Joanne I. Sheehan, RDH
We usually ask patients, "Do you use dental floss?" The most frequent answer is, "Yes, but not as much as I should." Another common response is, "Yes, when something gets stuck." Some patients think of flossing as a method of physical and psychological torture and won`t even accept floss as a free gift! Once in a while, however, you may come across a non-flosser who has been secretly using your complimentary floss for other things during the past decade or so since becoming your patient.
Questioning my patients has helped me in compiling a list of innovative and creative ideas for this stringy stuff. Some ideas I have tried myself. Others, I have serious reservations about. None will do your patient`s teeth any good. But maybe, if you give your patients a copy of this list, they`ll at least take the floss home. And, who knows, maybe one day they just might use it on their teeth ... when something gets stuck.
Use/Type of floss
1. Tying up tomato plants / Ultrafloss
2. Rendering Alaskan Dungeonous Crabs harmless / Regular, waxed
3. Hanging Christmas ornaments / Fine, shred-resistant
4. Slicing cheese / Fine
5. Wrapping pork roast / Mint tape, unwaxed
6. Tying bait inside squirrel trap / Regular, cinnamon,waxed
7. Making mobiles, windchimes / Fine, shred-resistant
8. Walk a very small dog / Dental tape, woven
9. Tripping siblings / Regular, baking soda, waxed
10. Bikini for vacation on Riviera / Fine?!
11. Sewing on shirt buttons / Fine
12. Sewing on coat buttons / Regular, woven
13. Stringing on archery bows / Regular, waxed
14. Playing cat`s cradle / Fine
15. Playing with cat / Regular
16. Hanging Beetle Bags from bushes - Regular, waxed
17. Fishing line for goldfish / Fine
18. Fishing line for striped bass / Heavy duty, waxed
19. Fly-tying / Fine
20. Tie-dying / Regular
21. Replacing guitar strings / Regular
22. Trussing up turkey / Regular, grape, unwaxed
23. Slicing cinnamon bun dough / Regular, cinnamon, unwaxed
24. Displaying Christmas cards, stars / Dental tape, unwaxed
25. Stringing popcorn for tree / Regular, cinnamon, unwaxed
26. Model ship-building - Regular and fine, waxed and unwaxed
27. Tying packages / Regular, unwaxed
28. Sewing covers on motorcycle seats / Regular, waxed
29. Typing electric wire bundles / Regular, unwaxed!
30. Suspending Starship Enterprise - Regular or fine in hyperspace from ceiling
Remember, never use floss for: bungee-jumping, baby swings, tug-o-war games, or acts of aggression.