At Tracy’s birthday dinner on Saturday night, the topic of flossing came up. I have no idea where it came from, but all of a sudden I catch wind that one of my best friends at the table (I will NOT reveal which one…and, I consider each one of them my best friends so don’t even try to figure out who I’m talking about because it could be any one of them) defeatedly admitted that she never flosses.
Now, this is the sort of thing that I get all Mom-fired-up over, especially with this crew because I’m the oldest of all of us by almost 10 years. That automatically bumps me into the role of responsible-parent-figure-who-needs-to-drop-discipline-on-the-group, because if I don’t no one else will. And, that’s when things start getting out of control and all of a sudden even the ones that actually do floss, start thinking it’s not a big deal and start feeling like they don’t need to do it every day. Suddenly, they’re only flossing a few times a week. Then, it’s the few times a year when they eat some stringy steak or monster kale salad. Finally, they get to a point where they can’t even remember the last time they flossed.
Or, in the case of my friend under scrutiny here, she can “count the number of times she’s ever flossed in her life on one hand”. I think that statement might make some of us, literally, want to go all dental hygienist on her and…right then and there…start flossing her teeth at the table like it was our job. But, in reality, I think that’s pretty close to the truth for way more people out there than we are willing to even admit.
I’m obviously not a dentist…although, sometimes in the privacy of my own bathroom, I pretend I am and start really getting after it with those plastic flossers…but, here’s how I understand it: from an oral health perspective, if you had to choose between flossing and brushing, it’s “more important” to floss than brush.
Flossing is what gets all the bad stuff out from between your teeth, which is the stuff that causes cavities and general tooth decay. Brushing just cleans out the stuff lingering around in your mouth and the surface of your teeth. We “feel” cleaner when we brush than when we floss, but you’re actually contributing to the health of your teeth more by flossing than brushing.
Obviously, it’s ideal if you do both; I’m not saying you just stop brushing and just floss. I’m just trying to bring light to the importance of flossing and get people to start prioritizing it more than most people are now.
So, naturally, the moment I got home from that dinner, I went on Amazon and ordered her 3 bags of flossers to keep in her car so she can get back on track. The car, by the way, is in my opinion, the best place to make the magic happen. You can do it while you drive.
Just please don’t get in the bad habit that my husband does of leaving your used flossers all over your car.