The problem of most individuals is not in planning and starting routines, but in keeping to them. This applies greatly in the oral health sector, especially in a country like Nigeria. Here most people don’t take their oral health very seriously, so abiding by some dental health routine could be very hard.
Oral health is not something to joke about, and keeping to dental routines, though not easy at first, is a simple process when you get the hang of it. It is important to keep to your dental routine(s), especially those set for you by your dentist, in order to have good oral health. In this article, we will share some tips which will aid you in adhering to your dental routine.
But first, let’s see the components of an easy-to-follow routine.
Components of a Routine
According to Neuro-scientific research on habits and routine, habits are composed of three parts – the cue, the routine and the reward. The cue is what prompts you to do something, the routine is what you do and the reward is why you do it.
Let’s take for example, skipping your routine of brushing your teeth in the evening/night before sleep.
The cue would be you want to sleep, the routine is you put on your pajamas, the reward is more time in bed and quicker sleep.
So if you find it hard to keep your routine, something you can do is to keep the reward but change the precursors (cue).
So in this example, we want to maximize our sleep (the reward) while increasing the time we have for teeth cleaning before bed.
Here are some tips you can follow to make sure you stick to your dental routine, and enjoy yourself while at it.
Map out your progress
Draw a chart of your daily progress as you carry on with your routine and stick it in a place where you will see it often. As you complete your routine successfully each day, mark them off on the chart.
This gives you a sense of accomplishment, and the ecstasy that comes with it is enough to make you want to keep pushing it each day.
Whatever your routine might be, it is surely within a time frame, and setting alarms to remind you about 2 minutes before the assigned time will make it easier to follow the routine.
There are many gadgets available today that make it easier for you to remember; wearables and even your mobile phones are enough. Repeating alarms even piss you off a bit and make you more willing to complete the set task on time and get it over with quickly.
Get Human Reminders
What other better way to remember to follow a routine than to get that loved one to remind you when it’s time? If you’re living with and around people, it is always a good idea to discuss your dental schedule with them and ask them to remind you whenever they can.
The more people you ask, the better your chances of remembering and making it a memorable experience.
Think Actively About Your Dental Routine
If you dental routine is scheduled for the evening after work, try as much as possible to think about it as many times as you can during the day. For example, if your routine is about flossing before bed, you can think about the benefits of flossing, or the various fun ways you can floss your teeth.
This keeps you looking forward to the set time for your dental routine, and makes it harder to skip it.
As you complete your routine each day, give yourself rewards that will make it hard for you to forget the routine. Spice it up by introducing milestones in your routine, and reward yourself big when you achieve these milestones. Milestones could be completing your routine every single day for a week, and so on. Be creative.
These tips, if followed properly will help you retrain your brain to pay more attention to your dental routine and avoid procrastination.