If you survived my K post, you’ll probably survive this one too, but just a warning for everyone else, this one is gross. What I was wrong about that begins with the letter O was oral hygiene. I hated brushing my teeth when I was a kid. I think all of us kids did because my mom put a little wooden hourglass, snatched from some board game that had survived through her childhood into ours, in the bathroom and we were required to brush our teeth until all the sand ran out.
So I would go in the bathroom, shut the door, turn the faucet on, and play the soap dish game for two minutes. The “soap dish game” was our family term for lingering in the bathroom unnecessarily. Not a very nice thing to do in a house with six people and one bathroom.
I may have brushed sometimes in the morning but definitely never at night. And flossing? You’re kidding, right? So woo-boy did my teeth suffer. I have terrible teeth. Not cavities, mind you. I only had one cavity in my childhood, which is stunning if you read my post on exercise. I’ve had about six in adulthood though, so maybe all that sugar was just percolating for 20 or 25 years. No, my teeth just make Steve Buscemi’s teeth look as orderly as the headstones in Arlington. I had some top teeth pulled to make room, so the top ones straightened out rather nicely. But the bottom ones have more nooks and crannies for week old food scraps to hide in than the Badlands have crevices for rattlesnakes.
And so the food sat and sat and sat. And my gums bled and bled and bled. Then it became a self-perpetuating cycle; I didn’t want to brush because my gums would bleed when I did, and my gums bled more because I didn’t brush. they were literally peeling away from teeth.
The turning point was the Mentadent I used in a friend’s bathroom during a high school sleep over. Yes, my disgusting oral hygiene went on well into high school. I have no idea how I ever got kissed by boys. Well, maybe I have some idea. Anyways, I just thought the dual-sided toothpaste pump was so darn cool that I convinced my mom to buy it. And then I started brushing, just like that.
Then, after those six cavities and several dental cleanings that took up to three hours each because the in-betweens of my teeth were still so slimy, I finally started flossing. And flossing. And flossing. I’m a floss addict now. Sometimes I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman because I just get these urges out of nowhere to run to the bathroom and floss. I’ve been known to get so upset that I forgot to bring floss to a restaurant that I cancel my plans for the rest of the evening and go home so I can floss. And now I also have an electric toothbrush. And I have a toothbrush and toothpaste at work for after lunch brushing. And even when I don’t have health insurance, I still willingly pay out of pocket for dental cleanings. So no, no more bleeding or pre-masticated snacks lurking around my mouth just in case. That’s just disgusting.
Curious about what everyone else is writing for the A to Z Blog Challenge? Me too! I’m featuring three blogs from my fellow contributors each day. Here are today’s entertaining, lyrical, beautiful, unique, informative, or just plain random discoveries: