Tuesday, January 05, 2010


One of the things we picked up during our resupply/consumerist spending orgy in Ottawa was a pair of sonic toothbrushes. Now, I've had these things in my hands a half dozen times over the past year or so, but never picked them up. Simply, they're pretty expensive and, just as bad, the replacement heads are ridiculously overpriced. I liked the idea of them, but the cost just seemed a bit much.

So what caused me to change my mind? Blood, my friends. Copious amounts of blood.

When I was back in St. John's over Christmas I managed to squeeze in a trip to the dentist. I've been going to the same guy for 20 or more years and the routine is pretty much the same. I see him once a year, he makes some small talk about how things are up north, he then chastises me for not flossing enough and pointing out the dangers of too much plaque building up between my teeth. Sometimes there are x-rays. He's pretty much given up asking if I want to remove my wisdom teeth. Then there's about 30 minutes or so of him cleaning my teeth of the excess plaque. At the end, I get my free toothbrush, toothpaste and floss and head on my merry way.

All of that happened this time with the bonus of one addition....excruciating pain was also thrown into the mix.

I've had my teeth cleaned plenty of times. For whatever reason, even though I brush regularly, I get lots of plaque. Cathy goes to the dentist once every five years and her cleaning takes 15 minutes. I go once a year and if it's less than 30 minutes it's a miracle. It's never a pleasant experience...there is pain involved and my mouth feels weird for half a day afterwards, but I still think it's better than trying to floss. I hate flossing. It's a pain in the ass and I never manage to do a good enough job to make much of a difference the next time I see the dentist anyway.

So I don't know if he decided to teach me a little lesson about proper dental care by making the cleaning extra-special painful this time or if I'm becoming a wuss in my old age, but this bloody well hurt. You know you're it's been painful when you've sweated through your shirt and the dental assistant is wiping down the chair afterwards.

At one point there was that much blood being sucked out of my mouth from the cleaning that I nearly told him to stop and call the Red Cross. Because clearly there was a missed opportunity here. I could get my teeth cleaned and provide enough blood to keep a gut shot hemophiliac alive for quite some time.

(In an unrelated note, if I ever form a rock band, it's official name is now Gut Shot Hemophiliac.)

It was enough that I was still hurting for a couple of days. So I decided that was that. Flossing was out; I knew that wasn't going to work. So I decided to give the sonic toothbrushes a try. I'd heard good things about them, and seeing how white I was after the cleaning, the dentist suggested I might want to give them a whirl.

This will be an ongoing experiment, I guess, to see if I've just wasted a lot of money. I know it feels pretty weird on my teeth when I'm brushing. Cathy is still not sold on them and shoots me a look every time she uses hers to let me know she's not enjoying the experience of having her teeth, and most of her head, vibrating. Hopefully it works because I would genuinely like to never go through another experience at the dentist where I'm down a couple of pints of blood.

Last Five
1. Solomon's row - Sean Panting*
2. She is - The Fray
3. Something in me was dying - Keane
4. Come calling - Cowboy Junkies
5. Baggy trousers - Madness


OM said...

I *swear* by mine. Could not live without it.

My old one died last spring, and I had to make due with a manual toothbrush for a few days until I could replace it. I must have spent hours that week brushing my teeth, because they never felt clean. Uck.

Also nifty - Glide floss. Much better than waxed, makes flossing way better.


OM said...

ps - Land shark. Neat.


Kirsten said...

Flossing is truly key, though. The trick is varying the motion - go side-to-side between your teeth as well as up-and-down. Also, I alternate between two different thicknesses of floss (sheer accident, somebody gave me some thick floss once and it does a GREAT job of getting stuff out).

I also use a fluoride rinse, and I used to only brush my teeth at night but now do mornings too.

Why the new obsession? I've had a few root canals, and they weren't much fun, but I had a dental plan. Now I am self-employed and cannot afford another crown thank you very much. My dental hygienist says the difference in my teeth over the past two years is amazing, like I've got a whole new mouth! Yay!

tanker belle said...

I don't think a sonic toothbrush is going to replace flossing, it's not like it gets in between your teeth. I do, however, really like my sonic tb, my teeth are *so* much cleaner...and you do get used to the vibrating, it's really weird to start with though.

SRD said...

How do I know we are all getting to be middle aged? No. It is not that my nephew (a mere babe when I met all you guys) has his learner's permit. It is that we are enthusing about toothbrushes and flossing...and here I am reading your posts and thinking, hey, maybe I should get one too.

towniebastard said...

SRD, this year is the first great wave of our generation of Musers turning 40. A couple have already gone on ahead - like Sue and Chris St. Croix. But this year there's me, Andrew Smith, along with Chris and Lisa.

So I guess dental care is going to be a hot topic of discussion.

Although I would like to know why I'm the only Muser who has lost his hair. That's just not right.

Jackie S. Quire said...

My coworker just bought one of these too. I thought she was nuts for dropping 150 bucks on a effing toothbrush, when mine costs less than $5.

But like you said: those that have them love them.

Time will tell right?