The hygienist pulled a file from a tray that gleamed the silver shine of something sterile and applied it--with quick, cursory strokes--to the tip of the dental pick. When she took the instrument to my teeth, sweeping the metal just under my gums, my eyes shut into a grimace that pulled my cheeks with it. I widened my jaw to counteract the scrunch.
As she worked on my teeth and more than likely rehearsed the ol' "perhaps it's time you acknowledged the existence of dental floss" lecture in her head, I was left to my own mental devices. This is what I thought as I lay there with a bloddy, gaping maw: I would rather get weekly pap smears than go through this crap twice a year.
If flossing is the answer, it's not an easy one. I mean, do I even know anyone who flosses? The Partner doesn't. My parents don't. I saw a lot of things amidst the communal indiscretion of dorm living during my college days, but flossing wasn't among them. I can only come up with one friend that I know for sure used to floss on a daily basis (while watching television, no less)--but she is now the mother of infant triplets and I have to wonder how she could possibly find a spare minute, let alone the requisite amount of energy, to suck on tooth string once every 24 hours. If I'm wrong, I hope she'll comment below. I may very well be wrong. The girl is shockingly disciplined.
When the dentist came in to poke around the hygienist's handiwork in an effort to at least make it look like he was doing something to earn the $300/hour being billed to my insurance company, he told me I really work my jaw like a pro. Okay, he didn't use those exact words, but I'm sure I'm not flattering myself too much. What he said was, "you're the ideal patient, the way you hold your mouth open so wide."
That's not what he tells all the girls, is it?