Minty Fresh

Ahh! Fresh breath that tastes like your laundry…

Shopping for toothpaste used to be simple, gel or paste. I was partial to paste. Toothpaste stayed this way for a long time. Then a company mixed the two together and added a mouthwash stripe. After that, toothpaste spiraled out of control. Plaque and tartar fighters appeared, followed by gingivitis preventatives. Toothpaste shopping is now hell and can cost a day’s wages.

Long ago, I realized I’d never have Osmond family teeth. Half of my family was cursed with an overbite. When we smiled, we looked like we had no bottom teeth. The other half had bottom jaws which jutted out like a bull dog.

I wanted to keep my teeth as long as I could. I hoped to avoid teeth that looked like my seventeen year old dogs and didn’t want to kill people with dragon breath.

None of the fifty-seven toothpaste brands on the shelf listed my needs. The only constant on all brands were the instructions, squeeze tube from the bottom and flatten as you go up.

All would’ve been good if my favorite paste remained unchanged. The improved formula left me feeling like I’d brushed my teeth with soap. My mouth foamed like a rabid animal.  The new version did make my mouth feel clean as in this is what laundered clothes must taste like.

When I purchased the next few tubes of toothpaste, I focused on freshness and whitening properties.

Fresh clean mint left my mouth as dry as Death Valley, considering the paste contained what I swore were granules of sand. Cinnagel made me sneeze every time I brushed. Mint zing contained glitter, but no zing. Fresh impact impacted for thirty seconds.  Vibrant mint could be detected at thirty paces, but started to burn a hole in my cheek.

I ventured into citrus flavors. Expecting something like a margarita, limeade tasted more like a peppermint patty dunked in limeade. My cheeks puckered. I’d considered giving up fresh breath for chocolate or pizza flavored toothpaste being able to live with those tastes in my mouth.

My teeth did look whiter though, but now my gums were sensitive to hot and cold. The other side of my mouth hurt. I figured this was a side effect from the sandy toothpaste.

I began paying attention to the ingredients in toothpaste. One brand contained natural baking soda. Remembering I used baking soda to clean stains and the finish off my counter top, my next tube of gel promised to build up worn tooth enamel. But it also contained peroxide. Wondering if this was the same chemical used to clean wounds and bleach hair, I threw half a tube in the garbage.

Now my mouth really hurt. I couldn’t eat anything which was good because most of my money was tied up in toothpaste or gel. Who gave a damn about form at this point?

Research on the internet turned up German toothpaste that was slightly radioactive. The toothpaste was promoted as having health benefits including antibacterial action and strengthening of the teeth and gums.

My toothpastes claimed similar benefits. From my experiences with minty freshness, I knew lies were being told.

A dig through my trash revealed the last tubes of gel and paste were from Mexico and Canada not Germany.  Still in near panic, further research revealed radioactive toothpaste ceased being made after WWII. I must have missed that because the pain in my mouth began blurring my vision.

My husband forced me to make a dental appointment. If I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t cooking. He’d rather eat than be thrilled with a five pound weight loss like I was.

The dentist filled a cavity and suggested sensitivity toothpaste. My gums weren’t happy with all the junk I’d been churning around in there with my toothbrush. With the cost of sensitive toothpaste on top of a dental visit, we should be eating the toothpaste, but it says on the package, do not swallow. The hell if I’m paying for a doctor visit too.

When the sensitivity cleared up, I went back to my original, but improved toothpaste. I started chewing gum for fresh breath.


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