While most people are resolving to lose weight and get healthy, why not resolve to improve your dental health. Perhaps you have been lax on flossing your teeth or have delayed dental treatment. 2017 is the year to tackle those goals. After all, taking care of your teeth is an important part of improving your overall health and compliments other health goals you may have like drinking less caffeine or to stop smoking. Like any goal, it is important to break your goal down into smaller, attainable steps that can be achieved over a long period of time. Most Americans ditch their resolutions by January 17th, but by making SMART goals, you will not be average. Come December 31st, you will have achieved your goals. S -- Specific: Like any goal you have to have be specific and clear about what you want to accomplish. It helps to have the following questions in mind when you work on your goals

  • Whatdo I want to accomplish? (Daily flossing? Healthier food choices?)
  • Whyis this goal important? (Overall health, lower insurance costs?)
  • Whois involved? (Myself, an accountability partner perhaps?)
  • Whereis it located? (At my house? At the dentist office?)
  • Whichresources or limits are involved? (toothbrush, floss, etc.)
M -- Measurable: You must be able to track your progress which is why measurement is super important. Questions like "How Many" and "How Much" help you determine the measurable outcomes of your goal. You have to be able to attach a time table to your goal such as "I will floss my teeth twice a day" or "I will schedule a visit to the dentist by January 31st." A -- Attainable: Your goals must be attainable to accomplish by December 31st. Think about what obstacles or barriers may constrain your goals and how you can overcome them. If you have a goal of getting braces for yourself, think about the money you may need to set aside now so you can achieve your goal. R -- Realistic: It is important to make sure your goals are attainable at this phase of your life. Do you have the resources, time, and knowledge to achieve your goals. For instance, you may not be able to brush your teeth after every time you eat but you could commit to brushing your teeth twice a day. T -- Time Bound: Having enough time to achieve your goals is the difference between success and failure. Think about how long it will take over time (now, in six months and a year from now). Now that you have the tools to develop your goals, it is time for you to start writing and more importantly, start acting! If your goals involve dental work or dental visits, schedule your appointment now!