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Oral Hygiene -Philosophy of the Long Term Future

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Oh, the tedious tasks we are supposed to complete in our day.  Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day seems like “no bigger” when one thinks about it and in the long run such tasks will greatly help to spare one from: pain, humiliation, poor nutrition and thousands of dollars in dental expenses.  Still a large majority of us struggle to complete such daily duties.  Brushing and flossing especially can be categorized as mundane actions that we do not necessarily receive any instant gratification or see any “in the moment” results from.  Therefore, as humans with our “now” philosophy, we struggle with the general lack of immediate satisfaction connected with it.  Oral hygiene practices fall in the same group as: dieting, eating healthy, working out and saving money.  Each action is not always a thrill and no one applauds us, but they are good practices that if consistently repeated daily have lifelong positive results. 

Jeff Olson covered the intertwining topics of “mundane actions, consistency, time and success” in his book The Slight Edge. Olson pointed out that the world’s most successful people have learned that “Consistently repeated daily actions + time = inconquerable results”.  Olson went on to say that success in any area of life, requires a personal philosophy change; going from a philosophy of the “now” to one of the “long term future”.  With this Philosophy change, “The trick is to choose the action that, when multiplied by this universal amplifier (consistently repeated daily), will yield the result you want. To position your everyday actions so time works for you, and not against you” (65).  That might be a lot to think about.  Olson’s concept is that to be successful in any area of life whether financially, relationships, or health, one must apply the appropriate positive actions and consistently repeat it daily. But to stay true to one’s “consistently repeated daily actions” and not fade off after two weeks, one has to change their personal philosophy from that of the “now” to that of the “long term future”. 

Olson’s principles definitely apply to oral hygiene practices.  Take flossing for instance, flossing at least once a day will help prevent periodontal disease, keep the gums and bone healthy resulting in a strong foundation for the teeth to sit in.  Flossing reduces the bacteria in the mouth and the plaque between the teeth making for a healthier body in general.  Statistics say that flossing can add four year to your life.  The investment of time and a miniscule about of money for floss will save a person thousands of dollars in dental work.  To maintain good oral health, brushing and flossing must be approached with the “long term future” philosophy and YOU can do it! Remember the equation:

Consistently repeated daily actions + time = inconquerable results.



Work Cited

Olson, J. (2005-2013). The Slight Edge. Austin: Greenleaf Book Group Press.

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