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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Floss for your life

Cars don’t always provide a great return on your money. Unlike gold or Hermés Birkin bags - whose values rise over time - cars mostly decrease in value. The minute you drive off that forecourt, it's worth less than you paid.

People are kind of like that too. Once we're fully developed as young adults, our body begins to decrease in value. By this I mean, things wear out, get slower or need assistance. For example, just by using our teeth, we expose them to damage and risk losing them!

I went to the dentist recently - my first checkup up this side of covid - and it was an interesting experience for me. I’ve always had trouble-free teeth, no braces, fillings, drilling, or removals. Covid - like so many things - interrupted my regular appointments, and I feared this would cause me some teething problems!

As it turned out, there was nothing wrong with my teeth. I had a little staining - due in large to the vast amount of tea I drink - but even then it was only mild. The only concern my dangerously attractive (and very nice) dentist raised was my need to floss, to avoid any breakdown of the surface of my teeth as a toothbrush alone could not reach this area.

Now I’ve been open with you previously about my struggles with mental health. There were big chunks of the summer where life felt very pointless, lacking meaning and reason. During this time I questioned my need to be on earth, and I also found it impossible to do anything. It’s not something I have resolved, but my brush with the dentist oddly helped.

After the advice to floss, I threw myself into the preventive measures of flossing. With dental tape for my front teeth and dental floss picks for the hard to reach teeth. Adding this to my brushing three times a day, it is clear that I am a one-person tooth cleaning machine.

I floss in the mirror, and the other day when I looked at myself, I realised that I really cared about my teeth. Not only did I care, but I was putting in exerted effort to ensure I had good teeth in my future. Without thinking about it, I showed myself that not only do I want to be here, on earth, but I want a future where I have great teeth.

This was the first time in a long time, I have felt a positive connection to my future existence, and it is all because of the dentist, and the need to floss.

I know when people have offered me advice and told me that someone or something will remind me of the worth of life, I’ve rolled my eyes at the cliché it came with. Yet, here I am with something so silly, yet very wonderful, that has shown me the value I put on my future.

So if you’re in a similar place, look out for the small ways you care for yourself, because they’re unconscious reminders of the value you place on your future.

Shot by Rachel Pechey


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