As humans, we are not great at changing established behaviour and so it might be helpful for us in oral health care to remember why we all share this difficulty. Perhaps we should start by reminding ourselves that what is true for our patients is also true for ourselves. We often imagine that our patients are a blank canvas on which we happily paint our advice but none of us are blank canvasses. TePe, teamed up with Professor Ben Gardiner to look at the latest research into healthy habit formation to see if it can be applied to oral health advice. The power of location, cues, time and opportunity are all considered along with the evidence. The time it takes to form habits is much longer than the majority of the health care profession have been taught.