It was the owl in the waiting room that made my childhood dental checkups memorable.

The owl was real. Perched up there on a corner branch, gazing down at me. I was told it was stuffed. ADULTS often said things like that to kids back then. Stuffed? I knew the owl was real. Like, I couldn’t handle the truth. 

I was mesmerized, fascinated and maybe a little terrified. The owl stared at me. I stared back. The entire wait time. Until I was transported INTO THE OTHER ROOM.

Perhaps the owl was up there to take my child’s mind off the whirring and gurgling sounds emanating next door. 

As far as I know, there are no owls ruling dental offices today 

After 2 plus years of lockdowns, mandates and masks, dentist’s chairs are filling up again. And freebies still reign. Back when the owls ruled, I was rewarded a candy. Since a gift deserves consideration, I always ate my candy. 

Last week I ventured into the chair for a cleansing and was gifted a floss. True to form, I decided to try my gift of G.U.M floss in place of my regular go-to. Tooth debris needs to be cleaned and a tool is necessary.

I split off a thread and went to town. The G.U.M floss felt alien, oppressive and tore at my teeth. It was awkward. I was uncomfortable to the point where I refused to even finish the job.  

Do people really go on to purchase this brand?’ It was worth a google.

I entered ‘FLOSS NOT TO BUY’.  G.U.M was among a fairly long list, which, BTW, included huge name brands like Colgate, Oral-B and Crest, one of which was on my bathroom counter. Yikes!

My gift of  G.U.M floss is mint waxed, which in itself is questionable. It says ‘shred resistant’ on the container. That that was NOT my experience.  Made in China, it also contains the questionable non-stick coating PTFE ( PFAS subgroup). Another huge undesirable. This floss entire experience was unwieldly.

The chemicals in some commercial floss have been linked to liver damage, developmental issues, harm to immune system and cancer.

Is it not a contradiction that a dental office, promoting healthy teeth would gift candy back in the day, and now a ‘questionable’ brand of floss?  Would it not be wonderful if we received a natural eco-friendly floss instead? Who can afford such luxuries? Dentists, too, are hurting after Covid. It is not that we don’t appreciate a free gift. But we also need to ask questions, be wary and do our research. 

A good alternative is a natural silk floss, as first recommended back in 1815 by a Dr.Levi Parmly. You can buy them, Canadian made, in a health section. A good choice after using our Tooth Cleanser and our all-natural Mouth Freshener. The wise owl would approve. After all, the mouth is the gateway to a healthy body.