Are you a perpetual floss avoider? I was too, until a few years ago when I happened upon a disgusting but effective way of getting yourself to floss more. You might be grossed out, but all will be worthwhile once you stop getting cavities and your dentist stops getting really mad each time you visit. Keep scrolling to see what it was.
A few years ago I was at a girlfriend’s house hanging out before bed (#adultsleepover—we had an early-morning event to attend together) when I grabbed one of the little floss sticks out of the packet she had on her bathroom counter and starting flossing. We are like sisters, so doing this, and the conversation that ensued, was totally normal. Somehow, I got a whiff of the floss stick and thought that I had just put something terribly wrong in my mouth. I literally yelled out to her from the bathroom, “Kate, I think your floss sticks went bad!” “What do you mean?” she asked me. “I mean they smell rancid… like there’s something wrong with them. I think they spoiled or something.” I threw the one I’d been flossing with in the trash, nervous I’d just put something horribly wrong all up in my teeth. She came to the bathroom, looked at me, laughed, and said in a totally non-condescending way, “You didn’t know plaque smelled? That’s just the smell of your plaque. That’s what it smells like when you haven’t flossed.”
Cue shock. I was in disbelief. And also laughing at how embarrassed I felt that I thought her bag of floss sticks had expired. “Yeah,” she said. “That’s the smell of plaque.” And, as you probably won’t be surprised to hear, I’ve pretty much flossed every day since.
Similarly, a friend texted me the other day after figuring this out for herself: “How to trick yourself into flossing more: smell your floss.” Disgusting, right? But it works. If you take a whiff of floss and it smells awful—hideous—you need to floss more, and I can pretty much guarantee that you will floss more. The more you floss, the less it will smell. When you floss and the stick doesn’t have any odor attached to it, you’re doing your job! I swear you’ll get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when that smell starts to go away.
Keep scrolling to shop my favorite floss sticks (the exact ones I used when I first learned this trick), and tell me: Did you know that plaque had a ghastly odor? Do you have any tricks for getting yourself to floss more? Share them below!