“Do you floss?” the dentist asks you as you settle into the chair for your appointment.
You say yes. But the barely used box of floss that’s been sitting in your medicine cabinet for a year has a different story to tell!
Many of us are guilty of forgetting to floss. You have a bus to catch, or kids to take to school, or you just want to go to bed. We get it. But among the American Dental Association’s oral care recommendations, flossing once a day is a necessary step in your oral health care regimen. That’s just two additional minutes out of your day, all to ensure your smile stays healthy.
Here at Exquisite Dentistry, we consider ourselves a team—with a common goal. So, here are a few painless recommendations to help you work flossing into your daily routine.
Create a Visual Reminder
Visual cues remind you about your goals. Put a sticky note on your mirror with “FLOSS” spelled out in bold. Keep your floss right in front of your toothbrush. Set a reminder on your phone. Do anything that will trigger your memory and get you flossing.
Build on Top of Another Habit
Building a tiny habit like flossing is completely doable. It’s even easier if you associate it with another habit. Try flossing before you brush your teeth in the morning. Perhaps you could floss right when you get out of the shower. If you watch SportsCenter every night, why not floss right when it starts? This is called habit “chunking,” an unpleasant name with pleasant consequences.
Make It Fun
Flossing can be fun? Just look to Chonpe, a monkey in Japan who loves to floss. It is possible! Use the two minutes spent flossing to practice your mindfulness . . . or blissfully zone out. Listen to a good podcast or cue up a funny YouTube video. If all else fails, why not mix things up with some flossing gadgets? Flosstime, a sleek new floss dispenser, sticks right to your mirror and lights up with a blue smile when you floss once a day. Be warned—it turns into a frown if you skip a day!
Commit to 30 Days
There are conflicting reports on how many days it takes to develop a new habit. Some say 21, while others say there’s no magical timeline. Our recommendation is that you commit to flossing every day for 30 days. You can even mark each day with an “X” on your calendar to keep yourself motivated. At day 31, we’re hoping you’ll be reaching for the floss without
even having to think about it.
Now the next time your dentist asks you if you floss, we hope you can truthfully say “Yes!” No more white lies—just white teeth and healthy gums. Your smile will thank you for it.
Of course, flossing is only a small part of your oral healthcare routine. Don’t forget to keep up with your regular dental appointments, including teeth cleaning and annual oral cancer screening.
Exquisite Dentistry is here to help! Contact us today and set up your appointment at West Hollywood’s premiere dental spa.