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.