Every January, many of us make resolutions to be healthier or set out to achieve exciting new goals. Unfortunately, by halfway through the month we have may already abandoned these promises to ourselves. The problem is not always that we don’t have the desire or willpower to stick to our resolutions, but that we simply get caught up in our regular routine and forget to incorporate positive new habits.

A very important resolution that we recommend everyone make is to floss every day. For those who already floss regularly, way to go! Keep it up! Flossing is easy to do and only takes a few minutes each day, but it can make a really positive impact on your oral health. The most challenging part of flossing is often just remembering to do it. Here are some of our suggestions for fun and easy ways to remember to floss:

Visual Cues

Tying a string around your finger to act as a reminder used to be a common practice. For an update on this tradition, try adding a bright ribbon to the handle of your toothbrush that will signal it’s time to floss when you feel it against your hand or see it in the mirror. You could also buy or create a decorative “Remember to Floss” sign for your bathroom and place it somewhere you will see it every day such as above the sink. If you prefer to keep it simple, a sticky note on your mirror would also do the trick!

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Digital Reminders

For the technology lovers out there, we suggest using your smartphone as a tool for reminding you to floss everyday. The simplest way to enforce a flossing habit using your phone is to set an alarm with a label such as “Floss Your Teeth!” We recommend selecting a time you know you will be at home or able to access dental floss so there are no excuses. Try setting an alarm for shortly after you wake up in the morning or around the time you normally get ready for bed. There are also several apps you can try that are designed to digitally help people form habits, including one called Floss.

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Buddy System

Finally, as with many other goals, it is easier to stick to a flossing habit if you have someone to hold you accountable. Find a friend or family member around Ottawa who is also trying to floss more regularly and agree that you will check in with each other once per day. You are more likely to floss if you know someone will be asking you and you will also want to make sure you’ve flossed before asking your accountability partner.

Making flossing a part of your daily routine is an important step in improving overall oral health. We hope one of our tricks for remembering to floss works for you! What are your best tips for creating a habit or keeping a resolution?