You know flossing is good for you. It removes food particles from between your teeth, which helps prevent cavities between the teeth. It helps eliminate bad breath. It removes plaque from hard-to-reach spaces. And it’s good for your gums. So why is it so difficult to make flossing a habit?
Here are five tips to help you make flossing a habit.
- Stock up on floss: At the drug or grocery store, stock up on several containers of floss in large sizes. By buying them all at once, you’ll be prepared when one runs out. When you open the last one, put it back on the grocery list to stock up again.
- Pick a type you like: Is your favorite floss waxed? Do you prefer mint versus flavorless? Would you rather use disposable floss picks? It doesn’t matter which one you prefer, as long as you use it. Make sure you get what you want, as you’ll be more inclined to use it.
- Put duplicates in the toiletries bag: Have you been on a trip and pulled out the last tiny piece of dental floss? That’s why you should keep several in your toiletries bag. When you visit the dentist, you usually get a goody bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. Put them straight into the travel bag. Because they’re not full size, they won’t last as long. Avoid getting caught by surprise, by keeping backups in your bag.
- Visual reminder: Out of sight, out of mind, right? Keep the dental floss in a place you’ll see it. Maybe that’s next to the toothpaste, or sitting by the water cup on the counter. No matter what works for you, make sure there’s a visual way to remember to use it.
- Give yourself a treat: Reward yourself for flossing. No, that doesn’t mean a piece of candy when you’re done. But maybe it’s a few extra minutes reading or watching television. Or make a reward chart, just like you do for your kids. When you finish 30 days of flossing, treat yourself to a manicure, a movie, bowling night or something motivating.
Anything you do regularly will set it up as a habit. By following some of these tips, you can set yourself up for a healthy habit that doesn’t take much time, but pays off big dividends. To learn the proper flossing techniques, ask your St. Petersburg, Florida dentist for tips.