When your dental floss gets stuck

Dental floss is a great invention and so are those little plastic sticks we’re supposed to use to scrape plaque from our teeth. But like many inventions that didn’t make it off the inventor’s floor, floss and sticks also have kinks that occasionally must be dealt with. We’ve all experienced the frustration of floss shredding while we use it. Either that or it’s so thick it refuses to release once we’ve managed to get it between our teeth. Some dental floss has the consistency of thread and other brands are more like binder twine. Lucky is the person who happens upon one that does the job without creating more trouble than it’s worth.

I’ll move on to plastic sticks. I’ve yet to find one that isn’t the equivalent of a miniature sword. One end has the potential of drawing blood if we’re not careful. The opposite end has a tendency to get stuck between our teeth. Just the other evening I had to reach for scissors to cut through the stick that was stuck in my mouth. Luckily, my oral cavity is large enough to accommodate both stick and scissors. I opened wide and snipped the stuck stick. Perhaps you’ve never had the opportunity to perform this minor procedure. Consider yourself fortunate.

Years ago I used a toothbrush that came with a little rubber point at the end of the handle. I asked Google if it had a name and discovered such low-tech instruments are still available and called “gum stimulators.” It never occurred to me that gums needed stimulating, but I suppose such a maneuver helps prevent periodontal disease. Check out the Sunstar GUM 407. For less than $4 this rubber tipped, latex-free miracle plastic toothbrush with the amazing little rubber tip is the perfect “stimulator for gingival massage” or so says their ad. Little did I know the toothbrush I used as a kid was capable of such a marvelous feat.

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