I’ve developed many new, healthy habits over the last few years, but flossing has always been a challenge. I’ve had an on and off relationship with flossing since I’ve had teeth. I know it’s good for my teeth and gums, but knowing what’s best and doing what’s best are often two different things.
This year, I got serious and made flossing a daily habit, instead of a floss for three days before my dentist appointment habit.
Brushing your teeth has probably been a habit for you since your first few teeth came in, but flossing wasn’t introduced until you had more teeth and had the motor skills to handle the floss. As adults, most of us wouldn’t dream about not brushing our teeth twice a day, but we don’t floss regularly. Similarly, learning a second language is much easier while you are learning your first. Fortunately, unlike learning a language as an adult, flossing isn’t hard to do and it doesn’t take very long.
Flossing every day will simplify your life. Yes, it’s one more thing to do each day, but you will save time and money at the dentist’s office. Not to mention pain and anxiety. Once I thought about how flossing could simplify my life, I developed the desire and inspiration to floss daily. Next, I made a plan and kept it simple.
Today’s mini-mission is to floss every day and this is how you can make the habit stick: Floss in the shower. At end of 2011, I placed a box of floss next to my shampoo in the shower and have been flossing daily ever since. It might sound weird, but the shower is the perfect place to floss.
- Trigger. When you get in the shower you always remember to wash your body and shampoo your hair. The shower can be a simple reminder to wash your teeth too.
- Ease. When you floss, little bits of food fly. It’s not pretty, but it happens. Why not keep it in a contained area and wash it down the drain?
- Rinse. When you are finished flossing, it’s nice to rinse out your mouth. That’s easy to do in the shower.
In terms of wasting water, a round of flossing takes about 60 seconds. If that is a deal breaker for you, turn the water off while you floss and back on when you are finished. I suggest using a woven floss instead of wax floss. It does the trick and is gentle on the gums.
My friend and expert habit hacker, Leo Babauta has some great suggestions to develop a flossing habit. Find what works for you and floss every day for easier dentist’s visits, a clean mouth and sexy smile.
For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.