Just Floss One Tooth

Sometimes, tasks can be overwhelming and we let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I was having a conversation with a mentee the other day when she shared a wonderful insight with me: Just floss one tooth.

We were talking about performing daily listening checks to ensure that hearing equipment is functioning well. Those daily Ling Six Sound Checks (or LMH-10 Checks) are simple to perform and so, so important (read the linked articles to find out why). But simple and important or not, if you’re a busy parent trying to wrangle an antsy toddler in the mornings, taking time out to do these checks can seem nearly impossible. As an auditory verbal therapist, I am very invested in making sure children have optimal auditory access to achieve the goal of developing language through listening. As a human who struggles to implement daily practices (*ahem* flossing) that I know will help me but just seem like one more thing on the to-do list… I get it.

Enter the “just floss one tooth” philosophy. All six (or ten) sounds feel like too much? Ear-specific checks just a bridge too far? Just do one. One sound, one device, one day a week… whatever it takes to make this feel manageable. The perfectionist and auditory brain fanatic in me cringes, but honestly, this strategy is more likely to lead to long-term adoption of better habits, not less. Making a big commitment feels intimidating. Taking a tiny step feels doable.

You can apply this to anything that is a struggle for you or the families you serve. Commit to using one new AV technique in your practice just once, and see how it goes. Read just one page of that article that’s been sitting in a tab on your browser for weeks. Help your child keep their devices on for one hour today. Just like flossing just one tooth, who knows? It might feel so good you’re motivated to do more tomorrow!

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