A friend told me in high school “don’t floss all your teeth, only the ones you want to keep.” I have followed that advice over the years. I think the Americans who are reading this can remember going to the dentist and them asking “Do you floss?” with a tad bit of contempt because I think many exaggerate their dental hygiene routine. I never had to. But then at the end of each cleaning, the dentist would finish up with a good old flossing. Not in France. My husband flosses a few times a year and will always have bleeding gums after and say “this is why I don’t floss” not realizing that his gums are bleeding because he doesn’t floss. I have now been to two different dentists in Paris and neither asked if I flossed nor did they finish with a flossing. Though one charged me 121€ for a special fluoride treatment which was not covered by neither my basic nor supplemental insurance. Still, no flossing.
Even finding a selection of floss in Paris is challenging. I think the Americans can visualize the multitude of floss options at the pharmacy. Waxed, glide, classic, mint, flossing sticks. But not here in France, I found two. The last time I was in the U.S. I stocked up on my J&J waxed mint floss in the jumbo container. Visine as well does not exist in France that I can find. It’s bizarre assimilating into a new culture and learning about what is considered important. I still floss daily and believe it is making a difference with my health and in the end, that’s what matters.