As your trusted Jacksonville, Florida dentist Dr. Tiffany Shields does her best to inspire her patients to make healthy choices and practice dental wellness every day. This inspiration does not only extend to her patients though it can reverberate and cause positive changes in their entire family and even friend groups too. New studies confirm that it’s you who can inspire dental health and wellness more effectively than your dentist. So next time you make an appointment to see Dr. Shields, ask her how you can become an agent of change for your family and friend’s oral benefit.
Earlier this year Brenda Heaton, assistant professor of health policy and health services research at Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, was researching the relationship between oral health and disease in residents of Boston public housing. Wondering if “motivational interviewing” was influential Heaton found that when mothers encouraged their children, family, and friends to partake in beneficial oral health practices outcomes for healthy teeth were greatly increased. “Motivational interviewing” was equated with a trip to the dentist, and it helped patients take better care of their teeth for a while, but after the polish wore off and the trial tube of toothpaste was gone, patients normally revert back to their previous habits. However, when parents continued to encourage healthy habits in their children the habits lasted much longer and significantly decreased the instances of tooth decay. It’s a powerful message that you don’t need a dental degree to help influence healthy decisions in your family and community.
How Can You Influence Dental Wellness?
It may seem like biting off more than you can chew but becoming a beneficial influence for dental wellness in your family and circle of friends is much easier than you would have guessed. It may even come naturally to you. It all starts with a trip to your Jacksonville, Florida dentist’s office. Let Dr. Sheilds know that you are hoping to spur a positive change in your family’s outlook on dental wellness. She will be excited to hear this and help equip you with all the materials and knowledge you will need to remind your family how to properly brush, floss, and generally care for their teeth.
Encouraging your family to take charge of their dental health can be relatively easy because you are around them while you perform your daily dental routine. To encourage your children, spouse, and any other family you have living with you, brush your teeth together. Encourage everyone to do this properly for two minutes twice daily. Find a song to sing with your kids or simply set a timer for those who don’t like to sing the ABC’s twice every day. Take it a step further by explaining how the food you’re eating is beneficial to your oral health. For example when you drink milk or eat cheese talk about how these foods contain minerals like calcium that work to keep teeth strong and healthy, and how crunchy apples can help clean teeth as well. Another way to help encourage your family to exude dental wellness is to take a walk down the dental care aisle together. Choose toothpastes and toothbrushes that get your family excited about caring for their teeth. This will make daily oral care a joy instead of a chore!
It may seem strange to talk to your friends about dental care, but it shouldn’t be. Once you get the conversation flowing you will likely find that your friends do enjoy talking about their teeth. Trips to the dentist are always eventful. Try it. Bring up how nice it feels after you have just gotten your teeth professionally cleaned, or how you really love the results of your tooth whitening treatment or new toothpaste and the conversation will begin to flow like mouthwash. Keep the conversation going discuss what types of floss you find most helpful, or ask if anyone has switched over to the Watepik since its recent ADA distinction? You’ll find that by talking with your friends about oral health and wellness that they may be encouraged to update their routine or schedule their twice-yearly visit. Who knows they may see how healthy your family’s teeth are and take the lead in their own family to inspire better oral care.
Dental wellness is extremely important. If you would like to kickstart a new habit of supreme dental care in your family and community call our Jacksonville, Florida dental office today. We can’t wait for you to achieve the dental change you want to see in your community.