Flossing is one of those daily hygiene rituals that many people say they do, but quietly skip because they don’t really want to put in the time. This isn’t necessarily the best behavior when it comes to oral hygiene though. Despite some people calling into question its necessity, flossing does still have a place in taking care of our teeth even if that role isn’t necessarily as great as many of us were raised thinking. Finding the motivation to floss daily can be a difficult task for many of us regardless of any of those facts though. We have long, busy days that eat away at our reserves and make us less inclined to do much of anything after we’ve had our dinner. The thing we most have motivation for is simply relaxing. Making the effort to remember to floss will help keep your mouth healthier and let you avoid oral hygiene issues later. That’s why we’re going to look at various things you can potentially use to help motivate you to remember your daily floss.
Make A List
A good way to motivate yourself is simply to make a list of things you need to do in the evening. Your before bed list will offer you a friendly reminder of all the things you need to get done as a nightly ritual. This may seem like it simply serves to help you remember, but consider the fact that many people feel compelled to follow a list once they’ve made it. The list serves as a way for you to motivate your future self to live up to what you told yourself you would do. This is important as it can often make the difference between you doing something and avoiding it. After all, who can motivate you better than you? Try to place the list in a prominent place so that you can’t miss it each night. Putting it by your bedroom door, on your pillow, or a similarly obvious place will make sure you see it. Some people use dry-erase boards or similar options to help them organize and check off their nightly routine. Find what works for you and stick with it.
The key to forming a habit tends to rest in how rewarding we perceive it to be in the long run. Flossing doesn’t really offer any tangible rewards that we can immediately see or experience. All it does it help avoid things and that isn’t necessarily ideal for forming a habit. Even toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors we can enjoy while brushing our teeth. Floss just doesn’t cut rise to the challenge even when it does have a flavor. The way to get around this is to arrange a reward system for yourself. Let yourself have one thing you enjoy every day as long as you floss the night before. This will help you associate flossing with a pleasant habit. Escalate your rewards over time. A week can be a big accomplishment at first, but after that, you might wait until a month has passed and after that, you might wait until three months have passed before giving yourself a particularly big reward for flossing. Just make sure you give them to yourself for keeping up the habit and you’ll gradually turn flossing into an automatic habit you feel motivated to do.
Remember the Alternative
This strategy is what dentists have always used on us and can be a good motivator for some people. Flossing, while not necessarily as good for minimizing plaque as we were lead to believe, is still a good way to help keep your gums healthy. Most studies link its overall utility as being primarily associated with reducing the risk of gingivitis for everyone. Gingivitis is a relatively simple disease that causes inflammation in the gums. It doesn’t seem that threatening on the surface, but the constant irritation and potential pain make it a frustrating experience. What makes it even more frustrating is that it causes bad breath and, in the worst cases, can make your gums bleed more than flossing ever will. Keeping this in mind can be a good motivator, but it is typically best paired with another one of the suggested strategies. After all, knowing a bad thing will happen isn’t always enough on its own.
Keeping up the motivation to floss can be a difficult task. After all, it isn’t the most rewarding habit on its own. Learning strategies that help you remember to floss and keep you motivated to do it will pay off over time though. Fewer instances of gum disease and healthier teeth will help safeguard your broader health over time and ensure you’ll be able to enjoy everything you eat without worry.