brush your teeth with bubblegum

i am a vain person. if i may be honest. i like things to look good. it isn’t just about me. but, today, it is.

thanksgiving was spent with a family i only just met. there, i find out one of the family friends is in the “teeth business.” oh, my smile widens, trying to impress the teeth woman. dentistry? i ask. yes, hygienist. she replies. continue to smile. you do have nice looking gums actually. she tells me. i beam. the teeth woman likes my gums. success.

you see, the thing i am most vain about is my teeth. i take pride in them. i think they look pretty good after years or braces and bleaches and excited (yes, excited) trips to the dentist. but it hasn’t always been excitement and fun.

dr alvino has been the family dentist forever. we have a rocky history. as a kid, i didn’t use toothpaste when i brushed my teeth. they stopped making my favourite “pink” toothpaste and i hated the taste of any other. i would have been about six years old when i was sitting on the couch, wasting time while i brushed my teeth. dad saw me. he noticed i wasn’t using toothpaste. he dragged me back to the bathroom and watched me as i put the smallest amount of toothpaste on my little toothbrush and began the horror of properly brushing my teeth. so this rocky history with my dentist extends from the fact that my lack of toothpaste use led to cavities. in the early days, i was lucky enough to have happy gas and choose the flavour. then came the needles. eugh. now, i brush religiously and expect for my dentist not to get his pokey tools stuck in soft teeth.

i love my teeth so much, yet i hate the taste, look, smell, feel and traumatising memories that come with using toothpaste. in fact, i hate speaking about it now. toothpaste grosses me out. but i will never go without brushing my teeth. even if i come home at a ridiculous hour want only to get into bed. i’ll still brush. i’ll still rinse. i won’t forego but i don’t like it. how’s that for a contradiction. great teeth, horror memories.

today, my vanity got to me as i flossed. my teeth look a little on the yellow side i think. snap out of it. they’re fine nat. but even my reassurance won’t stop me from most likely whitening my teeth when i’m finally home. and there’s yet another reason to be excited. oh so vain. and although i went through the “trauma” as a kid, i will thank my dad for the rest of my life for making me use toothpaste that night.


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