Connecting to Your Dental Strategy on an Emotional Level

Connecting to Your Dental Strategy on an Emotional Level

Jan 15, 2014

Congratulations! Making the decision to change your habits is the first step to improving your health. As you continue to work towards reaching your dental health goals for 2014, you may find it helpful to learn about how you can improve your chances for success.

Personalize your goals. You won’t be motivated to change your behavior if you are only doing it to make someone else happy. If you don’t have an emotional connection to your goals, you are going to have a tough time succeeding. There are several things you can do to connect to your dental health goals.

  • Take a good look at your teeth. Think about how much better you will feel when you can smile openly without being concerned about yellow stains, chips, cracks or missing teeth. Visualize your brand new smile and the confidence that comes along with it.
  • Talk to your dentist. Your dentist can explain to you how serious it is to put off dental care. Neglecting your teeth can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Staying on top of treatments will ensure that you have a healthy mouth for years to come.
  • Check the Internet. A quick online search will bring up before and after photos of people who have had dental work. Notice the changes made to their teeth and how they affect the way people present themselves.

Set small goals. Instead of overwhelming yourself with a long list of immediate treatments, set manageable tasks that you can complete without too much effort. It’s always a good idea to start with a cleaning and exam. Then discuss your concerns with your dentist so he or she can help you prioritize your goals based on your history and examination. You can schedule the most important treatments first – and get some tips on proper dental care at home.

Reward your behavior. The best reward for taking good care of your teeth is a spectacular smile. However, scheduling small rewards for meeting your goals can also be a strong incentive. For example, every time you brush your teeth, jot it down on a piece of paper. When you brush your teeth a minimum of two times a day for an entire week, pick up a small treat such as a new magazine or a pack of sugarless gum made with xylitol.

Ask for help. There will be times when working towards your goals will be challenging. People who are successful at meeting their goals usually have some type of support system for when it becomes difficult. Perhaps your family can make dental care a priority together in 2014 so that you can rely on each other. Also, let friends know you are making behavior changes. Ask them to check in with you occasionally to see if you are staying on track. Accountability can be a great motivator.

It is also important to be patient with yourself during this process. Nobody meets a goal without making a few slips. Just don’t give up. For example, if you forget to floss one day, forgive yourself and get right back on schedule. You can do it!

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