Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Totally weird, but it works…

I went to the dentist in January for my semi-annual (or maybe it’s ah, “semi” (as in sort of ) annual… Actually, just kidding! I was only a few months late this time) visit. We sat and the discussion of dental hygiene started and my answers got shorter and more muffled as went. Something like this:

Doc (ok, hygienist, but it’s shorter) – do you brush your teeth regularly?
Me – (sweet, an easy one) – oh yeah, twice a day with an electric toothbrush.
Doc – anything bothering you today?
Me – no, no issues (I’ve actually never had a cavity in 34 years. Last year there was a spot on my tooth that might have been a stain or might have been a pre-cavity and my hubby teased me (badly) that my “perfect record” would be broken. But still no – so, ha! To him… not you.)
Doc – do you floss?
Me – um… (shouldn’t I be gargling or something? Where’s something else to distract her? Dang..) Well, no… I really don’t. (head hung)
Doc – It’s hard with a little one at home to find time for things
Me – (Yeah, that’s why. The reasons I never did before must have been really good too! But if I had time, flossing would be so high on my list above getting my hair cut (it’d been at least 5 months then), shopping, reading, sleeping…you get the point)
Doc – you know, I was at a conference awhile ago and they had a really odd suggestion, but the more I thought about it, the better it sounded. You might like it.
Me – (don’t I always love things that are the odd suggestion? Great, I’ve been here 5 minutes and she pegged me as a nutjob already)
Doc – You could try flossing in the shower.
Me - ??? (This is the weirdest thing I’ve heard in…)
Doc – I mean, you’re in there anyway and with limited time as a new Mom, you might be happy for an extra few minutes soaking under the hot water.
Me – huh. Well, maybe…

She went on to explain how people who don’t have issues with cavities very often have issues with gingivitis and that might creep up soon (age wise) and how the plaque on your teeth is thought maybe to be linked to the plaque (am I spelling this right?) in your heart, so it could contribute to heart disease.

And those were all compelling and scary arguments. But did those convince me? Nope, not even a little. But three more minutes in the shower in the morning. I am a convert! I’ve been flossing very regularly. Not every day – some days there are urgent calls to move quickly out of the shower. Some days it’s technically possible that maybe I (ahem) don’t shower. But probably 5 times a week and it turns out – yeah, it actually doesn’t take all that long (when I could stand under hot water longer if it did, I can say it’s fast!) and isn’t that hard.

Who’d have thunk it?

Does anyone else have any weird or random tips that have gotten them to put on their big girl pants and do the things you know you should, but just never do?


  1. Ok first off all screw dentists and their flossing questions. Face it 80% or greater of the world doesn't floss regularly. get over it. Nobody likes doing it, it sucks.


  2. I used to floss in the shower, and brush my teeth in the shower! You don't have to worry about dripping toothpaste on your clothes, and you're more inclined to spend the time you SHOULD if you're there anyway...your dentist was way more understanding about the flossing than mine is!

  3. Yeah...about that whole flossing dentist always asks me - and I always say that I don't. The hubs flosses regularly - sometimes 2 or 3 times a day - but doesn't go to the dentist (his insurance doesn't cover it)...I think that is a fine trade-off. If I didn't want to sit in the chair, maybe I'd floss more often...until then, though, just do your damn job and clean muh teeth :) HA!


  4. oooh i'm totally going to try that. i need to floss more. i also take calls and knead bread dough while i'm in the shower--i'm all about multitasking.

  5. It's so simple yet so GENIUS.


    I like the way your dentist says stuff. Way better than my mean old 'WHY are you still CHEWING on ICE?! STOPCHEWINGICE!' guy.


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