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A Dental Dilemma

By Matt Sedik

I'm worried. Scared even. I've reached a point in my life where decisions made now could affect my future drastically. One wrong step on this Tightrope of Life could send me headlong into a pit of failure.

The blue indicator on my Oral-B toothbrush looks like it's down halfway. I'm almost positive, but some of the blue on a few of the tiny bristles isn't halfway yet. I think that a majority of the bristles are at the mid point, but how can I be certain? There are so many I can't see. A virtual forest of blue-white bristles.

Just what is that blue stuff anyway? dye? paint? indicator gunk? Where does the blue go when I brush my teeth? It doesn't turn my mouth a funny color, which means I'm either spitting it out or swallowing it. If I'm spitting it out in mouthfuls of Colgate-froth, good. Maybe the stuff's good for the ocean, it'll clean it up and turn it indicator blue. If I'm swallowing it, then does that mean my insides are now blue? I wouldn't be able to tell with an X-ray, since they're in black and white. Do we have a special organ that filters out color? No green urine yet... (sounds like the sequel to a Dr. Suess book)

What a great marketing tool: let them tell us when it's time to buy a new toothbrush. And we believe them. I bet there were long debates over how long it should be until the blue gets halfway. The greedy execs would say, "Make it a week or two, our sales will soar!" Then the cooler, ex-hippie execs would chime in with, "Hey, who really brushes their teeth anyway? We just rub toothpaste on with our finger."

This "indicator" scheme could work for other products: car paint could slowly fade down to mid-door after a year or two, making the vehicle an ugly two-tone. Very un-stylish. How about humans. Around your 40th birthday you wake up and everything below the waist is blue. Like you've been wading in a pool of Drain-O... just think, you don't need to worry about wearing socks or stockings.

I've babbled this far and still have no clue as to whether I should toss out my toothbrush, and replace it, or not. I think I'll take a chance. Push the envelope. I'll continue brushing until all of the blue is gone. A rebel, yeah, that's me. A bristle bandit. Life's too short to waste time waiting for a toothbrush.

Update: I noticed that a possible Key to Life might be written on the side of the tube of toothpaste, Colgate with baking soda, peroxide & whitening magic, on my bathroom sink: FOR BEST RESULTS, SQUEEZE FROM THE BOTTOM AND FLATTEN IT AS YOU GO UP.