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To wonder was flossing a thing when you were a child/ a teen?

(41 Posts)
Absentmindedwoman Mon 25-Jan-16 12:05:41

After reading another thread.

I'm fairly young at 30, and when I was wee there was no mention of flossing at all, and I was always taken to the dentist regularly. Same as a teenager. I only started flossing in my twenties when it suddenly seemed to be part of a normal dental hygiene regime, along with electric toothbrushes. I remember reading about flossing in Judy Blume book and it seemed like such a weird idea grin

I still remember the sense of injustice at age twelve when I went to my dentist who accused me of not brushing - my mother and I were so indignant - as he didn't realise that diabetes means your saliva is sweeter than normal (and at times in my life when my blood sugar was running high, it must have virtually been like syrup) so causes damage. My teeth were great until my late teens though - I think partly from brushing 3 times a day all through my school days, but my teeth did start to deteriorate then, and I now have quite a few fillings and one molar gone. I don't know if flossing would have helped.

Did you floss as a child - were the dentists I saw back then just very old fashioned? Do you floss now?

Do your kids get started on flossing at a young age with dentists now?

goodnightdarthvader1 Mon 25-Jan-16 12:08:10

Didn't floss as a child (was never encouraged to). Floss now, as my teeth have started to disintegrate.

Back in my youf, dentists used to tell us to wash our mouths out to get rid of excess toothpaste. Now, advice is not to do that. Science / research / times change.

momb Mon 25-Jan-16 12:08:27

The only time I heard of flossing as a child was when Charlie Brown mentioned that it was important to floss every day. I asked my Mum what it meant and she didn't know.

Werksallhourz Mon 25-Jan-16 12:16:33

Flossing was not a common thing in the 70s or 80s in the North. What we were encouraged to use however, were "disclosure tablets". These were tablets you chewed and they supposedly dyed your tartar a red/pink colour so you could pay more attention to where the build-up was and make sure to clean it away.

In reality, they seemed to dye your entire mouth red. grin

Noofly Mon 25-Jan-16 12:19:19

I grew up the US and flossing was definitely a thing (I'm 48). I've been an obsessive flosser since I was a child and I hate running out of dental floss. I really need to floss because I build up plaque very easily even with flossing. Sadly my DC have yet to be convinced about the benefits of daily flossing. grin

NHKX2 Mon 25-Jan-16 12:37:30

I also grew up in the US (am 39 now) and flossing was always a thing. Dental care in general was always more of a priority than it seems to be here in the UK.

DrCoconut Mon 25-Jan-16 12:44:26

Floss and interdental toothbrushes seem to be recent here. I use them religiously now as I have periodontal disease. It could possibly have been prevented with a more USA style regime. To anyone who doesn't clean between their teeth, go buy tepe toothbrushes and floss today. Then you may keep your teeth, I may not now.

CaveMum Mon 25-Jan-16 12:49:01

I'm the same, almost 35 and wasn't advised to start flossing until my mid-20s. I'm lucky that I've only got three minor fillings (shallow, no injections) but it definitely wasn't a thing growing up.

DD is almost 2 and has already started regular dentist check ups, I'm not taking any chances. It will be interesting to see at what age they advise to start flossing her teeth.

seaweed123 Mon 25-Jan-16 13:44:14

I'm 34, and remember a dental person (can't remember who they were exactly) coming to girl guides when I must have been 13-ish, and telling us all about flossing. I got my mum to buy floss after that, but didn't use it regularly once the initial enthusiasm wore off.

It was only really in my 20s, when I moved and didn't have an NHS dentist any more that I first encountered dental hygienists, and started getting lectured about flossing.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 25-Jan-16 13:48:44

The first time I remember hearing about flossing was when Julia Robert's flossed in Pretty Woman.

Babymouse Mon 25-Jan-16 13:51:15

I grew up in the states and in third grade (age 8/9) we were given these floss holders and flossed in class everyday after lunch!

IndridCold Mon 25-Jan-16 14:00:43

I don't remember being advised to floss until I was at least 20. Mind you pretty much everything that I was taught as a young child about dental hygiene seems to have been completely wrong as far as I can see.

Noofly Mon 25-Jan-16 14:03:38

The other thing that I'm glad is over here now is sealant on teeth. I remember DS' dentist putting it on him around 8 years ago, maybe? She announced that it was a new development and I had to bite my tongue and not say that I had it applied as a child. grin I think it really helps prevent tooth decay/cavities.

stumblymonkey Mon 25-Jan-16 14:04:54

I'm 33 and flossing was definitely not a thing I heard about in my childhood or even in my teens.

I actually don't think I had any advice about flossing until I moved to the South East when I was 22.

I do remember the disclosure tablets though!

LongHardStare Mon 25-Jan-16 14:05:17

I thought it was because kids don't need to floss but adults do! When I take DS to the dentist he isn't advised to floss but I always am.

BertieBotts Mon 25-Jan-16 14:17:18

I'm 27. It wasn't a thing. I remember my dad always had dental floss and showed me how to use it once but he didn't explain properly about scraping from the sides of the teeth so I just thought it was for sawing into the gum and didn't really see a point. Even when I became a teenager/adult, no dentist ever explained to me about flossing.

It's only really been in the last couple of years that I've started doing it - thanks to mumsnet actually - and am amazed at the difference! It's been transformative to my oral health. Tonsil stones gone, bad breath gone, horrible tasting phlegm at the back of my mouth, gone. I don't build up "fur" on my teeth a few hours after brushing any more. I couldn't believe all of this was down to not flossing, and wish somebody had told me earlier. If I skip a few days I really notice it and it's horrible but it is a pain and does seem to take forever.

We're in Germany now and when I took DS for a check up aged six the dentist asked how often I flossed his teeth. blush It hadn't even occurred to me to floss his, I wasn't even sure how you would do it. She did it very gently with one of those little toothpick floss things. I asked my friend, who happens to be a dentist, and she said once the adult teeth are starting to come through you should floss any teeth (including baby ones) where the gap between them is smaller than the width of a credit card.

cozietoesie Mon 25-Jan-16 14:20:24

I don't remember.grin But then the number of things that I ignored in order to have the time to look good and have fun would fill a page. I wasn't big on long term benefits when I was a teenager.

Katenka Mon 25-Jan-16 14:24:59

I am 33. We had a school dentist. He always talked about flossing. So did my normal dentist, too

camelfinger Mon 25-Jan-16 14:25:34

I'm mid 30s and first flossed when I was 15, I think inspired by Pretty Woman too. We didn't have any in the house so I used my hair! I wish I was better at doing it now; it takes ages as I have small gaps between my teeth so I often don't do it properly.

megletthesecond Mon 25-Jan-16 14:30:24

I flossed occasionally as a kid in the 80's. We had fissure sealant painted in our teeth and the odd disclosure tablet. I have flossed religiously since my late teens. Am 41 with no filings.

9yo ds has started to floss most days and I'll get 7yo dd onto it soon. I'm forever lecturing them about how dental health is vital (gum disease can increase risk of heart disease) and how bloomin' expensive it is to get teeth fixed.

Fizrim Mon 25-Jan-16 14:32:49

I flossed in my teens (late 70's/early 80's) as advised by a dentist. My bottom teeth have always collected tartar at the back so I flossed the gaps (use brushes now).

Despite years of experience, I still tend to saw through my gums when I floss angry

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 25-Jan-16 14:40:36

Yes, I'm 26. Never did though! Do now.

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 25-Jan-16 14:41:45

We had fissure seals too, and I only realised it was 'fissure' and not Fisher a few months ago! I thought it must have been named after someone. Makes much more sense now! blush

tibbawyrots Mon 25-Jan-16 14:44:38

We had a talk about dental care as part of young leader training at girls' brigade and were advised to floss then - have done so ever since - so have been flossing since I was 13 - 33 years shock

AppleSetsSail Mon 25-Jan-16 14:46:13

I grew up in the US and it was definitely a thing. I also went to the hygenist 2x yearly from the age of about 4.

We also used disclosure tablets during health class at school (the pink tablets that you chew and stick to your plaque) - anyone with plaque buildup got a frowning sticker on their chart!

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