I am very conscientious about caring for my teeth. I even use both an electric AND manual toothbrush. But I read a publication about flossing which resulted in a very PAINFUL experience.
The author said that flossing was a bummer of an idea. According to him, the floss makes tiny cuts in our gums and bacteria can get in those cuts and cause us problems. It was persuasive and unfortunately I paid attention to the author and decided to quit flossing.
I’m not sure how long it took since I didn’t record the date I started this ridiculous experiment, but one day I realized how painful my mouth was. My upper left, bottom left and bottom right ached and hurt. The left side was so painful that I ate only on the right side.
Of course I knew the ‘why’, so I started flossing and oil pulling. That first floss was truly excruciating in one particular spot. My gums bled copiously and actually using the floss was awful: blood and even little bits of tissue came from my poor mouth. My gums were incredibly sore for days, of course, but over time it got better. Now my gums and are tough and healthy.
I’m guessing that flossing is like exercising. When we exercise our muscles we actually make little tears in them and when they regrow they’re stronger. We probably do make little tears in our gums as well, but the regrowth and repair makes them strong.
So learn from my experience and floss every single day. Your gums and teeth will thank you.
PS: And an update on oil pulling … we have several articles about oil pulling on this blog. Classic oil pulling recommends specific oils, like sunflower, and there is a coconut oil mania in America right now with coconut oil recommended for everything. I don’t like coconut oil for oil pulling because it’s a solid and needs time to soften into a useful liquid. But I’ve also learned that requiring specific, often more expensive, oils is pointless. Now I just buy the cheapest vegetable oil in the market and it works just fine.