Avoiding the Brush-Off

Meredith - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

When I was a child, I hated brushing my teeth. It was one of those tedious “before bed” chores that’s sole purpose was to take away my TV time. Imagine watching the last 10 minutes of an incredible TV show, like Barney, and mom yells from upstairs, “Turn the TV off, it’s time to brush your teeth!” My mom always had an enthusiastic tone– as if she was trying to get me to come upstairs to eat a cookie. This, of course, was never the case. So not only did I have to turn off my favorite TV show, but then I had to drag myself upstairs and scrub my teeth with an awkward plastic stick that had bristles at the end of it. Could life get any worse? I don’t think so. However, as I have grown and become more wise and mature I have found that brushing my teeth is healthy, useful, and quite incredible. Thus, I have developed a new respect for this method of hygiene and have come to strongly believe in the importance of brushing one’s teeth.

Though I did not understand this as a child, I have found in my adult life that brushing my teeth has many useful benefits. The most obvious benefit is that I (or my parents) save money on dental care. Taking good care of my teeth has inevitably saved me money on dental problems such as, cavities, fillings, and tooth decay. I have fillings to prevent cavities, but the main reason I have never gotten a cavity is due to regularly brushing my teeth. I save hundreds of dollars by spending about $5 every three months on a toothbrush and toothpaste, which is totally worth it, to me.

Another reason for why I believe in brushing my teeth is that I never have to worry about being “that person with bad breath”. I think at one point in our lives, we can all say that we have been in a conversation with someone with dental hygiene issues. It is the conversations where you wish that person would stand about twenty feet farther back due to his/her hot smelly breath wafting in your face, polluting every crevice of your nasal cavity. When I’m in this situation, no matter how hard I try not breath in through my nose, I fear that by breathing through my mouth the bad breath of the other person will infect my clean breath. There is a simple solution to this bad breath issue: brush teeth thoroughly throughout the day, especially after consumption of garlic, onions, coffee, or after a long nights sleep.

Brushing my teeth is the first thing I do every morning. I lay in bed anticipating the moment I will get enough energy to emerge from my warm cocoon out into the freezing cold bedroom to make my way to the even colder bathroom to brush my teeth. But I do not suggest having a big glass of orange juice right after brushing with minty toothpaste… yuck!

As much as I disliked brushing my teeth as a child, I am forever grateful to my parents for forcing me to do so. It taught me good hygiene and discipline for my adult life. It improves the quality of air that others have to breathe and it improves my own self-esteem. If you are not already a strong advocate for brushing your teeth, take my advice. It will soon become a habit you love and simply cannot imagine living without.