Friday, February 3, 2012

Flossing Philosophy

So I read an article yesterday that said I would probably live longer if I flossed my teeth every day—something about the bacteria getting in the bloodstream, triggering inflammation in the arteries, predisposing one to heart disease. Actually it said I would probably live the longest if I flossed twice a day.

I don’t know, guys, I really hate flossing.  So…I’m weighing my options here.  In my younger years I was a heavy-duty, never-miss-a- night flosser because I had no life and because I was very militant about certain things even if I hated them.  But, then I met Prince Charming and stopped being so anal about everything.  And I stopped flossing (sure, blame it on poor Brent).  Now I still floss occasionally, like if we eat corn on the cob, or popcorn, or if I have apple peel caught in my teeth, but I do not floss regularly (I may or may not have lied to my dentist about this.  Come on, he didn’t specify what he meant by “regularly”).  And I never floss twice a day…but I’m considering it.  Are years gained at 81 worth splatters on my mirror now?  And the time I spend cleaning the mirrors?  Am I OK with cutting off the circulation in the wrapping hand twice a day every day just to gain a few more hours?  Am I up to the twice daily frustration of running out of floss before I run out of teeth, or would I rather live so long that I lose my teeth?  Hmmm…this would eliminate the flossing activity.  Is the pain of sticking both of my hands in my mouth morning and night worth a few more golden years with lots more aches and pains? Is picking up that stray piece of floss that missed the garbage can equal to watching my grandchildren have grandchildren?  Food for thought ( a little pun there, in case you missed it).

I don’t know.  The jury is still out on this one.  Am I going for quality of life now with mediocre dental health?  Or am I aiming for most years lived with a fantastic smile and fresh breath to boot?

Well, I tell ya, here’s what I think I’ll do;  I’ll floss my teeth tonight—twice, to make up for my morning laziness, and if I wake up feeling younger tomorrow and the next day, and if it seems like my Mary Kay anti-aging products are really kicking in, I will attribute it to my newly acquired habit.  And then maybe I will stop running and start flossing four times a day because I bet the more you floss the younger you get.  Look at Betty White.  She’s looking pretty good for 89 years old—she’s probably a die-hard flosser.

Or maybe I’ll just forget I ever read the article and find some other study that says eating handfuls of chocolate chips every day will make me into a centenarian.*

What will you do?  Your life is waiting.


*A Centenarian is a person that lives to 100—probably because they flossed at least twice a day.  It is not a Centurion which is an officer of the Roman army who commanded 100 men, and it is not a Centaur, which is a Greek mythological creature which is part man part horse.  I would never aspire to either of the latter two.


  1. i am always very skeptical of studies like this. how do they know if flossing CAUSES longer life, or if it's maybe just that the kind of person who flosses twice a day also makes good life choices? like eating well (which you do) and exercising (which you do) and practicing overall hygeine and home care (which you do)? so...just consider yourself the KIND of person who WOULD floss twice a day, as indicated by the rest of your life, and skip the guilt. that's what i do.

    (go figure, i probably have gingivitis.)

  2. Lol... I'm on the same page as Paige :)