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If you forget to brush your teeth every morning and night, you aren’t alone: 30 percent of Americans don’t brush their teeth twice a day, and 2 percent don’t brush their teeth even once a day.

 

While it can be easy to forget to brush your teeth every once in a while, brushing your teeth is essential to maintaining your oral health for several reasons: It can help prevent tooth decay that manifests into cavities—holes in your teeth that often result in tooth loss. Brushing also removes the buildup of plaque, the primary cause of gum disease. It can even help you form deeper interpersonal relationships, as it helps prevent bad breath—something that may discourage people from getting too close to you.

 

So, how can you get into the habit of brushing your teeth? Keep reading for five tips that will actually help you remember to clean those pearly whites twice a day.

 

Acknowledge Brushing as a Form of Self-Care

Sometimes, brushing your teeth can feel more like a chore than an act of self-care, but it’s a vital part of taking care of yourself and helping you feel more confident. Not only does brushing your teeth improve your oral health, but it is also beneficial to your appearance. It can help you whiten your teeth, feel more confident in your smile, and help you feel more accomplished.

 

You may have heard how important it is to make your bed every morning, as it encourages you to keep completing more tasks. Brushing your teeth in the morning can have a similar effect and help you start your day feeling accomplished. By completing just one small and doable act first thing in the morning, you can boost your productivity for the rest of the day. As you can see, brushing your teeth is more than a chore: It’s a way to practice self-care and set yourself up for success. 

 

Set an Alarm as a Reminder

If you consistently forget to brush your teeth in the morning and at night, setting an alarm may help you. Decide on a time that works best for you, then consider setting an alarm in your bathroom. That way, you must walk into your bathroom to turn it off, holding you accountable for brushing your teeth regularly. 

 

Similarly, you could also create a habit tracker to keep in your bathroom, which you can check off every time your alarm helps you brush your teeth. Set a goal for yourself for how many days in a row you can brush your teeth twice a day; once you reach that goal, treat yourself to something you love. Not only will this hold you accountable for brushing twice a day, but it’ll also make brushing more fun!

 

Find a Brushing Buddy

Another way to hold yourself accountable is to find a buddy with whom to brush your teeth. Rope in a roommate, your kids, your parents, or your significant other, and make it a habit to brush together every morning or night. That way, you can both work together to build a healthier routine and have fun doing it. 

Related link: Here’s How to Protect Those Pearly Whites

There’s no shame in asking for help, so if you have trouble remembering to brush, don’t hesitate to ask someone to remind you. Having a friend or loved one remind you to brush twice a day can be helpful in the process of building a habit, especially if you want to get to a point where you are self-sufficient.

 

Listen to a Song while You Brush

Sometimes, it’s easier to form a habit when you can have some fun with it. Try to make brushing your teeth something you look forward to rather than dread by experimenting with fun things you can do while brushing. 

 

One way you can do this is to find a song that is two minutes long—the perfect length for brushing your teeth—to listen to while you brush. On top of making the experience more enjoyable, it will also help you make sure you have brushed your teeth for a long enough time before you stop. Plus, you might even be able to brush up on your dance moves, too.

 

Keep Your Toothbrush in Sight

You know what they say: “Out of sight, out of mind.” Consider keeping your toothbrush on your nightstand or in line of sight from your bed. The next time you get in bed without brushing your teeth, you’ll see your toothbrush and remember what you need to do. 

 

Investing in a new toothbrush that you love looking at as much as you love using it can help motivate you to keep it in sight. If you constantly dread brushing, it may be time to upgrade your toothbrush! For example, getting an electric toothbrush could give you something to look forward to, motivating you to want to use it. Plus, they can help you get cleaner, whiter teeth with less effort.

 

If you’ve had a hard time brushing your teeth twice a day, these five tips might make the habit of brushing a little easier—and maybe even more fun.