Why, Yes, I am an Adult with a (Dental) Chore Chart

Monday, May 13, 2019

Last month, I told you about my first trip to the dentist in… well, in an embarrassingly length of time that we don’t need to discuss anymore, now that I’m back on track & taking care of my dental health. Right? Right. Onward & upward.

I’m really proud, actually, of the way I’ve been taking care of my teeth & gums since that appointment, guided by instructions & product suggestions from Sandra, my hygienist at Hudec Dental. I’m planning a future post about what products I’m actually using, but for now, let’s talk about the sort of funny, very childish, but also extremely helpful way I’m keeping track of my new dental care routine.

That’s right: a chore chart!

The background is this: I’m not great at remembering to do stuff, especially when said stuff is new to my usual routine. I have Post-It notes all over the apartment & my desk reminding me to do things like “Take medicine!” along with three forms of calendars (an Erin Condren planner, Google Calendar, & an at-a-glance “My Week” pad I fill in each Monday) to keep me on track.

It makes sense, then, that with the addition of a bunch of new-to-me health-related tasks to add to my regular routine following my last trip to the dentist, I also needed a new way to keep track of them.

Enter my chore chart, which I chose from a variety of options on Amazon. It’s a magnetic dry-erase chart that comes with its own dry erase marker, which will allow me to re-write or re-arrange my “dental chores” as needed.

Here’s what’s on the daily to-do list & why:
  • Brush: I’ve always been good about brushing twice a day, so this one’s easy. I’m planning to buy an electric toothbrush as recommended by my hygienist, but for now, I’m using a soft-bristle brush purchased from good ol’ Target.
  • Floss: I’m terrible at remembering to floss my teeth, so now I keep floss in my medicine cabinet & floss picks in my car to be sure I make time for it every day.
  • Scraper: My hygienist recommended I purchase a plastic tongue scraper, which is easy to use & not nearly as disgusting as it sounds. I’ve gotten good at remembering to use it every day & even weirdly enjoy it?
  • Paste: I’m currently using a dental-grade topical paste for sensitive teeth, which isn’t for daily use but which I should use more often than I do. The chart is helping!
  • Night Guard: For now, I’m using a DIY kind I bought at CVS, but I’m headed back to the dentist soon to be fitted for a high-quality custom night guard to minimize my grinding issues
  • …& a bonus item: My “medicine” task isn’t dental-related, but it’s my other most important medical thing to remember, so I added it to this list to be sure it gets the daily treatment.

Yes, the chart currently hangs on the side of my refrigerator, but that’s because there’s nothing magnetic to stick it to in the bathroom – & our apartment is small enough that the fridge is the first thing you see when you leave the bathroom, anyway, so it works.

Tell me: What does your daily dental health routine look like? And have you ever used a chore chart like this in adulthood? How’s it working for your kids? Maybe if I had used these as a kid, I’d be better at some of these daily rituals by now – but hey, it’s never too late to start!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hudec Dental. I have an ongoing partnership with Hudec Dental in exchange for the creation of original content; as always, all opinions are my own.

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