For a lot of my young adult life, I lived with teeth shame. Not that they were crooked, not that they were dirty, not that there is anything wrong with that. I instead had that Millennial Who Doesn’t Have Dental Insurance shame associated with not seeing a dentist for way too long.
Specifically, I jumped out of college at 22 and went dentist-less until I was 27-ish. That is a shameful, insurance based claim that makes your teeth feel like rotting apples growing in your mouth. You feel terrible about yourself and you feel like an encounter with a dental professional will end with them scraping scalers down your back to teach you a lesson.
That wasn’t the case. When I finally got insurance and visited a good dentist, my view on my teeth changed: I had someone who understood my stress in the matter and leveled with me regarding my teeth. She said they weren’t bad at all and that I had kept them up quite well. She did put me on a regiment of quarterly visits to handle some widsom teeth related issues but other than that she was pleased.
The one area she had issue with was my lack of flossing. Truth be told, I never flossed. Sure, some are reporting that you don’t need to floss but I felt deeply guilty about my inability to thread some string between my teeth. The dental practice never stuck to me and I knew that was the reason for some bad teeth feelings and general oral blehliness.
This is where my dentist changed my life: she introduced me to the an “access” flossing tool specifically the Reach Access Flosser. This is basically a deformed toothbrush whose head isn’t a brush but a suspended taut little floss string that you can pop in and out of your mouth, between teeth, coaxing out any foodie bits that want to chill in a bacteria bath between your teeth.
I was skeptical. I hate flossing. I have floss shame that turns into teeth shame that turns into a general feeling of being dirty and terrible and like a self-careless disaster. Yet this Flosser hurdled over all fears to make flossing fucking easy. Here’s the thing: it makes flossing fast and easy which stringy normal floss is anything but. You drool, you have to stick your fucking fingers back to your uvula, your mouth-face area becomes matted like a baby and you are just generally not cute. The flosser? It bypasses all that by discreetly reaching back in your mouth and plucking shit up. A five minute process now takes thirty seconds. As the doctor says above, you can “literally be texting” as you floss.
An added bonus: sometimes the flosser tickles the back of your throat and you gag, as if giving a small appliance a blow job. The little things in life, people.
The product is also fucking cheap in price and high on quality. You can get a flosser with disposable heads for $15 and the heads can be used for up to a week each, if not more. Yes, you should change them more often; however, if you use them until they snap, you get an added value beyond any of those stupid fucking wasteful plastic disposable flossers. The Access Flosser is the opposite of those: there is minimal waste outside of the heads, they don’t bend and fold between your teeth, and you actually are flossing instead of suggesting to your teeth that you are trying.
Atop of the confidence factor this tool gives me, I generally enjoy dental care now. I feel adult, like I’m not being followed by a cloud of mouth funk. I’m able to talk, happily, about my teeth. I sometimes smile and show off what’s behind my lips. A good dentist and good dental tools sound antithetical to happy living. But, once you find them, you will feel much better about yourself. This stupid, silly, simple flossing tool did the trick for me and I cannot recommend it more.