Oral Hygiene 101

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One of the hazards of having prosthetic jaw joint replacements is that any dental work (even a cleaning) poses serious infection risks. It was with this thought in mind that I said “Self – you need to take care of your chompers and minimize the chance of needing dental intervention. Let’s get you a waterpik!”

Now I realize I am admitting to the general public that I am not a very competent grown up. I’ve just delved into my first epilator purchase and now I am admitting I’ve never used a waterpik. Do the rest of you suckers floss old school? You know…with a string? Or do you have these robotic tooth sprayers too?? Or are you as responsible as me (ie. Floss?? AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!”)

The slick unit arrived in an official looking box and is comprised of space-aged-translucent plastic on top of a sleek white base. The little spraying tool fits perfectly in my hand and and is fastened to the base with a jaunty white telephone cord. I excitedly think “WEEEHEEE THIS LOOKS LIKE FUN!” I fill the reservoir with water and fire that bad boy up.

Lesson #1 – This thing is LOUD. So loud that it sounds like someone may be operating a welder or other construction-type apparatus in your bathroom. I made the mistake of firing mine up in the dead of night, just before I went to bed. As in, the kids had been snoozing for hours and I’d just logged a handy 3 hours of hard Netflix time. I turn on this unit and suddenly the kids launch out of bed and stumble into my room to investigate what apocalyptic event is underway in mama’s bathroom.

Lesson #2 – Read the instructions before you turn it on. I was so excited to turn this thing on that I was a little foggy on what button do I push on the handheld thing to stop the flow. I fired it on and suddenly there is a steady stream of water…nay…liquid bullets…shooting from the nozzle. This thing is going GANGBUSTERS. BUT IT IS NOT IN MY MOUTH. It was shooting everywhere. The walls. The mirror. My hair. Across the room to the shower behind me.

Lesson #3 – Get it in your mouth when water is NOT shooting out of it. I was trying to wrap my lips around the steady stream of 8923 PSI water spraying. It was slightly foiled by the fact I had to have my eyes clamped shut to avoid accidental ocular removal with this scalpel sharp stream of water. When the stream hits your soft, delicate facial tissue it will feel like Hannibal Lector is peeling your skin off. Or some kind of luxury microderm abrasion that you spent $ on and are suddenly filled with regret. This thing feels like a razor with lazer sharp intensity.

Lesson #4 – Start with the pressure on LOW. I don’t know if this thing doubles for autobody paint removal or polishing the grout in your shower? What earthly reason could there be for putting this kind of power into a device meant to be put in your MOUTH. Once I’d finally wrapped my tingling, numb lips around the freaking spraying wand I felt like my mouth was about to blow. I made the mistake of pointing the pressure washer at the back of my throat and it felt like 744 needles were blasted into my epiglottis. I tried to reposition and ended up pointing the damned thing at my soft palate eliciting a sudden strong gag reflex. Thankfully the loud roaring of the engine and my family’s hysterical laughter drowned out the gagging sounds.

Lesson #5 – Use warm water. Firstly, cold water sprayed at your gum line at 472 mph is going to give you a Guinness Book of World Record’s ice cream headache. Secondly, cold water is terribly uncomfortable when it starts to overflow out of your nose, which brings me to my next point…

Lesson #6 – Where the frick is all of this water supposed to go? The reservoir on the tank held a giant volume of water. Definitely larger capacity than my mouth! I was trying to be a lady (you can surmise how that was going) and not dribble or drool. My cheeks started to balloon out quickly. WHERE WAS THIS WATER GOING TO GO! WHY HADN’T I READ THE INSTRUCTIONS SO I KNEW HOW TO PAUSE THE FLOW!? AM I GOING TO DIE DUE TO WATERPIK DROWNING?!? At this point the water started to spew forth from both nostrils. 2-in-1 oral care AND sinus care! BONUS!

Lesson #7 – DO NOT WATERPIK WITH WITNESSES. After the cold water started streaming out of my nose I simultaneously gasped/shrieked thereby coughing and choking. The waterpik nozzle was once again uninhibited my the protection of my lips and sprayed around the room. It was memorable. My kids learned a lot of new vocabulary.

ORAL HEALTH IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Play safe, kids.

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