I flossed, I bled, I flossed some more

Hi Sarah and Vessie!

Thank you for showing deep concern about the fact that I have never flossed . . . in my life. Except for, like, twice.

My gums always bleed, and then I start looking either like a vampire or a zombie . . . or a vampire-zombie combo pack (depending on how messy my hair is at the time).

But on my trip to Texas last month, I was convicted by you to commit to a lifetime of flossing.

Plus you pointed out that removing plaque would minimize the bad breath. And let me tell you, the ambiance inside my mouth first thing in the morning is not unlike that of a male powder room . . . in a busy train station. It smells very bad, which my husband is too nice to point out . . . except for that one time that he pointed it out.

Here are the visual records of 1 week of flossing. You’ll just have to trust that I didn’t change my outfit 5 times and simply do a flossing photo shoot. Because I’m an honest girl, really! Plus, my husband (behind the camera) would never participate in some kind of deceitful blog post designed to make you think I had changed my life when I really hadn’t.


Do you think the bleeding gums issue could not only make me look like a vampire but actually attract vampires that are in the nearby area? I mean, I hope you considered my safety when recommending this new habit.

Though I think for a vampire to show up you have to be wearing a really pretty nightgown, and since I favor the more derelict look these days I may already have my ticket to safety.

Also, just to preemptively take care of this issue–I am not naked in the above picture. My hair and arms just happened to be covering the straps of my camis. I would have put up another shot, but that was the only one we took.

Let’s move on and not discuss it further.


For a few wild minutes I thought I couldn’t get the floss back out from between my teeth. I tugged and tugged, swiveled and twisted the string, briefly thought about crying like a little girl, but then I beefed up and told that piece of string to dislodge itself from my gums OR ELSE.

Oh, and I didn’t bother to set my white balance. Hence the blue and green tone overload.


I stole my husband’s fuzzy blue robe. Yes, I gave it to him as a Christmas present years ago, but the way I see it, we are One, so me wearing it is kind of like him wearing it.

White balance in camera has switched to the red/magenta spectrum.


Flossing progress made: bleeding is now almost nonexistent. I’m kind of sad no vampires showed up after all.


“Wait, honey, I looked really goofy in that picture! Let me try for the fake smile! Snap another!” I cried. However, the results weren’t good enough for me to share.

I realized with a tear in my eye that this was the end of a fantastic, memorable week of flossing. Close friendships had been forged that would forever change the horizons of my dental hygiene. My life would never be the same.



P.S. Um, I forgot to check . . . with this whole flossing things, do I get the weekends off?

P.P.S. ‘Cause I just kind of assumed.

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27 Responses to I flossed, I bled, I flossed some more

  1. As an ex-dental assistant/oral surgery assistant, I am so proud of you, Jenna! Keep flossing!

  2. Sherri says:

    I am obsessed with my teeth – and brushing and whitening and flossing and checking my fillings, etc. Anyway – not that I want you to be like that, but… you do need to floss. I even wrestle my little ones to the ground on occasion and floss their teeth (3 and 4 year olds are kinda reluctant to be “flossed” :-).

    • Jenna says:

      The thought of your wrestling your kids down to floss their teeth is so funny! Though I’m sure in the moment it can be kind of frustrating for you, heh heh. My mother-in-law is a dentist, so she’s been a proponent of flossing for years. I’m glad I finally took the step I knew I should’ve taken all along. =)

  3. crnnoel says:

    Thank you for reminding us all to floss ;)
    You are a brave woman posting pictures of flossing – love the blue robe!!!

  4. I hate to floss! Alas, I’m a plaque-former, so I have to. But I hate it.

  5. Sydney says:

    Once, my husband (before he was even my fiancée) told me the dentist never even asks if he flosses anymore. I told him maybe they have just given up on him…he has been faithfully flossing every day since then! You never know what’s going to convince a person to floss…
    Also – try the stick kinds with the disposable ends. It’s the only way I could keep flossing regularly. I hate the string kind. :)

    • Jenna says:

      I’m getting used to the string kind, but the stick kind sounds like it might be easier. I’ll have to add it to my list and pick one up at the grocery store. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. claire says:

    flossing is definitely a pain, but much needed! love seeing the chronicles!

  7. giselle says:

    Do you use regular, weak floss that shreds in your teeth or the nice, smooth floss called Glide? Some of my teeth are really tight so the regular stuff is crap, but Glide works so much better! It doesn’t get stuck!

    • Jenna says:

      I’m definitely using the regular floss since I’ve had the ‘shredding’ problem multiple times–obviously I need to experiment with different flossing options. Thanks for the recommendation. Do you prefer Glide over, say, the floss on a stick that Sydney was talking about?

  8. Derrick says:

    I have to ask: Is a vampire-zombie a vampire that was bitten by a zombie or a zombie that was bitten by a vampire, or a regular human that was bitten by both and turned into a hybrid creature?

    • Jenna says:

      It could be any of the 3, and to determine which one it is, you have to study the level of messiness of the hair:
      1) Vampire bitten by a zombie: very neat hair, possibly sleeked back with gel, á la classy vampire
      2) Zombie bitten by a vampire: really messy hair, possibly with dirt and blood in it–a veritable rat’s nest
      3) Hybrid: slightly messy hair, but no snarls that a couple comb-throughs couldn’t take care of

  9. Layla says:

    I love flossing and taking care of my teeth. My mom as a kid suffered w/ bad teeth, and always was teaching us some good habits to avoid the same thing.
    When I was 14 I began at night brushing/then flossing/then brushing again, and when I went to the dentist, they were shocked at how well my teeth looked and said there wasn’t even any scum on my teeth. (I’m not sure what that means though). So since then I’ve been really into that regimine.
    Here are some things that make it easier. Try a variety of flosses (I don’t care how much floss costs me; it’s cheaper than dental bills), there are softer kinds and wax kinds, etc. buy a few different ones, you’ll fine what you like, and also it keeps from being boring (in my experience) and you can change up night after night, the floss sticks are nice too, and recently I’ve used floss sticks where the handle is curved in a position that makes them fit REALLY comfortably in your mouth, even more than the regular ones.
    Also try the brush/floss/brush combo, it makes your mouth so refreshed feeling, it’s addicting, I’ll never forget how good it felt the first time I did that. When I brush the first time, I do a basic quick brushing, the 2nd time, I get the fronts and back of my teeth, basically every tooth, every angle.
    Also keep in mind, maybe you wouldn’t mind flossing if it was during another time in the day like in the morning…as long as you do it once a day it doesn’t matter when, (that I’m aware of).

    • Jenna says:

      Wow Layla–thanks for the detailed advice. I actually did the brush-floss-brush once, and it did feel AMAZING, you’re so right. Way to go with your consistency!

  10. Circe says:

    I hate flossing too, but I love how much better and nicer my dental visits are. It’s worth it, kind of like vacuuming

  11. Veronica says:

    I’m so glad that you’re flossing and surprised you didn’t have a lot of teeth problems before because you weren’t. Your good genes must have not only blessed you with a thin figure but strong teeth as well!

  12. Joanne says:

    Oy. I still haven’t come around to flossing. But you may just have kinda sorta convinced me that I need to give it a go.

  13. Claudia says:

    you have a fun and refreshing style of writing…i’m flossing every evening…smiles
    and why not start writing poetry -i only started in june this year…way to go..but it’s fun!

  14. Mia says:

    Ha ha, this is cute and sends a very good message across too!

  15. Vesselina says:

    hey sweetheart! You are one flossing fool, I will tell you. Although….

    a) weekends off is a big no-no in the flossing world. Get back on the wagon asap.


    b) thanks for the clarification on the Monday pic- I totally thought you were posing au naturel, but it never even phase me :) What is hotter than flossing as mother Nature intended us to, after all?

  16. Zoe says:

    I’ve never flossed regularly either! Your photo montage is so cute. And I totally think you should have the weekend off.

  17. brightbakes says:

    good job :) my husband is a flossing addict, so when we got married 5 years ago he helped me climb on the floss-wagon… It does get to be a habit, but there’s still plenty of times when I just DONT FEEL LIKE IT! Something so simple can be such an annoyance…although keeping your teeth is definitely good :)
    cute post!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

    • Anna says:

      I really should floss more ( that sounds like I already do it often.. but I don’t) Maybe I should try the stick kind to see if that makes it more fun. Overall I could do better with my teeth, I am just horrible at healthy habits.. So kudos to you, I do like that listerine Zero stuff though, really does encourage me to use more mouthwash which also helps with gum issues.

      Cathy of Bright bakes… random question but I book marked a post you did about making your own yogurt.. but it won’t let me read the post anymore, Something about being private. I wanted to make the yogurt this weekend.. Ideas?

      • Jenna says:

        Anna, if Cathy doesn’t answer you here I would leave a comment directly on her blog (I think it’s brightbakes.wordpress.com). My sister makes her own yoghurt, and it’s always fabulous! However, the one time I tried her method, I royally messed it up. =)

  18. Vicki DeArmeyv says:

    Jenna, I am so proud of you that you have taken flossing seriously. Yes, you can take weekends off, but be faithful the other 5 days of the week. I was just like you with the bleeding which put me off to continue to floss because I thought the bleeding was bad. It’s normal when you don’t floss and even if you do on a regular basis and then you for get for a week, your gums will bleed a little again, but that’s because they are not getting massaged by the floss or your tooth brush. Another thing to remember is when you brush your teeth make sure you slant the toothbrush downwards towards your gum line so that you are massaging your gums which is vital to good gum hygiene.
    I wish you the best in your new world of flossing. It takes discipline but remember all those good things that come out of it!!

  19. Sarah says:

    ha! i love brushing my teeth and flossing and mouthwash. i am weirdly in love with oral hygiene. i get grumpy when i can’t brush my teeth (ask my husband). :)

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