Dentile Health

My diastemic countenance, June 2008
My diastemic countenance, June 2008

A co-worker was headed out the door a bit ago to get her teeth cleaned. I asked her if she flossed, and she told me she didn’t because it made her gums bleed. I explained that the reason they bleed in the first place is gingivitis, caused most frequently but failure to floss, and that if she would just “get over the hump” and floss until they stopped bleeding, they would never bleed again and her mouth would be a lot healthier. To this I added two important dental corollaries:

  1. You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep.
  2. Be true to your teeth, or your teeth will be false to you.

Another conversation led to discussion of braces, and my own diastema, a space between my upper central incisors. When I was a teenager, my orthodontist tried unsuccessfully to fix mine, but in the end it worked out fine, since Abby has long since forbade me from getting rid of it, citing its overpowering sexiness.


  1. Don’t forget Lauren Hutton, who refused to let them fix her gap, and Danielle Whats-her-face, from America’s Next Top Model, who only let them close her gap part of the way. That said, a certain sister of yours is almost done with her second round of braces, and will forever be glad to have taken the plunge, especially after someone said, “Oh, that tooth was crooked? I just assumed it was dead.”!

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