You just had your bi-annual dental cleaning with your hygienist, who thoroughly explained your case of gingivitis. “I swear I’ll floss every day,” you said and you meant it. You flossed your teeth every day for a week, and then like the diet you tried last summer, you gradually started to slack.
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Most of us are aware just how essential flossing is in maintaining our oral health and preventing disease, we just have one problem – making a habit of it. We’re too busy. We’re too lazy. We forget. Six months later, we’re back in the hygienist’s chair being told we still have gingivitis. How do we overcome this obstacle and turn flossing into a daily habit?
Here are three tips to help you get started:
Set a visual reminder.
Put your spool of floss on your nightstand. Next to your toothbrush. In the lunch bag you take to work. Heck, put it in the shower! Stick a red post-it note on your mirror. Seeing the floss or any type of visual cue will jolt a reminder for you.
Among your busy work hours, your many social events, and your frequent travels… who has time to floss, right? Surely, you are doing something hands-free throughout your day however. Watching TV? Lying in bed? Stuck in terrible traffic? Multitask!
Attach the habit to an existing one.
Convince yourself that you will absolutely not brush your teeth without flossing. They are not two activities, they are one. Eventually you will link the habits together and it will feel lacking to do one without the other.
Remember – it takes about three weeks to develop any habit so take the first step in this commitment and you will surely find the road towards becoming a habitual flosser with healthy gums.