Girls Write Out
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is it just me or is flossing the cruelest daily medical recommendation ever? Maybe it's because my teeth are a little squished together or maybe I'm just a wimp, who knows? But I'm not sure how a waxy piece of thread a millimeter wide can induce such dread.

"Have you been flossing?" my dentist asks me when I visit.

"No." It's been the same answer for 13 years, so I don't bother with excuses.

He pulls out the dreaded piece of thread and wraps it around his fingers. I don't even hear the lecture because I'm busy pressing my head into the padded headrest until I can't possibly get any further from his hands.

Then he starts the torture. There is a moment of terror as he wiggles the thread between my teeth trying to separate these babies like they're conjoined twins. I close my eyes and wince. Eventually he will break through, but the question is, how hard will that thread strike my gums? One thing I know for sure: there will be blood.

I can hear a faint snap as he breaks the barrier and then the real fun starts. Is he digging for China or what? I consider biting down on his gloved fingers. Hard. Instead I squeeze the chair's arm and tell myself to relax. Only 31 teeth to go.

Somehow I get through the ordeal and even manage to smile and say goodby to my dentist. But always, as I find myself leaving the chair and standing in front of the reception desk, I find myself asking the same questions. Am I really paying for this? Do people really do that every day? I have enough things to dread already, thank you very much. And please, if you're in the dental profession, spare me the lecture. I've already heard it.

Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:09 AM  
  Comments (21)
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At 8:11 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

I am SO THERE with you, Denise!!! My dentist has stopped asking. For 25 years or so, I said, "No, I'm not flossing. And I am not going to be flossing. In case you're interested, I'm not doing my monthly breast exams, either."

Sometimes it all gets to be too much self-torture! I brush my teeth well and I never have cavities. My husband flosses and needs crowns and root canals. Why mess with a good thing?

Katy McKenna

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

LOL Katy! So much of it is a matter of genetics, I think.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Oh, I looovvve flossing. Ummm yummy. String beneath my gums! LOL

Really, I do it because it's good for my dental health, but I hate when the "cleaning lady" flosses.



At 11:25 AM, Blogger Kay said...

I don't floss. Same situation here that Katy has.
Although, last time they did the little measurements they told me I had a "5" and that's bad I guess. If I don't floss, they said, I will have to have some kind of horrible thing done. I flossed for a few weeks.
We'll see what good that did. LOL

On the Real Age test, it actually takes years off your life to not floss. :(

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Kay, don't tell my dentist. I get plenty of pressure already.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger kristinlgray said...

Well, ahem, my husband is actually an orthodontist. (Duck my head) So, I floss often. In fact, if i miss a few days now my gums start to itch. But, he never misses the opportunity to tell me that I floss incorrectly. Hey, at least I actually am, right?! My six, four, and three year olds just love it, too. Of course, they'll do anything to be like Dad. :)

~Kristin, a regular reader :)

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

What?? Two of my favorite (gorgeous-smiled) people never floss? I am SO quitting TODAY! ; )

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

When I saw you're name on the screen, Deb, I immediately thought, I'll bet Deb flosses.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

Oh, yeah. DEB is a serial flosser if I've ever met one!! :) But now SHE seriously has a beautiful smile.....hmmmm. Rethinking here. Kay, I took the Real Age test and I could NOT figure out why I scored so "old." Honestly, I'm not overweight. Don't smoke. Don't eat sugar. Blood work in line. I did have to admit I don't exercise regularly, but you think the not flossing got me??? Whoa.

I don't care. I'd rather die early of natural causes than kill myself with misery by unnatural flossing! It's just WRONG, people! ;)

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Denise, You haven't LIVED until you've had to wipe down your bathroom mirror after flossing. lol. gross.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Swaziland Mazzucas said...

I use a Sonicare tooth brush (Christmas present from my mother. Isn't that sweet?) and, since then, when the dentist asks about flossing I say, "No, but I use a Sonicare." He kind of clears his throat and says, "Well, I guess that's good...but I think you really should floss." I'm thinking maybe it's a conspiracy. Like the little scratchy hook isn't bad enough, they want to extend the pain to every day life. Of course, this is just the perspective of a non-flosser here.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Ugh, I hate to floss. You know how some people get chills when they hear fingernails on the chalkboard? THAT is what happens to me when the string slides between my teeth. Just thinking about it freaks me out.

Last year when I went to a new dentist and they had me fill out the new patient paperwork, under "How often do you floss?" I wrote, "ummmmmm?"
It made the hygienist laugh if nothing else.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

LOL!1! I'm a flosser but I hate it when the dentist does it.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Never floss. Never will. Do what I do - just avoid going to the dentist altogether and then it's not an issue! :)

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

What a timely topic! I was just complaining about my family. They are like Katie. They don't floss! Their brushing habits aren't the best (my boys DH not included in the brushing part!). I am fanatical about it. So who do you think when do the dentist and just a had a crown put on? ME the one who is fanatical. I let him know it wasn't fair! :) My tooth had to crack. Why mine!? I am fanatical about it because I HATE to get dental work done. Even cleaning. What good did taking care of my teeth do me?

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Kellie said...

I'm a flosser...when I have something in between my teeth.

Just reading this post and all the comments make my teeth feel funny!


At 10:39 PM, Blogger Tara Pierce said...

I'm with Kellie...only floss when there's something in my teeth. A couple weeks ago I was panicking because I couldn't find my 5-year old pkg of floss and I was in pain! The pressure on my mouth from the meat between my teeth was unbearable.

I also haven't seen a dentist for 3 or more years. (bad me) I moved to a different state and didn't have insurance for the first 14 months, then had more serious medical issues to fill my mind. (like fibroid tumors. Yes, 'everyone' gets them, but they seem to be something ladies are supposed to suffer with in silence?? I "get" to have a c-section/type surgery in 7 weeks to remove the tumors. yipee)

Anyway, last week I got a new-patient form to fill out for the dentist I plan to visit...someday (ok, maybe next week/month). "How often do you floss?" Yeah, I've seen that question before. No, my gums don't bleed when I floss, but I barely have time to brush my teeth in the morning besides trying to figure out how to hold that crazy string!

At 12:18 AM, Blogger allen said... need to be writing thrillers. The whole "dentist thing' was far more intense than any thriller I have read recently.

I have no cavities, I never floss and I hate dentists...the last time I went to a GUM KILLER my teeth and gums hurt for three months...I believe they are evil. It is a shame that my youngest wants to become a dentist...

At 2:13 AM, Blogger Anna Marie said...

I'm A flosser.
I never knew it was torture for some people!.
Well, I have little bit of space in my teeth so if something gets in there it's not fun.
But if you don't have any spaces in your teeth I guess you can get by without flossing.
It's just what I think.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Boy, you no floss people must have strong gums. If you ever went through the torture of gum surgery you would floss every day at least once. For years I was a no flosser and I paid dearly for it. Now I floss every night, use my Sonicare which is the best thing every day, and get my teeth cleaned every three months, alternating between the periodontist and the regular dentist. Still they want me to do more like use a rubber tip thingy to massage the gums. I can't get into the rubber tipping but my gum pockets are not deep. I'm getting great check ups, but I dread to think what they might be if I didn't floss every night.

So children, floss your teeth!!! :-)

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

YES! Yes, Yes, YES!!! It is the most painful, cruelest form of torture invented! My DH is a compulsive flosser. At least once a day, most likely twice. I'm more of the mind I floss when there's popcorn stuck and a toothpick won't do.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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