In life, the “big breaks” are alluring. Getting swept off your feet by your soulmate, receiving a huge promotion, a dramatic weight loss, or winning the lottery are all highly intoxicating to think about.
These big, sweeping desires are wonderful because they give us goals to reach for and a direction to move in. However, achieving these things rarely happens in a lottery-type of way. They occur through the day-to-day actions we take, compounded over time.
You find love by practicing compassion, kindness, and listening skills. You get in shape with the daily nutrition and exercise choices you make. You become wealthy through your spending, saving, and investing habits.
Author James Clear teaches his students to “focus on lifestyle, not life–changing.” Meaning, focus on the things you can control today, and over time, you’ll experience the changes you want to see.
The same is true with a beautiful smile. Have you ever seen somebody with a smile that lights up a room? Don’t they look confident and full of life? Chances are, they engage in the right habits and choices over time, and there wasn’t one, life-altering procedure that led to their smile.
In this post, we’ll share the main focus points to have a beautiful smile, and provide you with a checklist to review daily that can help have a healthier, happier smile.
Rule: Don’t miss.
When a young comedian asked Jerry Seinfeld what the secret was to being a great comedian, this was his answer:
Get a large calendar and a red marker. Every single day, write one joke, and then mark that day with a big red “X.” “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain. Don’t break the chain.”
When it comes to oral habits, we have the same job: don’t miss. These include things like brushing, flossing, and rinsing that you’ve heard dentists say since the beginning of time. These simple tasks are easy to do, but they’re also easy not to do. It’s easy to floss, but it’s also easy to skip flossing “just tonight.” Brushing is easy, but so is lying down without brushing.
The first rule of the checklist is to never miss these items.
Rule: Shoot For 80%
Most people are aware that the foods they consume and impact their teeth (alerting all coffee and red wine drinkers). What you may be less aware of it how the foods you consume impact with your tooth enamel, gum health, and the freshness of your breath.
Foods like leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals (which can be good for our gums) and calcium (good for tooth enamel). Crunchy foods, like carrots, apples, and celery increase the amount of saliva we produce, helping fight germs, bad breath, cavities, and tooth decay. Probiotic-loaded foods (like Yogurt) can help us have healthier gums and fewer cavities (if you choose a yogurt with zero sugar).
In the checklist below, we’ll provide more specifics, but the idea here is to improve your diet as a whole. Let’s face it, we all have our guilty pleasure, so the goal is not perfection. However, we encourage you to shoot for 80%, meaning, a majority of your diet is healthy on a day-to-day basis. If you’re eating well 80% of the time, the appearance and health of your teeth can improve dramatically.
Rule: Do what is hard when it’s easy.
“I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Are you guilty of saying that? Aren’t we all? Many people avoid going to the dentist for their biannual check-up for the simple reason that life gets in the way. Family, friends, work, sleep, hobbies, and hundreds of other tasks pop up throughout our lives. Even with the best intentions, scheduling your next cleaning can be pushed further and further down the list.
We suggest that our patients schedule their next cleaning at their current cleaning in order to get it on the calendar. That way, they don’t have to worry about scheduling, they’re already set up. All they have to do is show up.
The Beautiful Smile Checklist
◊ I Brushed (2x)
◊ I Flossed (2x)
◊ I Rinsed (2x)
◊ I Drank 64oz of Water Today
◊ I Ate Leafy Greens Today
◊ I Avoided Sugar Today
◊ I Have a Dentist Appointment on my Calendar