Forming a flossing habit: An exploratory study of the psychological determinants of habit formation

15 Nov

Turning an activity into a habit is a challenging task, and one that

dental professionals constantly struggle with. Getting patients to floss and

brush regularly is part of their job, and insight into how best to do this is

highly valued. The study below shows that those who value flossing and have

more positive values towards it will be more likely to floss after an

intervention, and floss more frequently in the long term. Those patients who

decide to floss after brushing also showed better flossing habits long term

compared to those who flossed before.

Take Home Message: Introduce flossing into your nighttime routine after

brushing your teeth and be sure to encourage flossing as a positive habit

with those around you. Always refer back to your dental professional for

more tips on the best oral hygiene routine.

Source: Judah, G., Gardner, B., Aunger, R. (2013) Forming a flossing habit:

An exploratory study of the psychological determinants of habit formation.

British Journal of Health Psychology, 18, 338-353.