I’ve never been a flosser, until I ended up with a bout of bad breath after getting a new bridge for a molar. Then, and only then, did I break out the floss… See, bad breath is a funny thing. Many people will cite halitosis as the cause but in the end, folks, it’s food decomposing between our teeth that causes the offending issue. Looked at that way, flossing makes sense every now and again.
It also makes sense that not having rotting food in between your teeth will be better for them. Even so, we’ve all heard in the last few days that science is showing that either A) We’re not doing it right or B) It doesn’t help tooth health.
The last time I was at the dentist, as has been the case with every dentist I’ve ever seen, we had the same old floss discussion – with one exception: He said, right at the end of his little sermon, “Just do me a favor and only floss around the teeth you want to keep”.
Normally that kind of silly tactic won’t work with me but going back to that bridge, the dentist recommended that I use what they call “super floss” to clean out everything under the fake tooth, between the bottom of the bridge and my gum. I treated that advice the same I did regular flossing. Three weeks later my breath started to stink. Worse, I could taste the stink. Another week later and I started developing sores on that side of my mouth. I was actually out hunting/camping when the sores started popping up so on a trip into town I picked up a pack of super floss and got to work.
The sores started healing up and the bad breath improved immensely, and by the next day. The important point is that was the background through which I filtered that comment about flossing only around the teeth I want to keep. It seems to me, if food trapped under my bridge was having such a profound affect on my mouth, it made sense that flossing in between my teeth must matter a little more than I gave credit too, even though I brushed regularly.
Now, that’s an extreme example but the truth is I’ve got a much happier mouth now that I’m flossing regularly (four days a week).
To sum this up, I don’t care what bureaucrats say about whether or not I should floss. My personal experience goes a long way next to a pencil pushing bureaucrat (who probably has bad breath). As is often said of the bureaucracy, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” Only in this case, it’s not my eyes, it’s my mouth.
I was once a non-flosser. In my experience, I was mistaken.