Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We found ourselves at a motel without toothpaste, so I called the front desk and they gave me a couple of foil pouches of Colgate.

The back of the pouch was gray and the small text was written in gray as well, making it virtually invisible but there was a dearth of reading material and it is well known that I am a glutton for punishment. That is how I stumbled across these horrifying words: "If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away."

I had trouble digesting that statement. My first thought was my doctor's reaction when I called and said I'd accidentally swallowed some toothpaste. Now most of you are aware that our son's a doctor and this is exactly the type of question I call and ask him. Anyone who knows him can pretty accurately imagine his response. Heck, most of you who don't know him can probably do that. It doesn't even take a vivid imagination to be dead-on accurate on this one. Fact is, even I am unwilling to dial his home phone to ask this question and I have strict orders on when I am allowed to call his cell. This query does not fall within those parameters.

That leaves me with calling Poison Control. Calling Poison Control because I've swallowed toothpaste seems a little extreme. When my youngest was little, I had a personal relationship with the helpful people at poison control and I know them to be tolerant and kind. I can't help but think that even they might have trouble stifling a laugh at this one though. I am, however, a world class worrier, and I am able to leap that chasm like a ballerina and twirl right into:

Who determines what a normal amount of toothpaste per brushing is? What if I've been using it like frosting on my toothbrush? Is that too much? What exactly is the amount that would cause me to fall into the "more than used for brushing" arena? Maybe I should call Poison Control and just ask for guidance on this issue - or maybe there's a tutorial on youtube? Is there a place you can buy individual toothpaste servings - kind of like a weight watchers for teeth?

I began thinking about the implications of poisoning myself with toothpaste. I am disinclined to want to put something into my mouth that can't be swallowed. It just seems downright wrong. I mean I saw that made-for-tv movie in the '70s starring Sally Struthers where she was in a plane crash in Alaska and survived by eating toothpaste and melting snow. What kind of toothpaste was that? That's the brand I want....the one that I could eat in a pinch, survive, and - as an added plus - have minty fresh breath to boot.

There's truly something disturbing about the idea that toothpaste shouldn't be swallowed. Truly. Disturbing.


Terri Reid said...

You are such a hoot!!! I miss you. We've got to get together for lunch soon - brush your teeth before you come and just make sure you don't "over-do" it!!!

Anonymous said...

Big Pharma and the FDA are in bed together, and now toothpaste manufacturers! Geez, I'm beginning to think that money is the underlying force here...........
Shirley C

Anonymous said... frosting on my toothbrush.... Bahaha! That's a visual I cannot stop laughing about, dear Chris. Love this! ~If I'm ever in a plane crash in Alaska, I will think of you and that fabulous toothpaste idea. ;-)
Amy C