My Greatest Fear #41: Cutting Off Circulation in My Finger While Flossing and Losing the Finger

dental-flossI’ve flossed my teeth every day for the last 14 years. You could drive a Hummer over my gums and they wouldn’t bleed (okay, not the best choice of words there, but I’m sticking with it). I use the same thick Glide floss that James Bond uses to strangle villains.

It doesn’t take me long to floss, but I often look at my fingers–the floss wound tightly around them–after a minute of flossing, and the circulation in them is completely cut off. They’re a shade of purple that doesn’t belong on the human body. It’s then that I always wonder: Did I just kill my finger?

Of course this hasn’t happened, nor will it ever happen…or will it? How long does it take for a finger to die of lack of circulation? Five minutes? Ten minutes? What if I ate popcorn that day and have a lot of deep flossing to do? What if I get distracted by an interesting smell or rogue hair and forget about the floss on my finger? It could happen.

Do you floss? Have you ever experienced this issue? If so, are you typing your comment with all ten fingers?


7 Responses to “My Greatest Fear #41: Cutting Off Circulation in My Finger While Flossing and Losing the Finger”

  1. Sarah says:

    For crying out loud, man, how can you still be knowingly endangering your fingers this way?? Switch to those flossy-pick-slingshotty-looking-dental-thingies. (Plackers, for example.)

    Having lost 8 of my 10 fingers to ill-fated flossing incidents, please believe me when I say that you should abandon classic dental floss before it’s too late!

  2. Nightvid Cole says:

    Muscle tissue takes several hours to undergo necrosis (tissue death), unlike brain tissue or heart muscle. It is for all intents and purposes impossible to “kill” a finger while flossing. It simply cannot happen in the time involved, even if you cut off the circulation completely.

  3. JT says:

    So, a tip I just saw on one of those sites meant for forwards … what if you tied the floss into a loop (say the size of your wrist) and that way the tension between your fingers prevents you from needing to wrap the floss around your fingers?

  4. Frank says:

    Yes. I use a lot of pressure on the floss, and keep it very tight on my fingers. I unwrap the floss several times while flossing to prevent my fingers from turning blue. I am going to try the loop method instead. If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to use those stupid flossing tools.

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