Tips to Make Flossing Part of Your Daily Routine

FlossingWhen it comes to good intentions that are not acted upon, flossing has to be near the top of the list. Nearly 60 percent of American adults admit they don’t floss daily, and 20 percent say they never floss.

Given that regular flossing can provide protection from everything from periodontal disease to cardiovascular problems, it’s important that more of us make flossing something we do on a daily basis. Here are a few tips for adding flossing to your daily routine.

Top Flossing Habit “Hacks”

  1. Create a visual “cue” to remind you to floss. One of the keys is seeing the floss, but this also means you should put the floss in a place that’s easy to reach, near your other dental equipment (toothbrush, etc.), and in a location that you’re sure to make eye contact with as you go about your daily schedule.
  2. Reward yourself with floss you enjoy using. Many people enjoy flavored floss, or a specific type of texture (waxed, glide floss). If they are enjoyable for you to use, water flossers or air flossers are also effective at removing debris from between your teeth. Whatever you like flossing with, buy a lot of it — it’s much easier to establish your flossing habit if you don’t run out of floss!
  3. Make it as easy as possible to floss. One frequently overlooked way to embed a positive habit is to remove as many barriers as possible to engaging in that habit. You can try this out by putting out a bowl of Y-flosser units or interdental brushes (which can be easier to use than traditional floss), or by stashing some floss in all your bags, including backpacks, gym bags, briefcases, etc. — so you have a supply everywhere you go and no matter what you’re doing.
  4. Use “micromoments” to floss instead of fiddling with your smartphone. Micromoments are downtime experiences that can happen when you’re sitting in traffic, waiting for your favorite TV show to start, etc. Lots of people obsessively check their phones during this time … but you can be flossing during these small intervals of time, and break a bad habit (too much phone time) at the same time you’re establishing a good one (flossing).

“Flossing is one of the most powerful health habits you can add to your routine,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “Help yourself make it  a regular habit, and reap the rewards!”

 

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