I have to tell you a product that changed my life. It didn’t change it a lot, but at least a little bit. The product is: Flossers. You already knew that from the subject line.

This is a flosser:


You buy them at a drugstore, and they make flossing so, so much easier. They come with minty smells on them, which is nice, but I don’t think accomplishes anything.

I have told so many people about these, and somehow everyone is confused. I guess they’re just not that common – I didn’t really know about them for ages.

The reason I became aware of these was actually because of a strange story I read about a very similar invention. In the late 90s, a man named Sean Dix invented a product called Floss Rings. It consisted of two plastic rings that you held on your fingers, and floss would be strung between them.

Floss Rings were well received, and some studies showed that they were more effective than standard floss. Apparently they were also the first truly sterile form of dental floss, which up until then was packed by hand into containers – yikes.

So his business was doing well, and he put his life savings into it. He also got investors on board, and things were looking up, and at some point CNN got in touch, and sent Jeanne Moos to come and interview him. Moos is a lady who CNN used to get (possibly still does?) to go and do really unfunny human interest segments. She decided that the approach for the Floss Rings segment would be to mock the product and get dentists to try it out very clumsily.

When the segment ran, it instantly ruined Dix’s business, and his investors pulled out. Worse, Dix went a little crazy, and became obsessed with getting CNN to correct the record. He started phoning them all the time, and at one point faxed them 6000 times, over a 4 day period – again, yikes. They ignored him for a while, and then sent the FBI to ask him to stop.

Unfortunately, he was obsessed, and he didn’t stop. His biggest mistake was decided that he would fax a death threat to Ted Turner, since that would get him before a judge, and he could explain his case. Of course, this got him arrested, and he wound up doing several years in jail.

It’s been a while since I read about this case. While researching it tonight, I found out that Dix got into some more drama, accusing his dentist of trying to kill him. I don’t have time to really dig into this, but there’s a video on Youtube of him from 2012, talking about a NY Post story related to this.

I got off topic, but the Sean Dix story is how I first became aware there’s an alternate way to floss, and once I picked some flossers up at the pharmacy, I was hooked. (To be clear, these are different from the design of Floss Rings, but similar in principle/result.)

So that’s it, just another blog update, saying you should buy these, I can’t say a bad thing about them.

Actually wait, scrap that, I just remembered one bad thing – the pointy end of them is unnecessarily sharp, and I hate it. Last year, I was in NYC for a week, and I forgot to bring a comb, so I walked to a CVS and bought a pack with 6 or 7 combs in it. I wanted to use one right away, so I tried opening the bag as I walked, but it was extremely thick plastic, very hard to rip open.

I had a flosser in my pocket, so I stopped walking, and used the pointy end to poke a hole in the bag of combs. The bag was slippery though, and I wound up poking a really big hole in my hand, that started bleeding all over. I had to go back to the CVS and buy some band-aids. So be careful, especially if you are a frigging spaz, as I am.