Growing up, brushing my teeth was one of my least favorite things to do in my daily life.
That and showering.
I do not deny that I absolutely loved the feeling after completing either task – rubbing my tongue along my smooth, shiny teeth, or my hands on my soft, smooth skin.
I just merely disliked the whole process of getting to that point of delight.
So, I avoided them both, basically as often as was possible.
I remember specifically, regarding teeth-brushing, how I would sit in my Social Studies class in sixth grade (it was right after lunch), and I would scratch at my teeth with my finger nails, scrubbing them clean that way… and I’m not so sure I had brushed my teeth in the morning in the first place, unfortunately…
I did this in other classes, too, but it was a regular thing that I casually would scratch them clean in that class in particular.
One day, in a casual, lighthearted and playful, yet ever-so-biting comment, one boy (D——) mentioned how I sit there at my desk cleaning my teeth all the time (among other things about me, but that’s the one I remembered).
I was shocked that it had been obvious enough that anyone could tell what specifically I was doing… it always just looked a lot like I was biting or chewing on my nails.
It hadn’t occurred to me that he might have been paying attention to me on purpose, and thereby figured out what I was doing…, but perhaps he was watching me in the first place…
At the time, I just thought I was being obscene with my teeth scratching, and was embarrassed.
I might even have begun improvements to my oral hygiene because of that interaction and comment…, though I don’t remember for sure.
I just know that it has always stuck with me.
I’m not mad at him or anything – far from it.
He definitely wasn’t wrong – I definitely often cleaned my teeth by hand, because I hated the feeling of unclean teeth.
I just probably could have helped my case greatly by using a toothbrush and toothpaste more often in my childhood. 😛
Funnily enough, I still have my days of avoiding brushing my teeth, but I still can’t stand it once I notice the feeling of unclean teeth and I’m not actively eating.
I don’t scratch with my nails anymore, though, because I basically always have toothpaste, floss, and toothbrush with me, wherever I go.
I’ve become somewhat of a fanatic about brushing and flossing my teeth, especially after having to do it all the time with the invisible aligners I had for six months last year… they kind of brought to fruition my desire to have a clean mouth all the time, by forcing me to brush and floss all the time.
Now, it is normal for me to brush and floss after any time I eat, even without the aligners during the day anymore (only a retainer while sleeping, now).
I just so dislike the feeling of dirty teeth…
I sometimes brush my teeth if I know I’ll have to wait even a little while before continuing to eat… I have definitely brushed my teeth between appetizers and dinner on more than one occasion, I just can’t take it. 😛
I also shower every day now, but I hold back from multiple times a day due to a desire not to be wasteful with laundry (which I struggle to wash as often as is reasonable – many swimsuits have served as underwear over the years, you see) or with water, so I arrange my days as best I can not to have to shower more than once on the average day.
I had a panicked phase of showering too much at one point, but am grateful that that has ended, and I can function normally now (meaning I shower daily, but don’t have a compulsion to shower after every time I use the toilet…). 😛
Anyway, my retainers are in and my mouth is delightfully clean, so I’m going to bed now – I’m exhausted!