Flossing daily is an underrated superpower. It’s your key to good dental hygiene and good breath. It keeps gum infections at bay. Even if you start bleeding for the first few days after flossing, it will go away with time as you work your way towards better oral health.
With daily flossing, your teeth will start to look and feel cleaner, and you will receive better reports from your scheduled dental visits. But no matter how much you are aware of the benefits of daily flossing, it’s difficult to build this habit.
Pick a trigger
As with building any new habit, picking a trigger is the first and the most important step. A trigger is another habit that you perform daily. You can tie it in with your new habit of flossing, so that when you start the former, your brain and body automatically starts preparing for the latter, i.e. flossing.
Picking a trigger is a personal experience, and every person will experience different habits that trigger them. Find one that suits your lifestyle the best and then stick with it.
Have a visual reminder
Seeing a reminder that you need to floss your teeth can be an excellent way of easing the habit into your routine.
This could be something simple, like sticking a reminder in the bathroom mirror that you can see each time you go in to wash your face or brush your teeth. That way, the reminder on the mirror can be your trigger.
Floss just one tooth
This is an ages-old, but still a surprisingly effective way to build a flossing habit. If you find yourself complaining that flossing your teeth is difficult, start by flossing just one tooth. It’s so easy and quick, that you will soon run out of excuses that building a flossing habit takes up time and effort. Once this new habit becomes familiar to you, you can start by flossing more teeth each day, until you slowly have got all your teeth covered.
Get a habit tracker
Download a free habit tracker and start tracking your new habit of flossing your teeth every day. Every day you floss, mark a big X on your calendar on the habit tracker. Try to string together a bunch of Xs, and you’re going to be so far ahead on this journey, that even looking back will make you marvel at your resilience and appreciate how far you’ve come.
Get an accountability partner
Having someone else do it with you can make building any new habit easier. If you can’t find a friend who’s also learning to floss their teeth every day at the same time as you are, you can hire an accountability coach to help keep you on track. These are trained individuals who will hold you accountable and help you get back on track if you ever fall off the wagon.