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  • Kate Forest

Electric Toothbrush Woes

Upon reaching a certain age, it seems my gums decided to shrink. I guess they just think to themselves that they’ve held my teeth in place long enough. They’ve endured all kinds of sugary drinks and less than sporadic flossing. So they’re fed up, not going to take it anymore, and they quit.

The problem is that I need my gums. They hold my teeth in my jaw. I like my teeth. My teeth allow me to eat things like crunchy croutons (which in turn allow me to eat those salads I’m supposed to).

For gum recession, I was sent to an endodontist, otherwise known as an “oral butcher.” This demon scraped skin off the roof of my mouth and sewed it onto my gums. The nice term is grafting. But don’t think for one minute it wasn’t like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.

Upon leaving the butcher’s office, I was instructed to get an electric toothbrush. This device will keep me from wearing away at all the “new” gum tissue (it’s really just old roof of my mouth tissue)

The vibrating rotating device isn't nearly as much fun as something that vibrates and rotates should be. It beeps every 30 seconds so that I spend that exact amount of time on each quadrant of my mouth.

My brain is full of things like, remembering that tomorrow is a half day of school or I’d better buy laundry detergent if anyone is going to have clean underwear this week. Instead of focusing on these important tasks, I run this dental vibrator over my teeth while on edge, anticipating that tone that means I need to switch to a different section of my mouth.

No longer can I use brushing teeth time to gather wool or find inspiration. Now, it’s filled with thoughts of “did I spend enough time on my lingual side?” or “how close to my gum line should I get?”

I knew aging meant the end of some carefree moments and increased concern about my health. But invading my foamy tooth time, that’s a bite too far.

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