For most of my life I’ve been perplexed and upset by the high cost of dental floss. I simply can’t understand how a roll of nylon in a small plastic box can cost almost 5 bucks when an item of clothing at Ross can be purchased for the same price? A bowling shirt and a roll of floss are made of the same material, yet if the price of the nylon shirt were based on the retail cost of dental floss, I estimate shirt would have a value over $1,000. In college I lived on a “limited” budget. Sometimes, I was lucky to have enough money to eat so I didn’t always have the option to purchase what I considered were “luxury items” like dental floss. So, when I ran out of floss I’d use the thread my mother put in an emergency sewing kit she provided in a box of necessary stuff that she loaded in the car before I drove off for college. Apparently, she thought I would learn how to sew a button back on in chemistry class. Certainly, mom was not aware of all the uses of a standard stapler. Quite honestly, during 8 years of undergraduate and dental studies, loose buttons never were an issue. I would have much preferred that she sent me off with a few extra rolls of dental floss because cotton thread is a nightmare when it is used in lieu of floss. I’m sure you know what I mean if you’ve ever tried it. You start out thinking you are MacGyver, but quickly start to feel and act like Kramer as the thread breaks and gets stuck between your teeth. The sensation of a ball of thread between your teeth, while not painful, is so irritating it makes your toes curl. Then, in a panic, you desperately attempt to dislodge the mound of thread between your teeth with what else, more thread, so even more gets stuck. This was the beginning of my life long “issue” with the high cost of dental floss.

I wanted to blog about the undeniable importance of excellent oral hygiene. We now know that people who don’t brush and floss well potentially have a 80% or greater chance of heart attack and stroke. I was tossing around some ideas in my head while driving home from work the other day when I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Think education is expensive? Try ignorance.” Immediately, an idea for a new bumper sticker occurred to me. It would read: “Think floss is expensive? Have you priced a heart bypass lately???

Information about the very serious effects of gum disease on your overall health can be found at http://www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.top2.htm

– Bruce Keller, DDS