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Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gratuitous Product Endorsement

I don't believe that products make your life better, at least not in a general sense. But there are some products - and I'm guessing this is true for everyone - that do. If Tom's of Maine stopped making their Woodspice scented deodorant, for example, I'm not sure what I would do. I don't care that it wears off after a few hours and I have to keep a stick in my desk drawer and one in my purse. It's the only kind of deodorant whose smell and texture I can tolerate, and it doesn't leave white streaks on my clothes. Still, I'm not the kind of person who's always on the lookout for a new product to solve my problems and make my dreams come true.

Recently, however, a new product - and specifically a new oral hygiene product - has come into my life, and I love it. I am grateful for it. I celebrate it daily. Let me tell you all about it.

It started a few months ago. My four-year-old son, O, who had heretofore been cooperative about letting me floss his teeth, started balking when we'd get to the back molars. The back molars, probably the most important teeth to floss between. He began by merely whining, but putting up with the flossing of these particular teeth. Then after awhile, the whining turned to crying, and soon he was clamping his mouth shut, opening for neither me nor my Old Man 'til we'd promised not to go near the back teeth. I was getting more and more distraught at the thought of those back molars going unflossed for days on end, envisioning the cavity creeps that had set up camp and were partying in the nooks and crannies of my son's back mouth recesses.

We were using the standard whimsical kiddie flossers that every floss-conscious parent I know uses. You know the ones: cute, multicolored creatures with obligingly open jaws threaded with a small piece of floss. Like so:

Roll 108 - 15

But the friendly floss creatures weren't working for us anymore. So finally I tried flossing O's teeth with conventional floss, the kind I use. Plain old Oral B Waxed Floss. And it worked, sort of. But not really. It was tremendous pain in both of our asses, metaphorically speaking, and in my hands and in his mouth, literally speaking. There's a reason the little floss creatures are so popular: little kids' mouths are little, and grown-up hands are big. There's just not enough room in there to maneuver two sets of fingers strung with a piece of floss.

Then came a recent visit to O's dentist, Dr. Pearl (not his real name, but his real name is almost as unbelievably nice and pleasant). I was complaining to Dr. Pearl's hygienist about our flossing trials, and the good doctor appeared magically at my elbow. "Try this!" he said, in a chipper voice, and handed me a Reach Access Flosser.

This little puppy has changed our lives. It is a joy to use. It slides between my sons teeth like butter, like miraculous, cavity-preventing butter. My Old Man loves it. I love it. Even O. has voiced his appreciation for it, in no uncertain terms: "Mama, the new flosser is, like, the best thing we've ever gotten!" Ours is one happy little queendom. If you've ever had flossing difficulties, let me recommend this product.

A week or two after the new and amazing flosser came into our lives, my Old Man and I ran out of floss. I went to the back-up floss in the second bathroom, but it was gone. The toiletries bag didn't seem to have any floss in it. It was weird. I almost resorted to fetching my purse floss, but this seemed like a move that was destined merely to leave me flossless out in the world at some later date. I looked at O's Reach flosser and was tempted. But O. was getting over a cold, and I didn't want to chance catching it by sharing his flosser, however wonderful it might be. Then it occurred to me that we still had a whole pack of whimsical floss creatures in our medicine cabinet! I would just use one of them. It would be sort of funny, even, to floss with a dolphin or a praying mantis.

Let me tell you something: those little things suck. Never have I had a more unpleasant and trying flossing experience. They're not made for a mouth my size, granted. But that wasn't the problem. The floss just sucked. It was thick and fibrous, getting stuck between my most floss-friendly teeth and leaving behind copious amounts of stringy refuse.

So, if you love your child, leave behind the whimsical floss creatures, or just use them as playthings, maybe to floss a teddy bear's pretend teeth. They are worthy of nothing more. Instead, get your kid the Reach Access Flosser.

(And I have no stock in the Reach Corporation, scout's honor.)


Blogger Lisa said...

I have one of those!!!
If I had only known that you didn't know, I would have shared my knowledge! They are most marvelous and groovy.

Your hunt for floss illustrates your blog title quite well. :)

Hey, did you have trouble accessing your back teeth in the early/sicky stages of your pregancy(cies)? It's a common ailment...

9:34 PM  

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