Some people start their day with a 3-mile run while others start with coffee and a donut; habits get us through our day. Mr. Charles Duhigg in his bestselling 2013 book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Random House), tells the story of how Mr. Claude Hopkins, a name you probably don’t know unless you are in the advertising business, changed our world by making routine toothbrushing a habit.
About a hundred years ago, brushing one’s teeth was not routine in America; hard for us to imagine in 2013. Mr. Hopkins found simple triggers to convince people to use his products every day. Prior to this campaign, only about 7% of Americans had a tube of toothpaste in their medicine cabinets. His marketing campaign was based on the notion that toothpaste could create beauty. Sounds simple yet the real power is the 3 step process of cue-routine-reward habit formation that changed society.
Baby Boomers were the first generation positively affected by this change of habit. This generation includes more than 78 million people born between 1946 and 1964; that’s roughly one of every three-and-a-half people. Baby Boomers are determined not to be like their parents or grandparents. Being tired or suffering from a little bit of pain is not going to be accepted as a natural part of aging. At the same time, systemic health challenges are real. It's expected that by 2030, about 14 million Baby Boomers will be living with diabetes and almost half will have arthritis.
Traditionally, being over age 65 has meant edentulism; not for the Baby Boomers. The toothbrushing habit was ingrained. They have kept their teeth by making an extensive investment in professional care with full mouth reconstruction, implants and the myriad of care provided by oral health professionals.
Many of us have seen when decline happens with aging adults. Patients that previously had impeccable home self-care come in with soft, plaque build-up you can measure in ‘inches’ along with calculus. Have you wondered why they don’t seem to feel that build-up? Research does support some declination in the sensory area with aging (even if the Baby Boomers don’t like to admit it). This change in the sense of taste, touch, and vision can lead to plaque-laden reality; the patient might truly not feel, taste or see the build-up as they once did.
Technological innovations from P&G can become the backbone of maintaining oral health, which is particularly important when these shifts occur. The Baby Boomers grew up with the slogan, “Look, Mom -- no cavities!” These same Baby Boomers can benefit by using today’s Crest Pro-Health collection of products. Pro-Health toothpaste contains stannous fluoride that protects against gingivitis, caries, and tooth sensitivity along with e sodium hexametaphosphate, a stain and calculus fighting ingredient. Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Rinse is an alcohol-free product providing 12-hour protection against plaque and gingivitis with highly bioavailable Cetylpyridinium Chloride.
The chemistry of the rinse and paste along with mechanical plaque control from Oral-B’s premier oscillating-rotating electric toothbrush can help patients stay virtually plaque-free. Research has consistently shown the oscillating-rotating toothbrush technology is more effective than a manual brush. The Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 electric toothbrush has an oscillating-rotating motion and a separate, wireless SmartGuide. The SmartGuide helps maximize brushing effectiveness with an easy-to-see LED display that shows the 5 brushing modes, an acoustic 30 second quadrant timer, pressure alert sensors and star reward icons: wonderful smiley faces. Rewarding patients during brushing with an emotionally touching symbol helps to improve brushing effectiveness and is the basis of 3 step cue-routine-reward habit formation process. All our patients can benefit, not just Baby Boomers.