Finally: I escaped the flossing lecture!

24 Apr

If you’ve read Pithy for more than six months, you know that I don’t floss regulary (gasp!) and have devised a complex series of lies to help me escape The Lecture from my hygienist. So complex, in fact, that I couldn’t even keep track of them during one of my recent visits. I think you’ve officially reached a new low when you forget your own flossing lies.

Last week, I decided to take a different tact and boldly own it. “Floss?” I imagined myself asking, incredulously. “Hell no, I don’t floss! Flossing is for suckers.” And then I’d laugh like Nelson from the Simpsons until the hygienist became so confused she changed the topic.

At least, that’s how I envisioned it going. Turns out, Judy had the day off, so it was a stranger tilting me back in the chair, peering at me from behind a surgeon’s mask and magnifying glasses. After an initial inspection of my mouth she said, “Looks great! I’m guessing you’re a flosser?”

For a split second, I considered embracing that identity – giving a cocky nod and saying, “Floss? Give me a spool and I can practically weave you shoelace, I’m so skilled a threading shit between my teeth.”

Instead, I came clean. “Not so much,” I managed, right before she popped her hands in my mouth and began scratching around with a pick. It was a good thing I didn’t lie, because almost immediately she said, “I take it back. You’re bleeding like a stuck pig. Definitely not a flosser.”

But you know what was awesome? Instead of lecturing me, she said, “I hate flossing too. In fact, I didn’t do it until a few years after I even became a hygienist because it felt hypocritical to tell other people to do something I wasn’t doing.”

Mad props for being honest. And then she said, “If you’re not going to do it, at least let me show you how you can brush your teeth to kind of fake it.” AWESOME. Where has this woman been all my life?

At the end of the visit, my dentist ducked his head in for a quick peek at my mouth. For the first time in ages, he didn’t mistake me for another patient and ask how “the girls” are doing, sparing us both the awkward moment where I look at my breasts and say, “Just great!”

Instead, he zipped around my mouth with a pick and said, “Gorgeous. Really healthy teeth.”

I was about to double-check my surroundings, to make sure I hadn’t somehow turned up at Bizarro-Dentist, where everyone is awesome and complimentary, when Dr. O offered his own brand of reassurance, by offering up the same stale joke he’s cracked at every appointment in the last nine years:

Tapping my two front bunny-teeth, he quipped, “Looks good. We’ll just need to pull these the next time you’re in.”

Fine. I’ll take your bad humor any day, if it means I’m spared a lecture.

10 Responses to “Finally: I escaped the flossing lecture!”

  1. dianeskitchentable April 24, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    I finally changed dentists cause I couldn’t stand the sanctimonious “hygienist” in my mouth. There she is giving ME a lecture on hygiene while she’s typing notes tooth by tooth on her computer. She may have gloves on, but she’s got my spit & my blood all over that keyboard. I’m thinking… and now you’re in my mouth? Who exactly was before me?
    What I found is you can fake it by flossing about a week before & they think your great & give you a Super Flossy Badge (might not want to wear that one out of the dentist’s office though).

  2. thinkingdj April 24, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    I seriously love flossing. It feels sooooo goooood!

    • pithypants April 24, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      You, my friend, are weird. Sorry. Someone had to say it.

  3. thesinglecell April 24, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I’m sort of fascinated by dental obsessives. People who bring a toothbrush to work so they can brush after eating like it’s some sort of compulsion. Don’t they know it’s actually bad to brush too much? I have a boss who walks around while flossing his teeth. It’s disgusting. I floss occasionally. By which I mean approximately once every nine and a half days. Then again, though I thankfully seem to have good teeth, I never go to the dentist and therefore will doubtless need at least three root canals (roots canal? Is it like courts-martial and attorneys general?) when I do go again. What a lecture THAT’ll be. Sigh.

  4. Chrystal April 24, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    OK – now you need to share the secret! How does one brush one’s teeth to “kind of” fake the flossing?

  5. Karen in East Texas April 24, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    OK, you can’t leave us hanging … how do you brush to fake it? C’mom, share.

    BTW I have bunny teeth too.

  6. Danielle April 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Your pie chart is SPOT on. I’m like that ALL the time. Only around the visit time. I don’t like flossing either, it’s a pain. Your hygienist sounds fantastic!

  7. melissasharples April 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    So, have you given up on making ‘corn’ a dirty word?

  8. funnyortragic April 25, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    What I don’t understand is when they try to hold a conversation while they are scraping away. One lady even pauses to hear my grunt of assent or not. Makes an unpleasant process even more annoying.


  1. Flossing: The Saga Continues « pithypants - November 21, 2012

    […] a liar when I visit the dentist. (Not ringing any bells? Check out this post. Or this one. Or even this one. Maybe the better term is “chronic […]

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