Several weeks ago, I set up an appointment with a new dentist. When he asked me if I flossed regularly, I confidently told him that there was no need-I had the Oral B Triumph! It is a top-of-the-line electric toothbrush that does everything except give you a massage when you are finished. Truthfully, I've gotten lots of compliments on the whiteness of my teeth since I started using it. (I don't work for the company, by the way-it's just a really good toothbrush!) It has all sorts of strangely angled bristles to get between every crack and crevice, it polishes, and it has a timer so that you know exactly how long to spend on each quadrant of your mouth. To hell with floss, right? Wrong. That dental session was an exercise in brutality. As the dental hygienist chiseled away at what felt like my actual brain, she berated me soundly for my ignorance. Apparently a really expensive and fancy toothbrush is no replacement for that simple strand of waxed string. As I writhed in the chair, I silently vowed to incorporate flossing back into my daily routine. The suffering just wasn't worth it.
My change in flossing habits was primarily spawned by two factors: fear and vanity. I was terrified of having another excruciating dental appointment, and I would like to have a keep a full set of teeth. I've since learned that not flossing can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, on a more disgusting note: according to various dental websites, refusing to floss is akin to showering and only washing 65% of your body. This means that 35% of the food stuck to your teeth is still hanging out after brushing. Ugh.
Maybe most of you are already regular flossers, and if so, good for you! If not, though, try to incorporate this into your daily routine. It takes less than two minutes, but it can make a huge difference!