When you are in the process of becoming a crunchy family, there are few areas of life that are truly sacred. It touches almost everything eventually, but one of the first overall categories that is usually impacted is anything in the area of cleaning: Cleaning your hair, cleaning your skin, cleaning your digestive tract (cleanses!), pretty much anything to do with cleanliness is the first to go.
So it should have come as no surprise to me when suddenly my teeth were a target. For most people brushing their teeth is the closest thing to a ritual that they have. Just try and change up what you unconsciously do as you step by step brush your teeth. Like try just one less rinse and spit and see how you feel.
Yes, you feel dirty.
Now imagine your wife (or significant other) slowly making little alterations to your brushing tools. First it’s just a new toothpaste that’s fluoride-free (FYI those are emotionally dark days in the home, after the fluoridation conspiracy theory videos).
Seriously though, it’s not good. Thankfully most of our married lives we’ve lived in two of the only cities in North America combative enough to repeatedly vote down public fluoridation (Portland & Montreal), though now we’ve moved outside city limits and have to filter the fluoride out (see water filtration post).
But after a while, the attack on toothpaste ingredients moves past just fluoride. Other substances are added to the axis of evil and new products enter the home, free of more and more things that seemed to be pretty key to making normal toothpaste. Again, when this is incremental, it’s tolerable. But with the introduction of tooth soap I believe I finally entered the 7th circle of dental care hell.
I don’t even know what to say about tooth soap. Perhaps one of the briefest phases of crunchy life that my wife made me and the children endure. It comes in a few forms, but what we had at the time was like little shavings of soap that you place on your brush bristles, like a little larva from some horrible soap-based life form, and then you brush until you’re foaming with rose-hips flavored rabies.
I think it was short-lived because even my wife couldn’t endure it, not that she didn’t try. We had multiple kinds, all gross. Also I think it was short, just because there are SO MANY healthy NORMAL tooth pastes out there. Sweetened with Xylitol, Fluoride free, pretty good stuff, good for you, good for your teeth, no need to brush with something so unnatural as tooth soap.
Who even thought of this idea in the first place? Growing up, the only time soap entered my mouth was when I said a cuss or something I wasn’t supposed to. Then there was a bar of soap on my tongue.
And then I’m expected to start brushing my teeth with soap? My subconscious freaking out, having flashbacks to my childhood…I rebelled almost right away. I lasted maybe a week and that was it. I think my wife pressed on for another month or so…but I knew it wouldn’t last.
Part of the problem with tooth soap is that no matter how small the pieces are, how little you start with (I think we eventually cut down to half a larva) you always end up with a volume of suds in your mouth that is just out of control. And you never think about this with tooth paste because the bubbles are all very small and under control, but with tooth soap the diameter of these suckers is just HUGE. And so they’re coming out all over the place and popping, which causes splatters. So you try and use an even more microscopic amount to start out, but now you’re pinching these tiny little pieces, dropping them, can’t find them again because they’re too small on the floor anyway where it’s all gross from you kids missing the toilet with their business…so you try and pick up another piece but it’s super hard to get it to stay on the bristles because now it’s so light that if you press too hard it’ll spring back off into the air due to the the rebound of the bristles, but if you don’t press down a little it won’t stick.
Just a nightmare, all around nightmare. If your wife even starts talking about tooth soap just draw a line in the sand, right there. Go out and buy the healthiest tooth paste you can find and use the Internet to prove its valor. Documentation, that’s the key.
Bury her in printouts.
AUTHOR’S NOTE – My wife now tells me that she still uses a form of tooth soap, supposedly I knew this at one point but have apparently suppressed the information. And I intend to suppress it again once I’m done writing this, but before I do, here is what she uses:
And the kids and I use this tolerable non-tooth soap substitute:
It makes poop sounds when you squeeze it out, which is terrible product development when your toothpaste is already sort of a tan-brown color.
NEXT WEEK, ON THE CRUNCHY DUNGEON:
Using it was fun, like mashing a giant red button to battle against body odors, my nemesis in talking to girls and securing a wife. And retaining said wife. And getting close enough to said wife that she may bear my children.