How To Love Flossing

Just one string attached

Getty Images

I love to floss. I absolutely live for it.

This is because one source of external validation I absolutely require is my dentist’s approval. This wasn’t always hard to come by. For two decades, good dental health came easy to me, and I never had a reason to fear or loathe the dentist. Then, six months after graduating college, I acquired 11 — yes, 11 — cavities. In one visit.

The problem is that I never want to floss when I brush my teeth, which is usually in the moments before I run out the door late for something or right before bed when I have simply given up. However, I have finally found the secret hack to flossing more. Here it is: buy a lot of floss and put it everywhere.

I buy six-packs of Listerine Ultra Clean (my preferred brand since 2012) and scatter them all over my home. Right now there are spools of floss on my nightstand, on my desk, in my desk drawer, on the bookshelf, in my wallet, and, as a concession to societal norms, there’s even one by my toothbrush in the bathroom.

I can floss anytime, and anywhere, but most often I do it when I’m watching TV. It’s a great mindless activity that is ALSO good for me. Maybe this is the power of habit speaking, but I actually do find Netflix and Dental Hygiene relaxing, dissolving my cares and my tartar all at once. Sometimes I don’t even need background entertainment. I will just snap out of a mid-morning dissociative moment, floss in hand, gingerly extracting the pericarp of a popcorn kernel lodged in my gum.

And now that flossing is life, I always get the respect I deserve at the dentist, returning to my floss castle smiling from ear to ear.