If you don’t brush your teeth regularly your overall health suffers. Bad gum health has been linked to to heart disease, diabetes and stroke. If that does not give you an idea of how to motivate to brush your teeth and start your dental care routine, read on.
How to Motivate Yourself to Brush Your Teeth at a Glance
If you are struggling to get into the habit of brushing your teeth, use these mindset shifts and practical techniques:
Understand the negatives impact on your health if you do not brush your teeth regularly
Imagine the negative impact on your social life.
Choose the number of times you want to brush your teeth. Two is ideal, you can start with one.
Fit it in with an existing habit.
Make it fun.
Have someone you trust hold you accountable.
Imagine the benefits of creating a regular habit.
Visit a Dentist
Hold yourself accountable
Understand the Negative Impact on Your Health
When you do not brush your teeth bacteria create a layer of plaque on your teeth and gums.
This leads to problems, including:
The plaque erodes the enamel on your teeth creating cavities and holes in your teeth.
Gum inflammation leads to gingivitus, tooth loss and periodontis
Neglecting brushing can lead abscesses, infections, and other health complications.
And don’t forget that bad dental hygiene has been linked to stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
It’s not pleasant to think about these diseases, which is the point. You can even look up pictures of what they look like. Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them until it does.
Imagine the Negative Impact on Your Social Life
When you have bad dental health, It’s not just the stained teeth and gum recession that put people off but also the bad breath (halitosis).
You’ve probably gotten used to it so don’t appreciate how your teeth look to others and how your bad breath hits them when they are near you.
Your dating life, job interviews and everyday interactions will be affected. People will look at you and think if this person does not care about themselves, why should I?
If you haven’t realised the impact your looks and hygiene have on others you may need to work on your emotional intelligence.
We all like clean, healthy, nice smelling people with a beautiful smile.
Choose the Number of Times you are Going to Brush Your Teeth
The ideal number for brushing teeth is twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime. But you can start with one then build up from there. It takes at least two weeks for a habit to form so be patient.
Have a specific goal rather than the vague “ I need to start brushing my teeth”.
It’s better to say “ I will brush my teeth once a day before bedtime”.
Fit it in With A Existing Habit
We are more likely to stick to a new habit when it fits easily with an existing habit.
If there is anything you do before going to bed, make brushing your teeth as part of the same routine.
If you have a shower brush your teeth at that time, or if go to the toilet or just wash your face.
This way you will not have to make a new trip to the bathroom specifically to brush your teeth. Make sure you combine it with a healthy habit.
Motivate Yourself To Brush Your Teeth by Making it Fun
Make brushing your teeth fun or at the least don’t make it a horrible experience.
Listen to your favorite music, motivational speech or podcast.
Get a tooth paste flavour that you like.
Buy a toothbrush that you like the look and feel of. Try a soft or medium brush and avoid ones that feel uncomfortable.
Or just use it as a time that you can be completely alone with your thoughts and shut out the world.
Have Someone You Trust Hold You Accountable
Have an accountability partner to help you motivate yourself to brush your teeth. Let them know your goal for brushing your teeth and report back when you have done it.
We can fool ourselves and make justifications for our behaviour, harder to do with other people.
Add motivation buy having a small forfeit. You could pay them money, do 10 push ups or wash the dishes. Use your imagination
Imagine the Benefits When You Motivate Yourself to Brush Your Teeth
Reminding yourself of the benefits of brushing your teeth will keep you motivated.
It’s not just the obvious benefit of improved dental health and social interactions. Our body releases the “happy hormone” dopamine as a reward when we complete a task. Why not get a boost of this happy hormone every time you brush your teeth?
Don’t forget, one positive habit leads to more. Once you motivate yourself to brush your teeth and go from poor to healthy teeth and gums you will have the confidence to apply the same principle to anything else you want. The sky’s the limit.
Imagine how much better will you feel when the new habit leaves your breath smelling sweet.
Visit a Dentist
I get it, the last place you want to go to is a dentist!
They will not only keep your gums and teeth healthy, they will also give you advice on proper form.
The dentist may instill some healthy shame.
Having a regular appointments will help keep on track. It will motivate you knowing you will have to explain why your teeth and gums have not improved .
Hold Yourself Accountable
Ultimately it is down to you, no one can make you brush your teeth if you do not want to. Find ways to keep yourself accountable.
Forgo something you enjoy if you fail to brush your teeth.
Keep a calendar you tick of every time you complete the task, and a BIG red cross when you fail.
- Learn the difference between a fixed and growth mindset. Believe you change and improve and you are more likely to stick with a new habit.
Reward Yourself When You Motivate Yourself to Brush Your Teeth
If you associate something positive with brushing your teeth you are more likely to do it.
It does not have complicated or grandiose, a simple thing will do, as long as it gives you a positive feeling.
Good dental health is an essential part of your self care and well being.
Neglecting it can lead to oral health problems and other issues like heart disease and diabetes.
Don’t ignore the social costs either, we all like clean well kept people that smell nice.
How you motivate yourself to brush your teeth is different to what motivates other people, follow the principles laid out in this article and see which ones work for you.
Like all healthy habits, brushing teeth daily becomes second nature when done consistently.
Be patient a new habit usually takes two weeks to form.