Friday, July 23, 2010

Takin' Care of the Pearly Whites

On all of the blogging communities I belong to, a common topic is about how to keep coming up with fresh things to write about.

My problem isn't thinking of ideas. I think of ideas constantly. The difficulty for me is remembering them. To counter this (and with my recent commitment to write more often), I try to keep a small notebook handy at all times.  Get an idea; take a note.  When that fails, I record voice notes into my phone and send them to myself.   No dissertation; just a few words to jog the old noggin.

So the last one was "Peggy Sue. Teeth."

Let's discuss.

Alone in my hotel room in Denver a few nights ago, my TV choices were Peggy Sue Got Married or a repeat of Deadliest Catch.

It was a tough choice but I went with the 1986 Kathleen Turner movie. (As a side note, Kathleen Turner was the keynote speaker at my college graduation.  She walked by me on her way up to the stage and pointing to my Golden Key Honour Society sash inquired, "What's that gold thing mean?"  I mumbled something as she walked away.  I'm sure it sounded like, "It means I can't form a sentence in the presence of celebrity. Blubbub. Fub. Dub. Wait - come back!")

Awful movie but the one scene in Peggy Sue Got Married which always stands out to me is when Peggy Sue asks, "Grandpa, if you had a chance to go back and do it all differently, what would you have changed?"

Barney replies, "Well, I woulda taken better care of my teeth."  

So of course that made me think of my step-mom / aunt, whom we'll call Moo Moo.  That's what my kids call her and you know how I love using nicknames here.  (No, she's not fat.)

Growing up, Moo Moo was obsessed with clean teeth. Or so it seemed in my youthful mind.

Oh yeah... in case you've been wondering about the whole "step-mom / aunt" thing, it's as simple as this:
My dad was remarried to my mom's sister. Yes, the younger model. No, that's not why my mom and dad got divorced. Everyone got along just fine.  Mom remarried years ago too. Yeah, maybe something which would be on Jerry Springer. "Uncle Dad" - yep, wicked funny.

You can imagine how many times I've said all these things in the past 40 years since it all went down.

But I digress. We were talking about oral hygiene.

Up until about about the age of eight, I got away with the toothpaste on the shirt trick.  My parents never asked "Did you brush your teeth?"  They just saw the mess in the sink and the white pasty spot on my shirt and assumed it was so.  They also assumed I was a total freakin' slob which wasn't ideal, but I had to pick my battles.

When I finally went to the dentist and had like, five cavities, they caught on.   I was screwed.

You know how the mothers in old fashioned TV shows would always ask their kids if they were wearing clean underwear before they left the house?

Every other weekend and during all school vacations (re: custody agreement), Moo Moo made my and my siblings' dental hygiene her personal mission.  Nobody left the house without a full inspection.

"Let's see those pearly whites," she would sing in her best June Cleaver voice. 

If I somehow escaped without going through the Colgate lineup, she'd hunt me down. You can only imagine how embarrassing it was to get a phone call at a friend's house and have to drearily explain, "I gotta go home and brush my teeth."

Don't worry, eventually I figured out on my own that not brushing the ol' grill was just plain gross.  Probably around the time I decided that boys weren't gross.

And then just the other day, I actually caught myself chiding my kids, "Let me see those pearly whites."  

I admit that actually have to hold Spidey's face in a headlock some days to get the tops of his gums to gleam.
It must be genetic.

In terms of a handy tip I can offer on the topic, it's BrushPicks.   I think I mentioned in an earlier post that when my dad died, we found these things everywhere.  Every room, every drawer, every pocket.

Now I know why.  BrushPicks totally rock.  (And no, this is not a paid advertisement.  I seriously can't live without these things now.)

Flossing is so 1986.

If you do nothing else for yourself today, take great care of your teeth. 

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Sarah said...

Thanks. I'll have to give it a try. Is it me or the stepmom / aunt thing is a little gross? Or did you grow up somewhere in the mountains? (just kidding here)

Charlene said...

Well, actually the mountains ARE pretty close. I know you are only kidding! ;-)

Anastasia said...

I've never heard of that trick. Going to start watching my kids closer. And I like Peggy Sue Got Married. In all its awfulness. (visiting from 31DBB on BlogFrog and now following from there)

Green Grandma said...

My husband is missing teeth because no one ever taught him how to brush when he was a kid -- he learned from watching television commercials where the actors only brushed their front he never brushed the back ones.

Brooke Shields now makes sure everyone knows to brush in the back as she moves her toothbrush back and forth inside her cheek in front of the camera, but back in the early 50s that would have been considered uncouth!

Charlene said...

Anastasia - your kids might not be happy with me now . . LOL! I'm really enjoying the 31DBB challenge as well. Thanks for following and I will be sure to check out your blog as well!

Green - that is so funny but I can see how it happens! Thanks so much for visiting!

Victoria said...

Ah thanks for this one!

I am absolutely so terrible at taking care of my teeth, but reading this actually made me make an effort (for a few days at least)!
I know it IS important, and my parents always told me this, but somehow I just think it is one of the most boring things ever!
I really have to remind myself to brush my teeth morning and evening, or I would simply forget! Then of course I get sore teeth and bleed when I finally get around too it, and then I don't feel like doing it again cos by now it hurts!! :-( It's a vicious circle!

But, seriously after reading this, I have made an effort! I have been brushing my teeth regularly and singing songs in my head, to keep myself company while doing it. I also bought mouth wash, but it is so strong that after 10 secs my face have turned all red and I feel I cant breathe!
Oh dear... its not always easy taking care of those pearly whites...

Thanks for sharing :-D

The Guy's Perspective said...

This is funny. It reminds me of my son. I suspected he wasn't washing his hands, and then I caught him doing the old, turn on the faucet but not actually wash trick. Busted!

TC said...

My dad married one of my moms best friends after mom died?
Anyway re the teeth, I need a's horrible...I had braces etc. brushed my teeth, drank milk out the wazoo, I had to have baby teeth pulled because they were so rotten. Anyway sometimes the teeth brushing doesn't work, my kids have GREAT teeth though thank goodness....

HeartBabyHome said...

I tried the brush picks...and I like them...but I have to wonder if I need to still floss sometimes, too. It doesn't really get inbetween the tops of the teeth, right?

Charlene said...

Heartbabyhome - hmmm... good question! Though I know ehn my dentist flosses my teeth, he pulls the floss through vs. up. (I have really tight spaces between my teeth.) But you could be right!

Nickie said...

I actually cracked up just now reading that... I mean, yeah, I did. I'm gonna have to get some of those and try them on the five year old... he doesn't really like the floss pick thingies. *new follower*

Charlene said...

Glad to have provided a chuckle Nickie! Thanks for following!!

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