Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Do you floss? My 21 day streak.

 Hello, my friends.  Do you floss regularly?  I mean floss your teeth, not floss the "dance."  Through years of observation, I have come to the conclusion that most people don't.  I've lived with a lot of people, first in a residence hall for four years, and then at a summer camp where I was on staff.  I have seen hundreds of women going through their hygiene routines, and I have never seen another person floss their teeth (aside from various family members, some regularly, and others sporadically).  

And then there was that one time at MOPS.  We were playing some kind of game--I'm a little foggy on the rules, but it was something like one person stands in the middle of a circle of people sitting in chairs, and the person in the middle says something that's true about themselves, and then everyone who is sitting in the circle about whom that thing is also true has to stand up and quickly find another seat, leaving one person still standing in the middle of the circle.  It's kind of like musical chairs, but not really.

The woman who was in the middle said, "I floss my teeth twice a day."  And no one moved.  We just kind of stared at her like she was some mythical creature.  And to be honest, to women who have children that have not yet started school, someone who takes the time to floss daily, not once, but twice, does seem like kind of a unicorn.  I mean, some of us could barely shower, and even teeth-brushing sometimes went by the wayside.  She stood there, incredulous, exclaiming, "nobody?!"

I asked the Google, and she told me that only about 32% of adults in the US over the age of 30 floss their teeth daily (she sited a source, but I have since lost it).  Even that seems high to me.  I characterize my own flossing as regular, but I don't floss every day.  It definitely goes in spurts, but I estimate that, on average, I floss 4 to 5 times per week.  Knowing the fallibility of the human brain, I'm probably estimating high, but the point is, I should be flossing every day.  I would like to keep my teeth for as long as possible, thankyouverymuch.  Although, the very best food in the world (ice cream) does not require teeth, so, I guess I'd survive.

One of my issues with being able to floss daily is that I think I need to do it at night, so my teeth are nice and clean overnight.  Often, by the time I'm getting ready for bed, I'm tired enough that flossing, even though it only takes a minute or so, seems like too much work.  So I skip it.  Now, I've given myself permission to floss earlier in the day.  

As you may remember, one of my goals in 2021 is to complete streaks of 20 and 21 days.  Right now I'm smack dab in the middle of my 21 day streak, flossing my teeth daily.  According to conventional wisdom, it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so I'm hoping flossing will stick.  

How about you?  Do you floss regularly?  Daily?

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