My Dentist moment – Flossing and Eating right
I happened on an enthusiastic dentist hygienist recently, an endearing chap from Columbia. You could tell he was passionate about his job and took it seriously. He was so careful and thorough, explaining every movement. So often, I’m curious about what they’re up to exactly, what a given tool or paste is, but indisposed to ask with my mouth wide open or drugged up, my questions usually go unanswered.
Dentists and co. have always been telling us to floss. They give you a new toothbrush and floss kit with every visit. I go through the brushes but not all the floss. I’ve always been an overzealous brusher and a slacker when it comes to flossing, perhaps because I have the right sort of teeth spacing that nothing gets stuck. Flossing and coming up with nothing makes you feel like it’s no big deal and more inclined to skip a day here and there. But anyway, this guy put an end to that. I have been flossing diligently since. It wasn’t out of fear, I had a clean slate (mouth), but it was his intensity and passion – he struck a chord in me. Imagine how frustrating it is for a dentist (or dental hygienist) to meet people who don’t take their teeth as seriously as they think they should?
It reminded me of myself going on about food and what I see and know to be important. Say, when it comes to avoiding industrial ‘food’, buying real food from small producers with integrity, and simply cooking ‘real’ food day to day. How can you not find the time to eat fruit and vegetables?? When people tell me they don’t have time to go to the market or cook, but manage to keep up with facebook, hockey, baseball, soccer, sitcoms, American Idol and etc, I’m flabbergasted.
When I tell friends and home cooks how to make their life easier with Mise En Place (planning and prepping for several meals in advance) and how easy it is to eat well, and they continue to order in, buy and eat crap from the superstore, I don’t get it. Knowing how simple it is to whip up a salad with every meal, or how easy composting is and how absolutely doable and delicious it is to eat fresh and local for most of the year, I sigh as I observe these tips falling on deaf ears because they are ‘ too much trouble’.
When I point out how essential it is to favour naturally raised meats or rest your roast and you don’t do it; when you buy margarine instead of butter, those pre-peeled pseudo carrots or cheap olive oil or pre-ground pepper - not valuing and appreciating your food or farmers, it bugs me and I feel sorry for you. No time? C’mon, with all of the above, we’re talking five or ten minutes here and there. It takes seconds to peel a carrot. All to improve your life, make you happier and healthier, while better for the local economy and planet too.
All to say, I understood this guy. And so yes, I can find the time to floss. It’s for my own good down the line! Like with taking the few extra minutes to shop right and cook for one’s well-being. With food though, it’s even better, a win-win no-brainer - short term pleasure AND a long term investment!