves. 

FOURTH - REWARD - Has the task in some way fulfilled the cue, craving and response? If so then you’re going to want to do it again. Once we’ve cleaned our teeth, we feel clean, happy and ready to start the day with very little physical or mental effort used - so why wouldn’t we keep doing this everyday without asking ourselves questions as to why? 

You May Also Like