Perhaps for you, and most other people you know, brushing two to three times daily is the most natural thing in the world – apart from flossing and rinsing your mouth after a meal or snack. So it usually comes as an unpleasant surprise to realize that someone close to you, perhaps a cherished friend or significant other, seems to think otherwise.
And although dental hygiene neglect is something that needs to be addressed quickly, first understand how poor dental habits get deeply ingrained so that your initial efforts at convincing them to be more vigilant in terms of dental care may be in vain initially.
When does dental hygiene neglect emerge?
Such obstinacy usually stems from poor dental care starting from early childhood – at that age when children start forming both good and bad habits. Perhaps their parents did not clearly send the message that brushing two to three times daily is not an optional dental activity. They may not have had good role models, or simply were not given the right information on why brushing, and good oral care in general, is a necessity for life.
Moving your oral health forward…
With sincerity and full understanding, especially if you’ve been candid enough to directly ask them about the problem, you can now start to help set their dental habits straight. After all, nobody likes being told they have bad breath which would be an expected outcome of poor oral care.
How to get someone to brush their teeth:
- Arm yourself with information – Do some extensive research on what the consequences of not brushing and poor overall dental habits are. Be sure to include statistics and visuals that show what happens with not brushing and dental neglect.
- Talk about the “halitosis” or bad breath that’s already there – This may initially hurt, but you have to show some tough love and honesty in order to get them to act upon their need to brush habitually.
- Make an appeal to aesthetics – While some people get affected by cold, hard facts, some get more easily convinced when you take the aesthetic angle; that is when you point out how unsightly their teeth have become as well as their swollen gums.
- Be persistent and consistent – It may take you a while to get them to start brushing and keep at it, especially with a bruised ego. Hopefully, though, with a hurt pride and evidence of dental neglect, they will soon be brushing two to three times a day. Perhaps even more than they should, at first. Just remind them that two to three times are fine, along with flossing.
- Provide praise and approval – You know you’re no longer dealing with a child, but some show of approval will go a long way. Be sure to point out how fresh their breath has become, and how much better those pearly whites look after regular brushing.
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