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It’s that wonderful time of year again when we have a “fresh start” to a New Year! We feel invigorated and hopeful, and we’re excited to make positive changes in our lives.

About 50% of adults in North America make New Year’s resolutions, but by February, many of us have already given up on our self-improvement goals! As a result, we end up feeling guilty or let down when we revert back to old behaviors. Without a few “wins”, we often give up and let the whole year go.

What takes us from “I can do it! ” to “I give up!” in such a short time?

Sometimes we set our sights too high, and don’t make an action plan for achieving our goals. We might say, “I’m going to have a healthier lifestyle this year”, but unless we define exactly what that means, chances are, we’ll quickly fail to keep that resolution.

The year is still new, so why not set a series of small, but important goals that can provide a sense of accomplishment every day?

If 2017 is your year to improve your Dental Health, here are 5 simple things you can do to be successful right out of the gate:

1) Start 2017 with a fresh, new toothbrush! Put “toothbrush” on the top of your shopping list right at this moment, and the next time you shop, make sure a toothbrush is the first thing you put in your cart! Boom! You’ve just made and kept a New Year’s resolution.

2) On that same shopping trip, buy a package of dental floss, and when you get home, put it beside your new toothbrush. If flossing hasn’t been part of your dental health routine, seeing it beside your toothbrush will be a visual reminder that it needs to be!

3) As you’re working to make flossing a regular habit, set your phone or watch to a nightly alarm or reminder, scheduled 15 minutes before your normal bedtime. When the alarm goes, grab your floss, and gently but thoroughly floss your teeth. (No excuses. Just do it!) Follow up with 2 minutes of brushing with your new toothbrush, and you can head to bed with that wonderful feeling of truly clean teeth!

4) Pick a day in the first 3 weeks of January 2017, and call your dentist to schedule an appointment for a regular check-up and cleaning. Even if it’s been a long time since you’ve visited your dentist, make that appointment, and keep it!

5) Ask your dental office to automatically schedule a check-up and cleaning every 6 months, and you’ll be a dental “rock star”! The new year will be off to a great start, and you’ll be on your way to better Dental Health!

Dr. Jake Richards and his wonderful Oak Mountain Dental team wish you and your family a Happy New Year! They have two offices to serve you, and look forward to helping you with your 2017 Dental Health goals. Call 208-237-6453 (Pocatello) or 208-904-3614 (Malad) to schedule your appointment.

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Dr Jake Richards and his caring staff are committed to educating and supporting, your General Family and Cosmetic Dental needs.

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