Over a month ago I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning. A different dental hygienist greeted me and from the moment I stretched out in the chair and that paper bib was fastened around my neck with the cold chain, I knew I was in for it.
My usual hygienist is very chatty. She’s got funky short hair that sometimes has a shock of bright color through the bangs She practices yoga and likes all the bad ’80’s hits that play over the speakers in the office. Needless to say, I like her.
This new lady was all business. She was pinched in the face and you could tell from her go-to-it demeanor that this was going to be a thorough cleaning. Within a few minutes she was professing the benefits of flossing. And the proselytizing went on and on AND ON through the entire cleaning. AFter 20 minutes of it, I just wanted to toss the tray aside and jump out of the chair yelling I GET IT! I WILL FUCKING FLOSS! Of course, I didn’t. I just entertained scenarios like that while she scraped at my plaque that was apparently caused by my lack of flossing.
She tried a different approach near the end. “You’re good at brushing so why not floss right before you brush at night? That way you’ll ensure you floss at least once a day.” I nodded, at this point so worn down I would agree to just about anything to get out of there. Later that night when I was doing my nightly ritual of washing my face, moisturizing and brushing my teeth, I heard her words in my head. And so I grabbed the floss and went at it. Ha! Take that hygienist lady!
And then the next night, I flossed again.
And the next.
A week went by where I flossed before brushing every single night.
It’s been almost 5 weeks and I’ve not missed a night. It’s almost like I was double dog dared by her and I’m taking extreme satisfaction in doing what she probably thought I couldn’t accomplish. Or she reversed psychologied me and I’ve been played.
Either way, my teeth are totally flossed. I guess we both win.