Oh my bleedin’ gums

Derrick Knutson

Derrick Knutson

I’ve never been much of a New Year’s resolution type of guy, but this year I think I might make an attempt.

My dentist might thank me.

Recently, I found a small container of dental floss in the oddest place—the drawer in my bathroom at home where I keep my toothpaste.

I eyed it for a while, contemplating if those tiny spaces in-between my teeth really needed to be cleaned.

I have one of those fancy electric toothbrushes and I use 100-proof mouthwash everyday that gives a person a buzz by just smelling it, so I tend to forgo the floss.

However, upon finding the unused floss, I decided to give it a whirl.

Flossing is—or so I’ve heard—one of those hygiene activities that is allegedly supposed to be good for a person.

I slid the floss between a central incisor and a lateral incisor (knowing names of teeth is some fairly useless information I keep in my brain for whatever reason), and proceeded to gash the heck out of my gums.

After I was finished, it looked like I’d been kicked in the mouth numerous times during a particularly violent ultimate fighting match.

I could have blamed the bleeding on defective floss, but I knew the truth: my gums were overly sensitive because my teeth hadn’t been flossed since the last time I went to the dentist.

When was that? Err … July?

Hopefully nobody at my dental clinic reads this column.

When I began thinking about why I don’t floss on a daily basis, I came up with some fairly lame excuses.

Excuse No. 1: I’m too tired to perform this task most of the time.

Taking the three minutes before bed or when I get up in the morning to floss takes a whole lot of energy, ya know?

Excuse No. 2: I’ve never had a cavity, so why start flossing?

This excuse also doesn’t pass muster. Preventative maintenance is a good thing. That reminds me, I should change the oil in my car because it’s like 3,000 miles past the point where it should be changed.

So I guess I’ll make a New Year’s resolution this year and try to stick to flossing so I don’t die of blood loss if, on a whim, I try flossing only once or twice a year.

I also think it might be good to build up some tough skin in-between by teeth before the next time I go to the dentist for an annual checkup.

I’ve had some dental hygienists who clean my teeth treat floss like it’s garrote wire and use that little, metal pick thing (my knowledge of dentistry only goes as far as knowing the names of teeth) like it’s the Grim Reaper’s scythe.

I come out of that reclining chair at the dentist’s office literally gushing blood.

Actually, come to think of it, some gentle flossing on my part probably won’t protect against that onslaught of dental devises.

Maybe I really shouldn’t bother with flossing next year.

New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken, right?

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