What’s your New Year’s Resolution? I dusted off the treadmill this past weekend but we all know how that goes. So instead of a 2019 resolution of being healthy or getting fit -I’m hoping to make it more manageable by doing mini Monday resolutions. This way I can be extremely specific and it will be measurable. So instead of “getting fit” in 2019 - I’ll shoot for using the treadmill 3-4 times a week even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Then each week I’ll track how I do and I can adjust it. Every little bit helps. We hear this all the time with oral health too.
We’ve had several patients mention how they were inspired to take better care of their teeth and gums after their visit here but then a few weeks later they fall into their same old routine. Someone once said it takes 21 days to create a habit. Most people are good for 5- 7 days. It takes a lot of desire to be committed. Brushing your teeth, flossing more, or waterpiking isn’t always super personal but it should be. Plus it’s easy to make mini Monday resolution to brush, floss, or waterpik even 1 more time than you’d previously been doing. Specific and measurable. If you fail - you can start again the next day or the next Monday. You can do it!
Focus on progress not the failure. I got to say this past year was tough for me. Turning 40 and losing a molar. I had an old root canal tooth that got cracked and reinfected. My best choice was to get the tooth out and get an implant. Since I was turning 40 though I had been clenching and grinding my teeth a lot and changing the way my teeth bit together. So before getting the implant placed I chose to do the Invisalign route to correct my bite. This slowed down the implant and crown process. I didn’t realize how not having a back/side tooth made me so sad about my smile. I just didn’t feel like myself. I would purposely pose with my face turned so you wouldn’t see my gap in my smile. I asked Dr. Kaveh if he ever thought he’d be married to a 40 year old without all their teeth? I was obviously embarrassed. He kindly reminded me, like the great dentist and husband he is, that I was working towards something. It was going to take a while but I was ever so slowly moving forward. PROGRESS.
Kim, one of our fabulous hygienists, is always moving and shaking and encouraging waterpik/flossing. She sets goals each week for herself with her triathlon training and is happy to share her progress. She often tells her story of getting moving again and how that has helped her feel better overall. She started small and now has marathons under her belt and a goal of Ironman. Has there been hurdles along the way? Yes. But she focuses on the progress despite the hurdles. One of our patients came in and thanked her recently. She said she had been in for her hygiene appointment and Kim inspired her to make one small change and focus on one thing. Our patient said she decided she’d go home and change the toilet paper roll. The patient said she always would let the empty one stay vs changing a new one. It bugged her that she did that but was habit. So low and behold, she started by changed the toilet paper roll. Then she made her bed every day. That lead to not smoking, flossing, running, losing weight and mostly feeling proud of herself. We have so many awesome stories where we’ve helped give people their smile back or perhaps they wanted to simply be able to chew their food again. Or in my case -feel confident again instead of hiding my smile. It’s the life changing business of dentistry and we are happy to have to opportunity to help others.
So as we head into 2019 - I have to say I am thankful for progress. I am thankful for our patients who always brighten our day and make us smile. I am thankful for our very hard working team. I’ve many times been asked where we find such good employees. I don’t think it’s luck. I think good people have a way of finding each other. I hope if you took the time to read this and you’re not happy about your smile or don’t feel as healthy or confident as you’ve had in the past - that you give us call. Our awesome team - will help you take one step forward. Happy New Year!
Trish Ghaboussi, RDH