If your dental office is anything like us, your health and life resolutions last 0.2 seconds on January 2. It’s okay, you don’t need a somewhat-arbitrary day to start a goal. By now life has settled down, you’ve found what you can manage, and you’ve had some time to, er, crash and burn from those lofty resolutions.
The secret? Start small, build up.
This, my friend, is why we’re challenging you to a healthy mouth and a healthy life in 2016.
What Makes a Healthy Mouth?
You know that phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do”? We know that applies to your practice. You’re busy seeing patients, managing staff, and running a business, but let’s remember the oral health pieces you teach your patients.
You teach your patients ways to help keep their teeth healthy, but are you doing the same? Dental health is crucial, and can contribute to or affect conditions elsewhere in the body, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
What Makes a Healthy Life?
While food and exercise certainly play an important role, a lifestyle is comprehensive. Factors like stress management, sleep, and relationships all contribute to overall well-being.
When these pieces work together, you’ll notice better energy, skin, and sleep. You’ll also notice a difference when you eat the donut in the break room. We’re watching you. (Okay, maybe not, but pretend we are. It’s creepier and more accountable that way.)
This month, we challenge you to create small goals for a healthier mouth and a healthier life. Make goals so small they seem almost silly; the more you can cross off the more accomplished you feel. The more accomplished you feel the more likely you are to keep going.
If you think you should be flossing twice a day but only manage a few days a week, don’t focus on getting to twice a day in the next week. Focus on once every day, then go to twice a day. Whatever goal you have, there’s a way to make it more manageable.
Your potential new healthy mouth goals:
- Start flossing one extra time each week
- Begin brushing your teeth each morning
- Limit your coffee, wine, and other tooth-staining drinks (better you than us)
- Use an air pick three times a week
You may not see change overnight; small goals set you up for success.
Your potential new healthy life goals:
- Get your butt to the gym three times this week
- Stop being lazy and park further away from the store
- Turn off Netflix and read
- Go to bed earlier
- Train for a race
- Eat veggies at each meal
You get the idea, right?
Gamify a Healthy Lifestyle
We all love a good challenge. After all, we probably wouldn’t be in the medical field if we didn’t. So why not start a Healthy Mouth, Healthy Life Challenge in your office? Split into teams, set the prizes, and go!
You could try the office staff against the hygienists against the doctors, or you make each doctor a team captain. You could try one mutual goal, like 10,000 steps a day or reading a book a month, or have each set a personal goal.
Post it on the wall in the break room or make a private Facebook page, and let the taunting begin! Friendly taunting, of course.
However you choose to bribe your office into a healthy life, know it gets easier and that you’ll reap the benefits. Or at least that’s what we’re all told, but let’s just go with it.
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