Every dentist, I mean every dentist, tells you to floss between your teeth.
My Worst Nightmare
Looks Like An Electric Chair to Me
Now, with age, dang-gunit, I’ve learned it is even more important to floss. That is because, for some reason, our teeth separate and lots of gunk–disgusting gunk–gets caught between our teeth. Both my niece and nephew are dentists, but I love them, anyway. My nephew explained why this happens.
Be forewarned, this is a translation of what he said. He is much more technical.
The area around the teeth as in gums and bone can be diseased, but most likely it is due to stress and how we deal with it. You know when you clench your teeth because you can’t say what you want. Or your brain is still dealing with the stress of the day, or of problems you have no control over, so you grind your teeth in your sleep to chew away the problems. Oh, by the way, it doesn’t work, it just messes up your teeth.
Another reason could be that a dentist left a gap where he/she shouldn’t.
Or simply, your teeth grew in weird.
I spent many long hours at the dentist as a child. As an adult, I only have 5 of my original teeth that can get cavities, so I don’t have to spend quite as much time there. But, I do have an occasional crown replacement and I do try to clean my teeth professionally every six months.
And what do they tell me to do? Brush for two minutes at least twice a day and floss.
Floss–It sounds so bunny-like, as in Flossy, Mossy, and Cottontail.
But there is nothing cute about flossing, your hands and arms contort into weird angles as they try to find a way to get that stupid string between your teeth. And then, why is it so difficult to find the space between the back teeth to put the &*&%^$ string into.
I am a person willing to learn, so I told my nephew I didn’t really know how to floss. My daughter was there and she fell over laughing. “How can you not know how to floss?”
My kind nephew kept his laughter inside, but I could still see it in his eyes.
He explained and let me try, and he saw I had problems.
Read the next part as they do on commercials when they speed read through the fine print.
According to Dr. Laurent in the AARP Health article, “Proper flossing involves wrapping the floss in a ‘c-shape,’ and covering as much surface area of the tooth as possible. You should cover about half the diameter of the tooth from each angle. Make sure to move the floss up and down along the outer surface and under the gum tissue,” says Dr. Laurent. “This way, the floss will clean plaque from both the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth, as well as beneath the gum tissue.”
Ok, do you know how to floss now? Nope, me neither. I could explain it to anyone, but I can’t do it to my teeth.
Did anyone ever teach you how to floss? All my dentists every said was, “Floss.”
I guess I heard, “gloss over it” because if they don’t show you, it must not be important.
You are taught to brush by your parents.
Most adults do not floss. Research articles tell me that 40% of the people say they don’t floss. You know as well as I do that the other 60% are lying. Ok, maybe the other 59% are lying–I guess dentists actually do floss.
The only time most of us get anything between our teeth, like a toothpick or the newfangled floss on a stick is to remove an irritating piece of food. Once that is done, we don’t even think about the others.
But, we continue to clench and grind.
We need to start a new educational movement! Just like they did in the 60’s with the seat belt campaign.
Children need classes in flossing! The dentist has to let them floss between their teeth, themselves. Make a game of it. You know the old adage, when you do something you remember it. At the same time, parents need classes and need to be given a chance to do it themselves.
I really think there are more people out there like me who struggle in getting their hands into their mouth just like me, and say, screw it, and stomp on the string before throwing it away.
By the way, don’t tell my niece and nephew that the closest I get to flossing is using a newfangled TOOTHPICK. And, dang-it, it is expensive.
Just don’t tell my niece and nephew that I gloss over flossing.