Ask Dean, The Go To Gay Guy — How Often Do I Really Need To Floss?

by Dean Hervochon on August 24, 2011

Q: “How often do you really need to floss your teeth? If you floss religiously for 2 weeks before your dentist appointment, can they still tell you are not a regular flosser?”  (Anonymous — kinda)

Clean Teeth Are Sexy!

OK, this one, I guess is a good question, but I wonder why anyone would want to “fool” their dentist into thinking that they’re a flosser when they really aren’t?

A: Flossing: According to the ADA, you should floss at least once a day…and I think you should only floss the teeth you want to keep…

You floss by cutting off about 18 inches of floss (I use Glide floss or the equivalent) , wrapping around your two index fingers and gently pushing the floss between the teeth, going up to the gum and scraping down with the floss for the top teeth, up for the bottom teeth.  Floss away from your gums, not toward them.  Roll the floss from one finger to the other so you have new floss for each tooth. The time to floss is after you’ve brushed your teeth —  you don’t want to floss particles into your gums.  Don’t forget to floss the back of the back teeth too.

Seeing Red? If you floss and you see blood when you spit, you’ve got problems.  It means that your gums are already inflamed from the bacteria you let sit there.  This bacteria eventually hardens into a substance called tartar. Unlike plaque, which can be removed by brushing, tartar only comes off at the dentist’s office.

“If you’re true to your teeth they’ll never be false to you.”  (Corny but true)

Bad-Ass Bacteria: Over time, levels of more dangerous types of bacteria build up within the tartar. You’ve basically built a nest for them if you’re not flossing. These really bad-ass bacteria produce toxins (code for: poop in your mouth), which irritates and inflames the gums.  This means that you’ve probably got gingivitis which leads to periodontal disease that kills off your teeth and the bone in your jaw. Nice!

Get in the Habit:  It only takes 30 days to make anything a habit and if you can do it two weeks before you go to the dentist, try to do it for 30 days beforehand. Don’t forget about that nasty bacteria that you’re letting crap in your mouth — will that motivate you?  Also, who wants to kiss a mouth that is full of bacteria and pus?  (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth!)  We’ve all smelled the rot of gingivitis on someone’s breath — don’t let that person be you.  Gingivitis is definitely NOT Gay Guy Approved!

Great Way To "Semi-Floss"

Get The Pick In Your Car:  You will love this.  Buy: Doctor’s Brushpicks and keep them in your car, at your desk anywhere you’re stationary — you are not allowed to walk around and floss your teeth!  No one want to see that! – but I digress. These picks are FANTASTIC!  They sell them at Walgreens or you can buy them online. You just push the plastic “hairy” end through your teeth and work it back and forth.  It gives you a “mini-floss” every time you use them and it feels great on your gums.  They are a lot better than not doing anything. Caution: These are addictive.

Use a Waterpik?  I have a friend who uses her Waterpik everyday. She doesn’t floss. She says she’s gotten an A+ at the dentist, for 20 years. Not saying you should stop flossing, but that Waterpik is a great appliance to add to your dental hygiene regimen. I have one, love it.

Awesome Gift! SafeDispense Floss Dispenser

Here’s a Gay Guy Approved Gift! This is one of my favorite gifts to give — especially if the person getting the gift has everything!  It is a medical-grade floss dispenser, the kind your dentist uses:  SafeDispense Floss Dispenser   It is heavy, beautiful and useful.

—Let me know what you think? Please post on the BLOG, not on Facebook.   Thanks!


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Spaulding August 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hi Dean,

Having worked in the dental field for about 15 years I have seen my share of BAD teeth and gums due to lack of brushing and flossing. I floss once a day before bed which I believe is the best time. Love the gift idea!


Helen August 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I guess I’m the “friend” –if you add mouthwash to your waterpik it will really help also, but don’t forget to run some fresh water through afterwards–keeps the old waterpik running smoothly for years!


Dean Hervochon August 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Helen! Actually, it was ANOTHER Helen who told me that! It’s kinda funny that you both have the same name…and the same healthy mouth!
Thanks for the comment, keep ’em coming! Love you, Dean (Helen is my sister!)


SR June 10, 2014 at 8:57 am

Thanks for mentioning the waterpik! I’ve seen/heard of them but never knew they can replace flossing. I HATE to floss and dread hearing my dentist tell me every year I need to do a better job flossing following that by showing me the correct way to floss. Yikes, embarrassing!


Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: