Toothpaste is Complicated

As I continue my shopping trip, I come to the realization that it’s taken me three months to decide on what kind of deodorant I should buy. By now, I’m hungry, thirsty, and probably need some of that deodorant I have yet to purchase from not showering for so long. I round the next isle, thinking that things could not get any more complicated, when I am confronted by the next item on my shopping list.


Oh. My. Gosh.

It’s a museum… no, it’s a tower of boxes, tubes, and little squeezable bottle things that I don’t think have a name yet. It’s an entire labyrinth of shelves all dedicated to the gooey stuff you put on the end of a brush and rub around your teeth for two minutes each morning and night. Crest. Colgate. Aim. Act. Some weird hipster brand. Heck, even some of those deodorant companies have gotten in on the action. It’s crazy.

I feel now is a good time to point this out. Don’t be too hard on people who don’t brush their teeth for two minutes a day, three times a day. I mean, I do it, but that’s because I’m such a germaphobe, I’m third cousins with Monk. They have the understanding that they are wasting six minutes a day of their life, which translates out into 2,190 minutes a year. That may not seem like much, but if you calculate it out (one day has 1,440 minutes), that’s almost two days each year! Live to be 70, and that’s almost half a year of your life, just spent brushing your teeth.

Back at the store I instinctively reach for the Crest 3D White, the kind I’ve used since forever. But then a glimmer catches my eye. No, really, a glimmer, because there is this box that blinds you in all it’s sparkly glory. It makes the cast of Twilight look like they just stepped out of a six hour tanning session at the tanning beds. It’s the NEW MEGA WHITENING ULTRA CAVITY PROTECTION TARTER AND PLAQUE ELIMINATING SUPER TOOTHPASTE  (& KNUCKLES). As if I have lost control of my faculties, my hand slowly reaches towards it. But then I see the price, which is almost triple the cheaper options, and I immediately think “marketing ploy.”

Another aside: having a PR background, I understand the need to fit as much description as you can into the smallest possible space, but am I the only one who thinks “tartar protection” and “plaque protection” are bad descriptors? I mean, I know what’s trying to be said, that it protects teeth from those enemies. But it kind of sounds like it’s protecting the tartar and plaque that’s already there. Maybe it’s just me.

But anyway, what if I need all that stuff to help my teeth. I mean, I haven’t had a cavity since I was ten, but still. I remember them not being fun. But I really could use the five dollars I’d save getting a cheaper alternative. Maybe I should pick something in the middle…. ahhh, oh no… I’m going to be here another three months. And to think, I could have been brushing my teeth this whole time.

About the photo: “Shopping List” What can I say? I took a picture of a shopping list. Nothing profound here.

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In my school, referenced in today’s Daily Post prompt, we’d have classes that make heads or tails of all these complicated health and beauty products.




Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.

2 thoughts on “Toothpaste is Complicated

  1. I had a similar moment yesterday over buying paint. Showed up knowing exactly what I needed and wanted and it was truly a towering endless maze of promises and mixed metaphors!
    Great post!

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