Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
mean, really! I'm brushing my teeth this morning, and it is kind of exciting because
I have a brand new tube of toothpaste. I like new anything, including toothpaste,
because you get such a little tingling sense of possibility. You never know when
you try something new, whether this time will be The Time. This time, with this
new tube of toothpaste, maybe all my oral hygiene dreams will come true. I was
so excited! Okay. I wasn't that excited. I mean, it was five o'clock in the morning
and I was getting ready to go to work. So, I wasn't exactly bouncing up and down
squealing, "New toothpaste, new toothpaste!" I was just a tiny bit more excited
than I usually am in the morning. In other words, I was wet, barely conscious,
picked up the toothpaste and thought, "Hmm. New toothpaste." That was approximately
my level of excitement. |
I began to brush. As I brushed I began to read
the back of the tube of toothpaste. I did this not because I am interested in
toothpaste. I am interested in it only in vague general terms. For example, do
we have any? Do I need to buy some more soon? Is the sticky stuff on the outside
toothpaste or something more sinister? That type of thing. I was reading the tube
because the mirror was foggy so I couldn't stare at it to see if, after 44 years
on this earth, this was the morning that I suddenly looked cute brushing my teeth.
There was nothing else to do. I read, "Contains stannous fluoride." Oh good, I
thought. I read on, "Stannous fluoride may produce surface staining of the teeth."
Then what the heck was I doing? Why waste my time? What in the
world are they thinking? Wait. Let me think. How about this, I could drag myself
out of bed, go outside and roll around in the flowerbed for a while, dig some
filthy clothes out of the hamper, smear butter in my hair and then brush my teeth
with something which will cause surface stains! What am I so upset about?
Then I could go downstairs, pour some orange juice on the kitchen floor (why not,
everybody else in this family does!), wash the dishes in pancake syrup, put the
trash in the refrigerator and go pour a bottle of Icey Fresh Spring Water into
my gas tank and go back to bed! Why not? I mean, if I'm going to spend three minutes
(okay, one minute and forty-five seconds, but promise you won't tell Dr. Brush
For the Duration of a Song on the Radio. He and I have an uneasy truce. I say
yes I floss and he doesn't call me a liar. To my face.), spend three minutes brushing
my teeth, only to find that I have carefully applied surface stains, well then!
If you ask me, all bets are off.
What next? Hand lotion that makes your
skin crack? That would be good. Fabric softener that causes unsightly stiffness
in your sheets and towels? Maybe they are thinking that stannous fluoride is so
amazingly good for your teeth that you will not mind having some surface stains.
But this is the age of the fluorescent white smile. Teeth that are nearly blue
are everywhere, all around us. It has gotten to the point that when you see someone
with normal, unbleached teeth, you kind of think "e-yew" for a second. Is it possible
that stannous fluoride is so much better than the old kind of fluoride, the kind
that we are all used to and were raised with that we should not care if it stains
our teeth? And if this is the case, why did they not say so on the toothpaste
tube. Because I am gullible. If it said, "This stannous fluoride is so wonderful
that you will be able to chew your way through bricks," I would be impressed.
And then if I read, "but it may cause surface stains," I might still give it some
consideration. "Hmm. Surface stains? But chew through bricks! It's got to be worth
it!" But they didn't say that. They just said that, "the stains are not harmful
or permanent and may be removed by your dentist." So great! Use this product and
you have to make an extra trip to see Dr. I Don't Know What You're Crying About.
Yeah! Sign me up. I'm buying two tubes next time. This has got to be the worst