#129 Clean teeth at all costs

I stayed at my parent’s place last week.

Now, I don’t know about you, but my parents go to bed about four hours earlier than I do. Pajamas and dental floss come out around eight o’clock and a late-night mug of warm milk and some idle newspaper flipping fills the family room before bed.

After they crash I always head upstairs for three straight hours of surfing around online. Yes, I take care of important business like slipping into Wikipedia rabbit-holes and obsessively tracking the injuries of my Fantasy Football players.

Anyway, back to last week.

It was late and I eventually turned off the computer before zombie-walking over to the bathroom to scrape my pearly yellows before bed. So there I was, scraping away, mouth full of foamy suds, staring at my dark sunken eyes in the mirror, when suddenly something …  catches my eye! While still brushing I quickly glance down at my wide-open bathroom bag on the counter… just in time to notice a giant spider scamper right out.

Yes, this was the mother of all spiders too. No tiny porch spider or flimsy Daddy Long-Legs here. Seriously, it was a full-on what-the-heck-is-that kind of spider. The sort of thing you’d expect to find nestled in a box of papayas straight from the islands or hanging out on the dock at the cottage.

And then it struck me.

The spider was probably crawling all over my toothbrush all day. Maybe laying eggs in there. Getting its googly-eyes and legs all over my bristles. And that toothbrush was in my own mouth… right now.

I stared quickly into the mirror with steely, bloodshot eyes and asked myself what sort of man I was. Was I a frantically freaking-out over spider germs sort of guy? No, I decided right then and there, that I was not. I was a clean teeth at all costs kind of guy. I was too far in to go back and I needed to hit the pillow with a fresh mouth.

As the spider quickly scampered into the floor vent, my brain flashed back to late college days stumbling home from the bar at three in the morning. No matter what, no matter when, my roommate Dee would always break out his bulk-size dental floss and give his teeth a good plucking before bed. “I can’t go to sleep with furry teeth and stinkbreath,” I remember him saying back then. “Clean teeth at all costs, no matter what.”

And whether its finger-brushing at the fourth grade slumber party, borrowing toothbrushes at the dorm room sleepover, or scraping with leaves or sweatshirt sleeves on a mountain camping trip, there’s just something about going to bed with clean teeth that feels right. It’s the end of a long day and the start of a good night. It’s part of the crisp crinkly sheets, fresh pillow dream scene. And it helps complete your Pajama Metamorphosis.

Forget about the tired legs, drained kegs, and spider eggs.

Just remember to obey clean teeth at all costs and sleep tight.


Photos from: here, here, here, and here

34 thoughts on “#129 Clean teeth at all costs

  1. “No tiny porch spider or flimsy Daddy Long-Legs here. Seriously, it was a full-on what-the-heck-is-that kind of spider.”

    I laughed so hard at this! Amen, brother.

    My sister crashed here one night a while back, and, as she was utterly toothbrush-less, she figured she’d use my mouthwash.

    She just wasn’t expecting it to be that alcohol-based-makes-your-eyes-water-and-throat-burn type of mouthwash.

    I was wondering why the mirror was decidedly more green and wet than when I went to bed…

    1. Wow. Those are some creepy looking spiders…

      Now if you don’t mind, I’m going off to do some important chores, which certainly don’t involve taping all my windows shut and wiping down all entry-ways with bug-spray… o.O

      1. Where we live there are far too many venomous spider’s!
        Nearly everyone in our family has suffered ill effects and we know other people who have had dreadful consequences!
        Has nobody seen the twilight episode where the babies hatch in the stomach and exit subdurally through the skin?
        Prevention is a must!
        FACT is, A far more natural and simpler solution are CHESTNUTS around foundation, on window cills, near bed frames, hot water heaters and clothes dryer vents…actually anywhere you know spiders enter your home and like to lay their hundreds of “Baby Mother Eggs!” They are free and only need to replace every fall!
        Some people who have seen our chestnuts, have asked if we’re into witch craft! Those we don’t want to come around no more, we say “WHY YES!” Those we want to come back, we share the truth! Which is why I share this with you all here today:)
        NOW, to add this important information to “WICKA”…….. ~<;)

  2. I just did this right now and was thinking the same things! Well, minus the spider and all. It means you get to crawl into bed a little fresher than before, with all the remnants, flavors, and gunk replaced with the subtle taste of mint left in your mouth as you gently enter dream land. Awesome….

  3. I’ve used toiled paper, a paper towel, my shirt, a hand towel and I’ve even flossed (so to speak) with a plastic bag.

    Teeth are my thing. I honestly find it hard to be acquainted with someone with bad or terribly crooked teeth because I always look at someone’s mouth when they’re speaking and it drives me nuts. I start wondering why they never got braces or something else. Shallow, I know.

    1. Some people can’t afford it. Braces are expensive.

      I have crooked teeth, and sometimes I feel really self-conscious about them. I try to tell myself that most people will judge me for who I am, not what my teeth look like, but every once in awhile someone will make a comment like that and the insecurity comes rushing back.

        1. Thanks, Wendy. I do smile, and friends and boyfriends still think I’m attractive. Most of the time my teeth don’t bother me. It embarrasses me most when I first meet someone who has perfect teeth, especially when they’re wealthy, because I feel like they’re looking down on me as a low-class person. Also, when I see someone I knew when I had braces, because I imagine they’re wondering what the heck happened.

          Long story, but due to a screw-up by me and then another by my orthodontist, I wore braces for two years and now my teeth are crooked again. I endured all that pain for nothing and wasted my parents’ money. It saddens me to look back at pictures from when I had braces and the couple years thereafter when I had straight teeth, because it reminds me of what I had and lost.

          I suppose I could count it as a blessing because it allows me to weed out the shallow people.

          You’re beautiful, too. :)

        1. Apology accepted. I’m glad you realize it and that you want to change. Just remember that, while crooked teeth may drive you nuts when you’re talking to someone, it drives that person nuts even more. We’re all just people and none of us are perfect. And that’s okay. :)

  4. “I stared quickly into the mirror with steely, bloodshot eyes and asked myself what sort of man I was.” That made me laugh, very dramatic image.

    I’m with you on that. I would have done the same and continued brushing because I’m all about handling the furry teeth and stink breath before bed…no.matter.what. Besides, whatever was on the brush would have already been in my mouth at the point.

  5. You can try to fool me by using only photos from other, non-bathroom, locations, but I’m still putting a *tick!

  6. I’m all over this post! But it wasn’t always the case..

    I used to be one of those “floss for the three days after I go to the dentist and I’m still enthusiastic about it, but soon I’ll forget all about it, and will have to sheepishly explain to my dentist that I “rarely” floss when I’m back there in 6 months, even though it was been a full 5 months and 27 days since I last flossed” sort of guys..

    But then, on one fateful dentist trip, I had a rookie hygenist, and she hacked and clawed at my teeth and gums for about 30 minutes, and when all was said and done, she had all these balled up tissues and cotton balls COVERED in blood. Apparently, my gums were a mess (not helped by her “aggressive” technique), and I had the early stages of gingivitis.. (short aside: I got confused, and later told my then-girlfriend-now-wife that I had “menigitis”.. apparently, to a med student, that is a very scary thing to declare)..

    At any rate – on that day, I set myself on a new path.. I went out and bought floss, a pre-brushing rinse, mouthwash, a fluroide rinse, etc., etc.. my night-time dental routine became a 6-step process.. yet strangely, this lengthy and involved process is exactly what I needed to stick to a plan. This was about 7 years ago, and I can probably count the number of times I haven’t flossed before bed on one hand since that day.

    And my dentist? She often compliments my healthy teeth and gums! No more blood-bath for me at the dentist! Woo hoo!

    1. I’m kind of a lazy flosser, despite the glaring and accusatory “Do you need to floss your teeth? ONLY THE ONES YOU WANT TO KEEP” sign starting at me from the wall of my dentist’s office. I’m the same way you used to be … I’ll get really into it for a while, flossing constantly. Then without notice or reason, I’ll drop back to my every-other-week-and-on-the-occasion-I-get-food-lodged regimen.

      In my defense, though, I have straight, clean, white, completely cavity-free teeth. I do brush twice a day — at all costs.

      Also, I’m glad to hear that you are both gingivitis- and meningitis-free. I bet your wife is relieved as well. :)

    2. Freddo! I almost never read the comments – and just contentedly read them each day on FB or email… But when I read this one, I just KNEW you’d comment and had to come read what you had to say… you and your obsessive tooth cleaning ritual… I have to tell you though – ever since I got my dental implant, flossing has become the most important thing I do each day… Not because I care about the $3,000 tooth in my mouth, or that i’m worried about gingivitis, but because I’ve NEVER had so much food stuck in my teeth so consistently. This damn implant is a food magnet – and not little bits – huge chunks! So, flossing is now a twice a day ritual – and I’m often caught flossing at my desk after lunch…. And I figure, since I’m in there anyways, I may as well do the rest of them… So my motivations aren’t noble, but my teeth will thank me regardless in the end…

  7. Last year, when the 33 famed Chilean miners were finally reached via a tiny borehole after three weeks trapped underground, the first things they requested be sent down the shaft weren’t food, water or medicines – but toothbrushes.

    1. I believe it! I forget how many days passed before they were reached, but I hate to imagine how yucky their mouths were by then.

  8. I should preface this comment by saying I love this blog. I read every post and often pass the best ones on to my friends. This is the first time I’ve been unhappy with a post on this blog… As an arachnaphobe, there is NO WAY I would ever do that, and unexpectedly coming across pictures of spiders in places that I usually think of as safe and happy is very stressful. Decidedly NOT AWESOME….

  9. There were so many things about this that made me laugh, I don’t even know where to start. I love when you tell stories; they’re always so hilarious, even if it’s about something as mundane as teeth-brushing.

    I should read this to the kids in my class. I’m not 100% sure, but I think they’re working with the “Avoid having clean teeth — at all costs” mentality.

  10. I’m all for clean teeth and minty fresh breath, but I don’t think I would have been able to continue brushing after the thought of a giant spider all over my toothbrush. I get grossed out by the thought of someone else using my toothbrush, let alone a spider all over it!
    I always keep floss handy. There’s some in my car, my purse, my desk at work, in the medicine cabinet at home and in each drawer under the sink. I, like Freddo, had a horrifying dentist trip not long ago involving a pick, my gums, and a lot of blood. I neglected my pearly whites, but not anymore. I don’t have a 6 step routine I do every night, but I do keep up with them now.

  11. I love this! I am ridiculously obsessive-compulsive about clean teeth, so I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. Clean teeth definitely make bedtime better.

  12. Loved this! Good on you for continuing to clean your teeth and not let whether the spider had crawled all over your toothbrush get in the way of that. I feel the same way about my teeth too, having them cleaned before bed time makes everything feel so fresh like the pillows, the sheets, your pajamas. Although I really don’t brush them often enough as I should. Something that takes only a few minutes I can get really lazy to do.

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