There is a rumor in my family that my great grandfather lived to be in his late 80's and never had a single cavity in his entire life. His secret was apparently flossing every evening before going to bed.
As much as my parents tried, the rumor still didn't do the trick to convince me to floss as a kid. Nor did I feel I needed too. I was able to get all the way to high school without a single cavity just by brushing. Then I got braces my freshmen year and from that point forward through my 20's, I battled with cavities. It certainly started out because braces made it really difficult to keep my teeth clean, but even after they were removed, the cavities continued. All-in-all I think I had around a dozen cavities that had to be filled over a decade's time.
When the cavities kept coming no matter the changes to my brushing or diet, I realized I needed to try something different. I recalled the story about my great grandfather and figured it couldn't hurt giving flossing a try.
Well that has certainly done the trick. I have now gone another 10 years without developing a single new cavity. All I've done differently is started flossing every evening (and I mean every evening). I am very religious about it because it really is the secret. This is one of those things that has to become a daily habit.
Rumor or not, I now know my great grandfather was onto something by flossing every day. Not only does it make your teeth healthier but it saves you money by keeping your visits to the dentist as cleanings only.