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29
FEB

A Mouth Full of Ineptitude

Filed Under: Personal Care at 2:12 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Toothbrush

The toothbrush has come a long way since its inception. The days of a simple stick and bristles are far behind us, replaced with elaborate mechanisms boasting an array of colors and multitude of capabilities. You can buy products that not only brush for you but beep when it’s time to move your hand, protect your gums from brutish assaults and signal you when you’re erring. These innovations are not the result of bored engineers determined to better their previous creations. They are signs of our failure, incompetence and general all-around laziness.

Toothbrushes are now designed to be “idiot-proof.” They are being made, so that no matter how ignorant you are of proper brushing practices, you can’t destroy your mouth, which is what you are probably doing every morning and evening.  You’re attacking your teeth as if they had personally insulted your mother, scrubbing with rock-hard bristles and an unnecessary ferocity. Thankfully, you are too lazy to do so for long, stopping after 45 seconds rather than continuing for a full two minutes. And you’re only cleaning what can be seen, eradicating plaque on the front teeth while completely ignoring those in the back. The results are a mouth that hasn’t seen actual hygiene since your last trip to the dentist, which was . . .

If you’d rather not lose all of your teeth tomorrow or have a mouth that mirrors a bad British stereotype, start brushing properly.  Use soft bristles; they are universally recommended by dentists and are much kinder to your teeth and gums. Clean gently with the brush at a 45-degree angle, using short, soft strokes. Don’t forget about the back of your teeth and your gum line, where bacteria like to hide, and last the entire two minutes. It’s not really that long. I’m sure your muscles can take it.

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