We all know it’s good for us. Ideally, we would like to do it every day (twice even)! Yet, we inflate, exaggerate, and lie about how often we do it. That’s right folks – we’re talking about flossing. The all too familiar sense of dread creeps in as your dentist appointment approaches. Maybe you begin flossing a whole week before your visit, or maybe you pull out the floss you received at your previous visit The Night Before your trip to the dentist. You march your puffy, sore gums into the reclining chair and, through garbled speech, profess that you have been flossing regularly. ‘Mhmmmmm…At least a couple times a week?’.
With the gluttony that December brings, many of us will find ourselves looking forward to the fresh start that January 1st promises. Lists will be drafted, lofty health goals will be created, gym memberships purchased, and low fat Instant Pot recipes will be Pinned a-plenty. Yet, while 2018 will begin with the best of intentions, most of us will drop our New Year resolutions before the end of the month. This year, we hope you will consider adding ‘floss regularly – for real’ to your list of new year resolutions. To set your up for success we offer you our top five suggestions on making this the resolution that sticks for the whole year (or at least until your next dentist appointment).
- Go buy some new floss. The floss you already have clearly isn’t working for you, so spend some money on something that clicks with you – maybe you’d like to try something that promises to be silky smooth on your gums, something especially minty, or some of those pre-threaded floss sticks. Whatever your tool, you are more likely to use it if you purchase it with your own money.
- Place your *new* floss front and center. ‘Out of sight out of mind’, they say, so don’t tidy your floss away into that medicine cabinet.
- Be realistic about your expectations. If you barely make the time to brush your teeth in the morning, then don’t expect you’ll start flossing adequately then either (unless you’re prepared to get out of bed a couple minutes earlier than normal). Instead, plan to floss when it suits your schedule best, be it first thing in the morning, on a lunch break, when you walk in your door, or before you head to bed. The perfect time to floss is when you will floss, so don’t overthink it.
- Tell people about your flossing resolution. Tell your roommate, your partner, you family members, and/or that one friend you know who actually does floss their teeth every day – and ask them to hold you accountable.
- Set yourself a daily reminder. Maybe a friendly Post-it that says ‘Floss :)’ on your bathroom mirror is the gentle kind of persuasion you need, or for those that live and breathe by their smartphones, may we suggest a calendar reminder that irritates you into action.
To truly set yourself up for success, plan to make the effort to floss every single day from January 1st to January 21st. Three consecutive weeks of daily flossing will go a long way in creating your new, healthy habit. After January 21st you will find flossing has become an effortless part of your daily routine. Your gums will feel great and pain-free, your breath will be vastly improved, and you will smile brighter knowing you will end 2018 with at least one resolution fulfilled.