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.


24 thoughts on “Toothy

  1. Yay for you! I don’t care what made you do it, but I’m glad you did. I know, I’m a freak about flossing – it takes me 6-8 minutes (yes, I’ve timed) to do it with braces, but I refuse to skip it.

  2. Pushy much?? But I guess it worked in that she got you to floss. I’m pretty religious about flossing myself mainly because I get food stuck in certain back teeth that annoying the living crap out of me.

    This reminds me, I need to make an appointment to go see the dentist. ICK.

  3. Hahaha – reverse psychology or something – whatever it was, it worked!

    Sweets and I have an ongoing debate about flossing before or after you brush. He says before. But, my dentist flosses after she cleans my teeth, so I say after!

  4. i flossed this morning for the first time in about a year…. because i have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning πŸ™‚ but wait, they want you to floss BEFORE you brush?? isn’t that like cleaning under your nails after working in the garden but before washing your hands? (that was a terrible analogy.)

  5. You know what will make your dentist appointments nothing but a pleasure? The Sonicare. Seriously, since I’ve started using one (and my teeth feel as clean as if I just went to the dentist every day!), I have had nothing but, “you seriously have NO PLAQUE!” visits. Love it.

  6. Oh my, I’m so impressed! I just had a teeth cleaning last week after oh a little break from the dentist of 2.5 years! My how time passes…I got the floss lecture. My hygienist said to me, you don’t have to lie, I can tell if you floss regularly. I was very honest about my bad habits, but I’m going to work on it…

  7. If you floss after you brush, doesn’t that put all the stuff from in between your teeth in your nice clean mouth?

  8. Flossing rocks, good for you!

    I think I fell for the “you only have to floss the teeth you want to keep” approach years ago. πŸ™‚

  9. I wanted to take this same approach when Mr. W got on my case for not brushing my tongue. I wanted to say “Ha take that!” But even with a little drawing on my floss container, sometimes I still neglect the tongue. Sigh…

  10. I’ve always been TERRIBLE at flossing regularly (it’s on my list of goals for this year). It’s not hard, doesn’t take that long, and I always feel better when I do it, but for some reason I’ve never gotten into a good habit of it.

    This is good motivation!

  11. I’m a psycho flosser. Of course, i suffer from gum disease, so I have to do it if I have any hope of keeping my teeth. Despite my religious flossing for years, I just recently found this out: the point of flossing is not to dislodge food particles between your teeth (although that happens). The point is to “brush” your teeth in spots (the gum pockets) your brush can’t reach. So it’s really important that you “scrape” the surface of the tooth with the floss 3-5 times before moving on. When my new hygenist told me this last month, I was like WTF?! I’ve been flossing religiously for 20 years and you people just now tell me that?! My gums are probably worse than they should be because nobody told me that. They just preach flossing.

    Sorry. I probably sound like your annoying floss lady. But if they’re really gonna preach it, they need to ‘splain it.

  12. flossing is so tedious! i even got those things with the plastic handles to inspire me and i do it only once in a while, so…..props to you! floss on, lady!!

  13. You are so much more mature than I am. I, when faced with the nasty new hygienist who lectured me on flossing, suddenly stopped flossing all together. It continues to be on my resolution list. My son even brings me the flosser (the individuals plastic flossing thingys) every night. I really dislike her. I miss my former hygienist.

  14. And now…by sharing this with us, you’re daring us to floss, too. I won’t give in! Although I already floss a couple times a week anyways, so a couple more wouldn’t be so bad. See what you’ve done!?!?

  15. The flossing lecture is so tired — I’ve been hearing it for 20 years at least! I love it when I get a flossing tutorial, as if I don’t know HOW to do it. It’s not rocket science, I am just lazy! Oddly enough, I’ve become a regualr flosser now because of Andrew. He flosses every night, sometimes more than once, so the habit rubbed off on me. My dentist says I have great gums, but I still get cavities. 😦

  16. My mom flosses every day and she gets the flossing lecture anyway. If I had to guess, most people don’t floss very often and they give everyone that lecture.

  17. I started flossing regularly a few years ago and can attest that it is strangely addictive. Like now when I don’t, I get grossed out that I haven’t and then I have to do it. Then you get to the level where you start scraping your tongue and your entire family thinks you’ve lost it…… πŸ˜€

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