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Flossing Will Change Your Life

October 8, 2009

Embarrassing to admit but true: I did not go to the dentist from the time I was 18 until I was 26. And it turns out I didn’t have a single cavity after all that time. BOO YEAH!

I was always good at brushing my teeth, but really terrible about flossing. Until I realized I was going to go to the dentist after eight years without a check up, that is.

Flossing kinda hurt. Sometimes I didn’t remember to do it. I was mostly just flossing because I didn’t want to get in trouble. Fear based flossing, I called it.

As I may have mentioned before, when I finally did get to the dentist I was perfectly fine (BOO YEAH!), but the cleaning made my gums ache for hours after it was over. I was told I needed to floss every day and had the pain to prove it!

Sigh. I kept trying to remember. I kept telling myself I was the kind of person who flossed. And, slowly, over a month or two, it truly became a habit.

Oddly enough, after I started flossing regularly I met a man who flossed regularly. We’re still standing next to each other flossing three years later. I’m sorry (but in hindsight not surprised) to report that my non-flossing self had only attracted other mates who did not care about their dental hygiene. Maybe that’s why they never worked out?

Huh. So, after I picked up a good habit, made it part of my routine, and stopped thinking about it, I met someone else who did the same thing. Interesting.

However, climbing the floss mountain (ewww…I hope it’s not used floss) was not easy. Even after I started flossing on a regular basis, I still wasn’t always doing that great of a job. Mostly because I was lazy about it. I may have been standing there doing it, but I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.

At one point my mom told me that I should watch TV while I flossed, because I wouldn’t mind taking the extra time to do it well. Like any child raised on microwaves and MTV, I ignored her. (She did not approve of the MTV; don’t judge.)

Well, I ignored her until, once again, I went to the dentist and learned I could be doing a better job. I shouldn’t just shove the floss up there and pull it out, I should be wrapping it around each tooth in both directions to do a really good job of cleaning stuff out.

Sigh Again. Long (meandering, sort of boring) story short it took me three years to finally get my act together and floss properly. I made it a habit pretty quickly, but wasn’t putting my heart and soul into it. I made the decision to listen to my mom’s advice and the technical advice from my dentist so that I would do the job right.

Why am I writing about this? I’m changing careers: I’m going to become a dental hygienist.

Ew, I just threw up a little in my mouth. I am actually not changing professions. I’m making a point. (A long, meandering, sort of boring one.)

It takes a long time for us humans to get our s**t together.

It doesn’t matter if we know it’s good for us, could potentially add 12 years to our life, save us from a horrible disease, make us happier, give us more satisfaction. If something isn’t easy or fun, we’re not so great at sticking to it.

I’m bringing this up because I have been trying for quite a while to regularly meditate. And to change my thought patterns. And to attract abundance. Exercise is regular for me. Flossing and going for regular dental check ups are standard practice for me. Cooking healthy meals at home, also a habit.

When I don’t immediately (as in yesterday, 10:00 am) pick these habits up and get them into my repertoire, I get upset. Upset at myself, the world, the human race. I want results now. I want all of my thoughts to be happy this second. I want to be wildly successful in my business last week. I want to be rich beyond my wack-a-doodliest dreams back when I turned 13. And since none of that stuff is yet true, I regularly get on the crazy coaster and freak out that nothing I’m doing to improve my life is working.

Which is a load of that stuff I used to shovel out of horse stalls on Saturday mornings in exchange for a free riding lesson once a week.

That’s it. That’s all I wanted to say. To encapsulate:

  • Flossing is good for you
  • Forming new habits, both mental and phsyical, takes time
  • Nope, more time than that
  • Relaxing into life and going with the flow is the only way to enjoy it
  • Can you remind me of that tomorrow?

Be Joyful!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2009 2:52 pm

    Well, story of my life! The flossing I mean šŸ™‚ I NEVER flossed before, except about a week before going to the dentist, because my teeth were always great. And then last time the dentist was like “hmm… you don’t floss much do you? There’s a lot of plaque” And I was like OMG my teeth aren’t perfect???? And since then I’ve been flossing pretty much every day. I actually hate to brush my teeth before going to bed (weird and eww, I know) but I’m trying really hard to make them both habits!

  2. October 13, 2009 2:11 pm

    You just reminded me that I really, really need to floss more often!

  3. April 8, 2010 8:37 pm

    Yes, if you can turn flossing (or any new habit) into a spiritual practice, you’re more likely to keep it up.

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