Monday, August 15, 2011

Teeth Revisited

A few weeks ago, I was horrified to realize that I am not supposed to swallow toothpaste.  Well, teeth are on my mind again today.

I am among the select few who really enjoy going to the dentist.  I love the feeling of having clean teeth, like stars are twinkling from my mouth.  (I remember when dental floss first became available my best friend's family bought it but we did not.  I hung around her house a lot and sometimes I would sneak into her mom's bathroom and use the floss!)  Occasionally I think about getting my teeth whitened, but some people who do that seem to have blue teeth and I don't want to be that old lady with blue hair AND blue teeth. 

Some kids I've known have been truly resistant to brushing their pearly whites.  One, in particular, springs to mind.  (She will remain nameless but she knows who she is.)  She hated brushing her teeth so much that she'd actually try to fake her mother out by squeezing a little toothpaste into her mouth so that if Mom smelled her breath, it would have that minty fresh odor.  She would always flunk the visual portion of the inspection though and get sent back to the bathroom for a second go-round.  Incredibly, occasionally she would still try to avoid the odious task and the entire scenario would unfold exactly like the first.  It was amusing to watch this battle of wills and the more often we witnessed it, the funner it got.  The time and effort it took to pretend to brush was well beyond what actually doing it would demand.  You have to admire that kind of dogged determination. (My own dear daughter was a member of the furry-tooth club well into her pre-teen years but I am happy to report that at this writing her oral hygiene is impeccible.)

This summer our community has had several boil-water advisories.  I've received multiple automated phone calls saying to "boil water five minutes before using it for drinking or cooking" until further notice.  A day or so later, I will receive an all clear phone call.  This morning I went to the website to pay my bill and found an "all clear" message on the home page.  The problem was, I had not received a "boil water" call so I didn't know the water was not potable. 

So now you see why I'm thinking about teeth.  Not only do I have to worry about swallowing the toothpaste, now I have to worry about swallowing the rinse water.  Maybe I owe an apology to those kids who stubbornly refused to brush their teeth.

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