A lot of New Year’s resolutions will be health related this year – we want to lose weight, quit smoking, etc.
The sad reality of these good intentions is that, once February rolls around, most of us will be done; we’ll get caught up in our busy lives and go back to our old routines.
Here’s the reason why we don’t keep these well-intentioned resolutions:
We want to be thin before we’re fit.
Meaning, we want all the superficial benefits of good health without wanting good health itself.
We’ll pay big bucks for a quick teeth whitening before our Vegas trip or wedding to look good, but we neglect to spend just minutes each day taking care of our bodies.
This concept is incredibly important.
By focusing on the results of health, instead of the process and routine it takes to maintain and achieve wellness, we miss out on so much that our bodies and on what life has to offer.
This year, why not make a New Year’s resolution that will actually change your life and give you back tenfold in health and happiness what you put into it?
One of the best New Year’s resolutions you can make for this year, and for the rest of your life, is taking care of your mouth.
The reason is not what most dentists will tell you — white teeth, a beautiful smile.
So what’s the big deal about flossing and brushing?
In a few minutes a day, you can set yourself up for a lifetime of…
- Increased longevity and squaring of the life curve
- Higher salary
- Better love life
- Increased confidence, mood, and happiness
- Reduced risk of heart disease and dementia
- A more pain-free aging process
- Lowered inflammation in the body
- An easier time losing weight
These are the things that true health and well-being are about.
The Power of the Flossing Habit
Your health at this moment is the summary of choices you have made up until today.
When you make a habit, you remove “choice” from what you do everyday. Habits don’t require willpower — they’re routine.
And that’s the power of healthy habits — they are the best way to prevent illness and disease and to ironclad your body from disease.
Developing the habit to floss every day is powerful — and extends far beyond the health of your mouth and even beyond the health of your whole body.
If you make your bed every morning, it sets the tone for your entire day.
Your bedroom looks cleaner and more inviting.
When your bed is made, you’re more keen to keep it clean and tidy.
When your bed is made, you don’t have to shut the door when you have guests over and worry that someone will open the door when they’re looking for the bathroom and see the mess in your bedroom.
It feels so good to crawl into a smooth, made bed than one with crumpled, twisted sheets.
A made bed sets the tone for the whole house. If you invested two minutes to make your bed in the morning, you’ll be more likely to take one minute to tidy while you cook.
You get the idea. Taking minutes to properly brush and floss your teeth gives you enormous leverage, not only for the health of the rest of your body, but also your psychology – it changes the way you treat your body, protect it, feel about it, and care for it.
The More You Smile, The Longer You Live
UC Berkeley researchers found that the width of a smile in a yearbook photo accurately predicted a person’s happiness and well-being 30 years later. Smiling wider has been proven over and over to improve happiness, salary, marriage, self-confidence, and longevity.
The best way to smile more? Take basic preventative measures to take care of your teeth.
And, no, it’s not a stretch. Consider the following:
- Smiling is contagious. If you smile, others smile, even if they don’t want to, as we’ve found from many studies. Think of how this might affect you at work, or in that big interview, or in your marriage or dating life.
- Smiling immediately improves your mood. Imagine how resilient this will make you as you work towards your other New Year’s resolutions this coming year.
- Smiling causes production of endorphins, which are the same chemical produced by exercise. Endorphins boost your immune system, relieve stress, and lower your blood pressure, just like exercise does.
- Smiling causes the release of serotonin, which will allow your brain to work at optimum levels.
- Here’s the best part: Smiling makes you look more attractive and confident. Attractive and confident people have higher salaries, better marriages and friendships, and ultimately longer and more fulfilling lives, which leads to – more smiling!
So if any one of your New Year’s resolutions includes looking and feeling better, getting healthier, making more money, improving relationships, or becoming happier and more fulfilled – consider that little tube of toothpaste or that forgotten container of floss in the back of your bathroom cabinet.
You can reap all of the benefits above by flossing daily, brushing after each meal, making sure to brush properly so you aren’t damaging tooth enamel, and making an appointment to see your dentist in the new year.
These basic prevention methods are some of the simplest and most impactful things you can do for your health and happiness all year.
When asked “What thing about humanity surprises you the most?”, the Dalai Lama answered: “Man…Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Mark Burhenne DDS