Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tooth Fairy Flower

Today is the day to come clean, to fess up, to no longer keep this dirty little secret.  Well, maybe it’s only dinge.   You decide.  Deep breath, here I go:  in the very recent past I’ve not practiced excellent  oral hygiene. 

There.  I said it.  Right out loud before God and all of you.  Understand, I’ve brushed my teeth all these years pretty faithfully twice a day.  I’ve used my little jet-spray-water-between-the-teeth-and-on-the-gums tool.  OK.  Maybe only three times a week or a little less.  And I’ve flossed a couple of times a week.  All right—if I’m really tell the truth—there have been weeks on end when I’ve not flossed at all.

In a previous blog I touted the virtues of doing something better if faced with a task that one doesn’t really relish.  In the spirit of “practice what you preach,” I’ve begun to apply the principle of “do it better” to my mouth care.

Instead of rushing the brushing so I can move on to the Things I get to do today, I’ve created a very short morning hygiene ritual (6 minutes--I timed it) to honor the years of service my teeth have given me and, equally important, to perpetuate their future years of service.  I want us all to be in great shape to the very end.

Deep, deep breath.  Final part of the secret and this one is dirty.  I’ve never flossed under my bridge.  Even the threat of having to have it replaced—a painful and expensive ordeal—did not motivate me.  I disliked getting out the little loops, putting the floss in, and then putting it in again because it had fallen out, etc.  so I glossed over the guilt and went out to plark*.

Last week I discovered some bridge-flossing loops that looked like plastic darning needles.  They appealed immediately to my sewing instincts.  Tried one.  Liked the ease, but thought of having to add that to my ritual and realized I probably wouldn’t.  But what if I. . .  The lights came on, the flower sprouted.  Minutes later my floss flower was in full bloom and ready for nearly a week’s worth of bridge maintenance.

Little floss stamens, newly sprung from a salt center.

My mouth is happier than it has ever been before, and the weight of guilt over such a small thing has floated up and away like the seed from this tooth-fairy flower.

*You remember what that means.  See post of 9/20/11.

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