Friday, December 4, 2009

Floss Nazi

How many people actually floss every day? I'd like to know, I really would. I'd also like to know how many people, like me, lie to their dentist about their flossing habits.

I had a dentist appointment yesterday afternoon. Just a regular cleaning, plus x-rays.

I don't like going to the dentist. Not because I've ever had a traumatic experience, or had to have any major dental work done. I have pretty good teeth. I've had a few cavities in my life, but that's pretty much it.

What makes it so unpleasant for me is the lecturing. And really, it's not even the dentist, it's the hygienist. This one particular hygienist, to be specific, who for some reason has assigned herself my personal hygienist whenever I have an appointment. When I went in yesterday (after rescheduling the appointment a couple of times, hoping, I think, that maybe they would just forget about me and I wouldn't have to go in), I kept thinking to myself, "Please don't let it be so-and-so, please don't let it be her . . ." I don't even know her name, but she's this BIG Hawaiian woman. She takes her job very seriously, and is forever on my case about good flossing habits.

Okay, here's the truth: I do floss every day! Ummmm, every day when I know I have a dental appointment coming up in two or three days, that is. I know you're supposed to floss every single day of your life. Not only that, but I'm apparently supposed to be flossing my kids' teeth too! (Teeth-brushing time at our house is, to put it mildly, nobody's favorite time of day. I cannot imagine attempting to add the torture of flossing their teeth to the already hellish routine.) Anyhow, I digress. I know I'm supposed to floss my teeth every day. But I don't. I'm a good brusher - that I don't skimp on. But flossing? Oh, the tedium. And really, what's it all for? I mean, realistically? Because, let me tell you, the hygienist yesterday was convinced that I have actually been doing a much better job flossing one particular quadrant of my mouth! "Oh, I can tell you've been flossing really well over here!" she exclaimed. (In truth, I haven't flossed any of the quadrants in my mouth until yesterday right before my appointment, so she's totally lost credibility with me.)

She went over my teeth and gums with a fine-toothed comb, all the while lecturing me about the need to floss better, every day. I lied and told her that I do floss every day. She quizzed me on what kind of floss I use, and my flossing technique (was she trying to catch me in a lie?).

Like I said, I've had a few cavities in my life, but that's it. None of the cavities I've ever had have been between my teeth. I don't have gum disease. I've never had a root canal or anything like that. So what's her beef?

She goes into this whole thing about how we have to keep our gums healthy because studies have shown that they are ports of entry for bacteria which can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and a host of other ailments. She talked to me about "whole body health."

Okay, here's the thing. Did I mention that this woman is BIG? I'm not being mean here, but the truth is, she is easily 100 pounds overweight. And she's lecturing me about heart disease and whole body health? Really?

Gah.

No cavities yesterday. When the dentist came in to look me over, all he said was, "Everything looks good, we'll see you next time."

The hygienist handed me the usual parting gift: a bag with a new toothbrush and not one, but two, boxes of floss.

I tossed the floss when I got home. Just to spite her.

11 comments:

Anna Alexandrova said...

I floss every day. Sorry, Lisa!

heather said...

I love this post! Honestly laughing out loud! I totally lie about flossing too. But I usually say, "2-3x a week" when actually it's just when I have food caught in between a tooth and it's bugging me. So maybe 2-3x a month. But I love that she's lecturing you on good health! And wtg on at least brushing your kids teeth. My kids get their teeth brushed every Sunday night! ;)

heather said...

I love this post! Honestly laughing out loud! I totally lie about flossing too. But I usually say, "2-3x a week" when actually it's just when I have food caught in between a tooth and it's bugging me. So maybe 2-3x a month. But I love that she's lecturing you on good health! And wtg on at least brushing your kids teeth. My kids get their teeth brushed every Sunday night! ;)

Cwilks said...

I get the lecture EVERY time. I do not floss and I am pretty honest about it. I was even told that if I only did it a few weeks before coming in, it would make a difference. I hate it, but I have flossed my teeth everyday this week. Why??? Because Jimmy Kimmel was on Dr. Oz talking about how he smells his floss after flossing and Dr. Oz said that it shouldn't smell bad. I am paranoid about bad breath, so I did it and it smelled bad. So I am turning over a new leaf and flossing, because I do not want to be that girl with the bad breath who doesn't know it. Great post..LOL...I always rolled my eyes at the lecture and I HATE the dentist!!!

Molly said...

They always ask if I floss and I say "Nope!" and then tune out.

My eye doctor once gave me life advice, freaking out that i needed to go to grad school RIGHT away or ID NEVER GO. literally, going on and on about my future.

Um dude. You don't know me. Why are you freaking?

I wasn't sad when insurance stopped covering our visits and we had to swtich doctors.

ashamom said...

I HATE dentists! 'Nuff said.

Grammyof13 said...

This is so funny and typical of us all. A good blog!

Larry said...

You are too funny - I go in spurts of flossing then not flossing over the 6 months between appts and yes I floss much more the days leading up to the event with the DDS...what can I say? I barely have energy to wash my face and brush my teeth at day's end so yes extra work is not in the cards for me.

But hey - I have found a really cool thing to do with the floss they give you so keep it next time - the kids absolutely LOVE to play "trip-wire" with it - they unspool it all around the house making a maze of tripwire (as they call it) and seeing if they can avoid hitting against it as they climb over and crawl under it - it is a hoot to watch and not too bad to clean up! Lisa

Chrystal said...

Ha! I think I floss, hmm, for maybe 3 days before my appointments? If I forget, I have to reschedule the appointment. No bull. So, yeah, I haven't been to the dentist in a year because of the lack of flossing. Hate the lecture and I always swear that I'm going to do better next time.

I got my first and only cavity at 32.

Kristin said...

I hate the dentist and I hate to floss. I brush several times a day and that is it. You are better than me I would have bit her... or sneezed.

Carla said...

Um, I must admit that I do floss every day and I have for years...since I had braces in my early teens. I honestly can't remember the last day I didn't floss. *blushing* That said, I have early bone decay so I don't buy into the whole flossing every day thing as the cure all fix all. For me, it is just that I hate the feeling of food in my teeth. ;-)