Now that you've received your custom night guard, you’re well on your way to fighting the effects of Bruxism and improving your dental health. To truly enjoy all the benefits, it’s important to make a habit of using your guard everyday.
Some studies show that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Others say two months. No matter the length of time, there are ways to cue yourself to practice this new habit! Let’s make putting in your guard part of your nightly routine. Here are our favorite ways to make this habit stick.
Seeing Is Believing
Create a visual cue to help yourself remember to put in your guard. This could be tying a ribbon to your bedside lamp. It could be placing a sticky note on the wall by your bed. It could simply be leaving your night guard out on your bedside table in plain view.
Your phone is a great tool for helping to create habits. Set an alarm clock or reminder notification up to go off around your usual bedtime. Try not to dismiss the notification or turn off the alarm until your guard is in so it doesn’t slip your mind!
Give Yourself A Gold Star
Remember when you would get gold stars on your chart at school for getting a good grade or doing something nice for someone? That positive reinforcement is a perfect tool for creating habits and visualizing your success. Create a little chart and grab some gold star stickers! Once you’ve put in your guard at night, put up a gold star to track it! A journal page or calendar with checkmarks works just fine too.
Use The Buddy System
Do you have a friend who also suffers from bruxism? Does your partner or family member grind their teeth too? Become each other’s accountability buddies. Text your friend at bedtime to check that they have their guard in. Remind your partner or parents when you’re headed off to bed. Ask them to do the same for you!
One of the easiest ways to add in a new habit is to attach it to an existing habit. Do you always brush your teeth before bed? Put on a special night cream? Read a book? When you complete one of these habits, commit to also putting in your night guard simultaneously or right after. Soon, this additional habit will be as easy to remember as the original one!
Don’t forget to make a habit of caring for your night guard. Learn our key recommendations for making your guard last and ensuring you enjoy all the benefits of wearing it.