How to Make a Flossing Habit One Step Easier with Our 3-in-One™ Flossers
Flossing is a healthy habit that we often take for granted. And though the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day, in tandem with brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, it is astounding how few people actually floss. In fact, according to a recently conducted analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, out of the 9,056 total participants, only 30% reported flossing daily, 37% reported flossing less than daily, and 32% reported never flossing. Due to the depth and breadth of the survey data, these results are indicative of broader behavioral trends in the U.S. population at-large, informing the assertion of relevant projections. If anything, certain experts maintain that an even smaller percentage of the broader U.S. population flosses daily, some estimating as low as 10%. There seem to be some demographic correlations in the maintenance of a flossing routine. For example, males (39%) were more likely to report never flossing than females (27%). But regardless of who you are, if you know you are not flossing as much as you should be, it’s time to be more intentional about incorporating it into your routine. That sounds easy enough. It only takes 21 days to form a new habit, right? Actually, no. It can be much more complicated than that. With that said, there is one step you can take to change your oral health for the better.
The myth that it only takes 21 days to develop a new habit was first introduced to public consciousness in 1960 in a book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. While Maltz himself never directly made the “21 days” claim, he did assert that 21 days was the minimum observable time duration in which he noticed old mental images were able to dissolve and new ones were able to gel in his patients. The dissolution and reformation of mental images became conflated with habit formation in general discourse, giving rise to the “21 day” myth we still hear today. In reality, solidifying a new habit does not have a one-size-fits-all timeline. According to a 2009 study that is still very pertinent today, it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to sustain a new habit. After accounting for data distribution, the study notes that it takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. To be clear, these numbers are not meant to be prescriptive. Habit formation is different for different people. Taking the necessary action steps to ensure changes in behavior is what matters most.
One of the best ways to set yourself for success in making flossing a habit is to make the action more accessible. Sometimes, people avoid flossing because of how cumbersome it seems. To normalize flossing, try keeping a few of our Our 3-in-One™ Flossers in your pocket or bag. These flossers will serve as discreet and portable reminders to floss after meals. They have a fortified dual floss that holds up against the tightest teeth, a fold-out interdental brush to scrub between teeth, and a tapered toothpick to remove trapped food. By combining a flosser and interdental brush into one product, the 3-in-One™ is perfect for its ease in use. Ultimately, having a flosser on hand is a simple step towards prioritizing your oral health and your overall well-being. Here’s to starting and maintaining healthy habits.