The ADA recomends that we clean between our teeth with floss every day. I’ve never kept up with that schedule – I haven’t even come close – and I don’t think anyone else real or fictional does it either. I think at maximum I floss once per week, and on average it’s probably once every few weeks (back when I had braces I flossed less than once per month).
At the same time, in my life I have only had two cavities, and I attribute those to my moving to a city that does not add fluoride to the water supply. Besides that little hiccup, my dentist always tells me that I do a great job cleaning my teeth and to keep up what I’ve been doing. I do brush 2-3 times a day.
I like my teeth, and I don’t want to have them replaced. They don’t grow back, it stinks.
So before I moved to New Mexico, I implemented one of my short excercises in self-discipline. I committed to flossing once every day for seven days.
The first day I had the normal pain from not flossing for a few days. The second day wasn’t so bad either. By the third and fourth days, I really wanted to stop. The flossing didn’t look like it was doing anything catostrophic — there was no blood — but it hurt quite a bit. And the pain didn’t stop after I flossed. It lasted all day… It wasn’t excruciating, rather it was annoying.
I made it through the seven days, and I was glad to be done with it when I stopped. I decided to go back to my weekly flossing routine.
The one benefit I did notice was that now when I do floss it doesn’t hurt at all. I think I worked out some of the “kinks” in my gumline.