Top tips to turn dental flossing into a healthy habit
Come on, let’s take a show of hands – just how many of you floss your teeth every time you brush?
Many of us finding brushing easier than flossing, so I suppose it’s no surprise that even the most ardent ‘brushers’ who fully embrace the ‘two minutes twice a day’ brushing routine often don’t floss.
I don’t w
ant to scare you, but every week researchers seem to uncover new and frightening evidence which links gum disease with other very unpleasant medical problems including diabetes, heart disease and premature birth.
One of the major causes of this gum disease is our own failure to effectively clean our gums and the spaces in between our teeth… those dingy interdental crevices which can, over time, harbour nasty infections.
I personally find flossing quite challenging (but then I am also incapable of holding a hairdryer and wielding a hair brush at the same time), but I’ve made a pledge to be kinder to my gums and step one is to ask a member of our fantastic hygiene team to team me how to floss properly. Once I’ve mastered flossing I’m going to make a video, post it on here and spread the love!
Until then I thought it might be useful to borrow some tips from leading habit-guru Leo Barbuata:
- Pick a trigger. Something automatic that is already part of your daily routine. If you brush your teeth every morning (please do and BEFORE breakfast if possible), then as you reach for your brush pick up the floss first.
- Have a visual reminder. It’s important to act upon your trigger straight away, so place the floss next to your toothbrush.
- Floss just one tooth. Start your flossing with just one tooth – this is such an easy habit that you can’t complain it’s too hard, or you don’t have time. On day two floss two teeth, slowly expand every few days until you’re flossing all of your teeth.
- Focus on the moment. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that flossing is arduous or unpleasant, focus instead on something pleasant – how nice it feels to have clean teeth!
So there you are, buy some floss and have a go at creating a healthy habit oh and do let us know how you got on!