Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Longer a Cautionary Tale.

Internet, I'm going to be straight with you.  As a kid, I had terribly teeth-brushing habits.  I just Could. Not. Be. Bothered.  I was also (this, I'm sure, will come as a surprise to those who know me) a ridiculously stubborn child.  One of my few memories from early childhood was being sent by my mother to brush my teeth, and being so damn contrary about the whole thing that I pretended for a good five minutes.  Wet the brush, used the toothpaste, ran the water - the whole damn shebang, except of course for the actual brushing part.

(This appalling habit may or may not be the reason I had my first filling aged five.)

Anyway, Internet, obviously I got over it.  As I got older I realized that maybe brushing your teeth was not the Chinese Water Torture I'd apparently thought it was.  Plus, you know, boys don't like girls who can grow penicillin in their mouths.  Floss and I even made an acquaintance, although I'm sorry to say our affair has been frought with difficulties and on-and-off passions: joyous meetings and indifferent partings.  (But seriously, does anyone actually floss twice a day? I AM USUALLY RUNNING LATE, PEOPLE.)

However, the point of this post (I know! There's a point! You totally weren't expecting a point, were you?) is not to disgust you with tales of why I'm lucky to still have all my teeth.  (Well, apart from my wisdom teeth.)  (And those other molars my orthodontist said were in the way.)  (And all my baby teeth, obviously, although they really didn't want to go.)  (You know, maybe I should tell you sometime about the reason I hate dentists.)  (Hint: It has to do with all those missing teeth.)

No, the point of this post is simple: mouthwash!*

Even as I finally got my shit together with brushing and flossing, I could never get the final part of the trifecta right: mouthwash.  Those people in the Listerine ads always look so damn happy to be gargling with that stuff, and I Cannot Figure Out Why.  They are essentially napalming their mouths.  Why are they smiling afterwards?  Is Listerine all part of some weird S&M thing I don't get because I went to Catholic school?

Listerine tastes like I'd imagine the chilli tequila I made some friends shot** tasted.  Which is to say: awful.  Horrific.  Like you have ingested fire, and not in the cool circus fire-eater way.  I have never been able to bring myself to use it, and I think my record for gargling it sits at about ten seconds.  Which, if you're a liberal arts grad like me and thus not good with numbers, is Pretty Far Away from the sixty seconds they recommend.

I'm so bad with mouthwash I even cheated when I had my wisdom teeth out.  The surgeon gave me a bottle of mouthwash (which was totally not Listerine, by the way, but some weird hospital generic stuff with only slightly less napalm).  I was told to gargle with salt water the first few days, then use the mouthwash for two weeks, until the stitches had dissolved.  Quite frankly, Internet, I was FAR more interested in the prescription for tramadol he also gave me, so I didn't really pay much attention.  I think I ended up using the salt water three or four times and the mouthwash maybe once.  It's a miracle I didn't end up as a Cautionary Tale of that girl who didn't follow her surgeon's instructions and her whole jaw rotted off.

But the other day, Internet, I was wasting time at the mall*** and wandered into the grocery store.  And ended up in the dental aisle, trying to figure out if they'd changed the packaging of the uber-fancy I-cost-three-times-as-much-but-do-the-same-thing toothpaste, or if there were in fact two pretentious toothpastes.  And it's then I made a discovery.

Listerine makes a mouthwash for kids!

I know, Internet.  YOU have known this forever; you kind of thought it was obvious.  But you have to understand, I had absolutely no reason to ever look at the mouthwash shelf; all mouthwashes are the urine of the devil, right?  So at some point in the last, oh, decade, they started making mouthwash for kids and I never noticed.  So I continued to only half-assedly commit to oral hygiene.  (Hee, oral! Yes, I'm twelve.)

Obviously, I bought some of this kids' mouthwash, if only to prove to myself that Listerine was torturing innocent children, or something.  And Internet?  It's good!  No napalm or anything!  I still don't last the sixty seconds, but I'm chalking that up to inherent laziness (sixty seconds is a LONG TIME, people).  The point is, I'm finally treating my teeth the way they're supposed to be treated.

Now, all I have to do is overcome my instinct to shot the Listerine.

*YES, that totally is a point, as you will see if you actually read the rest of the post instead of skipping down to the bottom.


***Sometimes, Internet, I get in my car and then suddenly I'm at the mall.  I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW I'M GETTING THERE.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, was a clost moutwashphobe. Why on earth would I want to submit myself to torture before I am even wide awake? Ridiculous. Eventually, though, I tried some witch hazel stuff from the health food store, and it was PERFECTLY FINE. Of course, once the bottle ran out, I totally forgot about it until now... So, yeah. I need to get me some of that. Kids Listerene definitely sounds like it would be cheaper, too. *scribbles it on the shopping list*