A quick note on cause and effect. As a qualified practionier in neuro-lingusitic programming (NLP for short) this concept is at the base of all change.
It basically asks… are you living at cause or at effect? Do you take responsibility and are you accountable for your actions and the results they produce or do you make excuses based on all manner of things outside your control such as the circumstances and other people?
If you are living at cause
then you have the power to change, if you are at effect
, you are basically saying the power lies with someone else and that makes it very hard to control.
From my years in practice, I have found that you will fit into one of the following statements when it comes to maintaining proper oral hygiene.
(Note. For those of you who get a glowing report every 6 months from your dentist or hygienitst – keep up the good work!)
- There are those who can’t do it
- There are those who don’t want to do it
- There are those who are too lazy to do it
- There are those who forget to do it
- There are those who don’t have the resources
- There are those who don’t know how to do it
- There are those who think they know best
These reasons boil down to four things, a lack of:
- And there are those that don’t believe in doing it.
- Knowledge and understanding
- Skills and tools
So which is it for you. Identifying the gaps that stand between you and the rewards of a healthy mouth is key….
I am going to give you everything except the physical toothbrush and floss.
So in order to create a lasting change in your habits- and I am talking any habit:
You need to
1. Understand why change is important and the harm not changing will do and the pain it will cause.
2. Make this pain from not changing very real to yourself.
3. Find out where you are now? It's hard to go somewhere when you don’t know where you are starting from. Lets call this A.
4. What is the outcome? Where do you want to be? Lets call this ‘B’.
5. What do you need to do to get from A to B? What tools? Knowledge? Skills? How do you create a good environment for change? What obstacles do you need to overcome?
6. Do it.
7. Reward yourself for doing it.
8. Check in to see how you are going with it.
To be a master of anything, you need to know what you are doing, you need to do it and you need to keep doing it until you don’t even have to think about doing it and then you’ll continue to do it subconsciously.
When it comes to mastering a skill (any skill) there are four levels:
- Unconscious incompetence- is where you don’t know that you don’t know. You are unaware of any problems.
- Conscious incompetence- you know you don’t know. You become aware that something is lacking.
- Conscious competence- you know how to do it and you can do it when you think about it. You acquire a skill and you can do it consciously.
- Unconscious competence- you can now do it automatically without thinking.
The phrase, ‘I could do that with my eyes shut,’ is an example of when someone has become unconsciously competent.
Take any example and you will see how well this fits e.g. tying your shoe lace, you start with velcro shoes -(Unconsciou
), you are then presented with a set of shoes with laces and you very quickly see a problem (Conscious incompetence).
Your mum or dad teach you to tie your shoes and by carefully following their instructions you can do it (Conscious competence
) .Before you know it, you are doing it without even thinking, you have become unconsciously competent
It is true of any skill and my aim here is to get you unconsciously competent at brushing your teeth. That means, you brush your teeth and floss as you do now without thinking about it but instead of doing a medicocre job you are making those babies squeaky clean.
Most of you know you should brush your teeth, and the majority of you who have seen a dentist fairly recently should know the right tooth brushing technique and how to floss.
This means if you took the time to do it you would be consciously competent- woohoo three stages down and one to go- now its just a matter of practice and perseverance; the last bit will come all on its own.
Lets take you through each of the steps in detail regardless; learn why, what, when and how to brush your teeth once and for all. There aren’t many other things you do twice every single day so you may as well do it right. Here are the links:
Cleaning your teeth
What and when and How of Oral Hygiene:
for braces, bridges, implants, dentures, splints