Flossing is a difficult habit to begin and can be even more difficult to maintain. Dentists across the country speculate about the reasons for this; many believe it comes down to a lack of instant gratification in the act. Others attribute the dislike to discomfort for infrequent flossers. At the worst, disdain for flossing is tied to a belief that it’s not an important part of daily hygiene. At Scott Finlay DDS & Associates, we have come up with a solution to the flossing dilemma: the two-week flossing challenge.
WHY TAKE THE CHALLENGE
The challenge has two primary goals: making a permanent habit of flossing and enjoying the act of flossing.
The dilemma of lack of instant gratification is something we’re aiming to solve with our two-week challenge. When you brush your teeth, you feel clean afterward, while with flossing, you may not feel the clean as noticeably. After flossing every day for two weeks, you will notice a difference between flossing and not flossing, even after missing just one day. Some say that not flossing feels like not showering after forming the habit. The gratification of feeling so clean will solidify flossing as a daily routine.
You may be doubtful that you could ever truly love flossing. After two weeks, the discomfort that comes with flossing goes away, leaving only the cleansing feeling of sliding the floss between your teeth. No pain and a deeper clean than your toothbrush could ever reach? It’s a recipe for love.
If you still have doubts, we urge you to give it a try. It’s only two weeks of your life and a minute or two each day at most. Contrary to what some believe, flossing is an integral part of your dental hygiene as it keeps away tooth decay and gum disease, so your smile looks beautiful for the rest of your life. The stakes are low, and the payoff is high: a new, healthy habit for the new year.
TIPS FOR COMPLETING THE CHALLENGE
- Floss before you brush. You will be able to brush and rinse away the debris you’re dislodging as you floss when you brush after flossing. If you floss after brushing, the debris remains in your mouth and you will not feel as clean.
- Floss effectively. If you want to make the most out of the challenge, consider trying out a more effective flossing technique. Follow these 5 steps to a flawless floss as you floss each day.
- Remind yourself to floss. Place a post-it on your bathroom mirror or set a reminder on your phone or other smart device. Try to make your reminders exciting to be motivated to floss. It can also help to place your floss in a readily accessible place, such as out on your counter, in your shower, or even in your favorite TV-watching spot.
- Reward yourself for flossing. If the gratification of being clean isn’t enough, find something to reward yourself with after you floss every night, like watching an episode of your favorite show.
If you have any questions or if you would like to let us know how your two-week flossing challenge went, call us today or post your progress on our Facebook page.