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I believe that people want to floss more often, but simply have imperfect systems for doing so. It’s difficult to remember to floss and it’s difficult to overcome the initial commitment of flossing.

While people who tend to floss regularly have momentum on their side, this article is especially for people who want help overcoming rarely or never flossing.

The Problem

If flossing is out of sight, it is out of mind. It’s easy to forget. If you rely solely on will-power to floss, you may fail in times of low will. We need to plan for the times when we are less enthused to floss.

The Solution

To come up with a good system, lets address remembering to floss and low will to floss (overcoming barriers to entry)

Step 1: Move flossing to the shower

Consider moving your flossing habits to the shower with disposable sword floss and a place to hang it at eye level. The more isolated from other visual stimuli, the better. I use a mirror from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Disposable floss in the shower
That’s my shower. That’s my floss.

Step 2: Only floss two areas

When you see the floss, you’ll sometimes not want to do it. That’s understandable, it feels like a huge undertaking. So how can we systematically overcome this barrier to entry?

Set the bar low.

Simply commit to just flossing two areas. Maybe floss only around your two front teeth. Or floss only your back, left teeth. Doesn’t matter where, just floss two areas.

Setting the bar low will create an early win that encourages you to do more, because “well, I’ve already started”. But it also provides you an “out” so that the commitment of flossing your teeth seems less daunting.

With this strategy, you may not floss every tooth every time, but you’ll floss more often–and that’s the goal. The good flossing system you follow is better than the perfect one you quit.

What other ideas do you have to improve this system? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to address & update.