• Gemma Cockburn

Has your oral hygiene routine slipped?

So has your oral hygiene routine slipped?

No? Great, carry on soldier

Yes? Well don’t beat yourself up about it.

Even before all of this, a common thing I heard when I asked patients…

“So what are you managing to do at home on a daily basis to keep your teeth clean?”

was…”well for the last two weeks I’ve started flossing again because I knew I was coming here”!!

There is something about that the accountability that a visit to the dentist or hygienist gives you isn’t there?

Patients on our dental plan normally see us every 4 months. Many go through several cycles of starting up flossing, stopping and then starting again (two weeks or even two days!) before they some to see us again.

Then something magic happens, eventually they form a habit. But a good one!

It’s a bit like giving up smoking. Something I finally managed to do 5 years ago. I tried many times and failed, but each time I tried, the next attempt was a bit better and better until finally…I stopped!

Try and avoid black and white thinking

“Well my gums are all inflamed now I might as well not bother, I’ll start again once the hygienist has cleaned them for me again”

If you start again now within 4-5 days your gums will bleed less and appear pinker and firmer. Why not take a before and after photo to prove it? But don’t be posting that lol nobody likes those close ups!! Post a nice picture of the local scenery instead 🙂

So if you’ve stopped doing what you should be doing, consider this a big kick up the backside to start doing it again (pretty please)


  1. Do it at the same time every day,

  2. Put 21 post its on your bathroom window (think of something better than that they will probably just get soggy and drop off) and take one down each time you floss or use your interdental brushes.

  3. Sit down (I don’t know why but this makes it a more relaxing activity)

Get brushing flossing interdental brushing or I’ll send my good friend Arnie round to make you do 100 push ups (I would stop flossing today if that were true!)

Most of all do your best, don’t beat yourself up too much, every little helps.

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