The Great Brush Off

Many nights I delay going to bed because I don’t want to brush my teeth.

I have my pajamas on, the house is locked up, I’m finished reading or watching television or playing Letter Garden on my tablet, and Dan has been snoring for half an hour. But I look around for something else to do so I can put off brushing my teeth.

I’ve never grown out of a childlike hatred of teeth brushing. I am a diligent brusher and flosser. Twice a day, every day. But I don’t like it.

I even bought a new electric toothbrush. It is a Quip brush, and I love it. Well, I love it as much as I can love a toothbrush. It’s kind of like loving a certain kind of scouring pad. I wish I had no need for one, but since I do, this is the one I want.

The minute I turn this toothbrush on, it starts tracking my brushing time. It beeps at 30-second intervals. After the fourth beep, I have brushed for a full two minutes, the brush turns itself off, and I am finished.

My teeth feel cleaner since I’ve been using this brush. The company sends me a new toothbrush head every three months, so I don’t need to remember to buy one. Everything about this brush is good.

Still, when the only thing left for me to do before going to bed is brush my teeth, I dawdle.

Going to bed without brushing is not an option.

Sometimes I persuade myself to brush BEFORE I put on my pajamas, lock the doors, finish watching TV, and tell Dan goodnight. When I follow this plan, going to bed is easy. I press the off button on the remote or the tablet, or close the book, and I’m done.

But when I follow that plan, I delay putting on my pajamas, locking the doors, finishing my TV watching, and telling Dan goodnight because, again, that toothbrushing step stands in my way.

Some nights Dan gets up to go to the bathroom or to get a drink and sees me wearing my pajamas and sitting idly in my recliner at midnight.

“What are you doing?” he asks.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Then why don’t you go to bed?” he asks.

“I’m not ready yet,” I say.

He shrugs his shoulders, the same way he does when I tell him all the bills in my wallet must be turned the same way, in ascending value order, with all the Presidents’ heads facing up.

I see commercials claiming that chewing Orbit gum strengthens the teeth, chewing Trident gum helps prevent cavities, and chewing Mentos Pure White Sweet Mint gum whitens the teeth. Maybe I could just pop a threesome of these chewing gums into my mouth twice a day and make toothbrushing redundant.

But, I cringe at the thought of answering my dentist’s question: “Have you been brushing twice a day?” with “No, but I’ve been chewing lots of gum.”

It is getting late. Now that I’ve finished writing this blog post for the week, there really is nothing else for me to do.

I will give up, brush my teeth, and head for bed.

I won’t go to sleep though. I’ll lie awake, looking at the ceiling and dreading the coming of morning when, once again, I must brush my teeth.

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10 thoughts on “The Great Brush Off”

  1. Oh goodness, Debbie–I sort of have the opposite problem. I have a similar toothbrush and we work together as a team! I love how my teeth feel after brushing and sometimes I go for the third time in one day. However, my battle with the nighttime routine lies with putting my PJs on, turning the security alarm on, closing window shades, turning off the lights, checking the alarm clock, etc. Sometimes I sit down in defeat and just tell Troy to do it all, I’m off nighttime duty–well, all of it except putting my PJs on me!! 🙂

    1. Becky, from the comments I’m getting, it seems “nighttime duties” are problems for lots of women! Maybe thaat’s because we are tired from trying to be superwomen all day! Hmmmmm

  2. I am in the same boat! I don’t want to do the night routine. The thing I most want to avoid is washing my face. Right now I’m nearly asleep in my chair. It is crazy!

    1. Ha, ha! Yes, I totally understand. It is as if we’ve tackled so many things in the day, we’re completely worn out by bedtime and can’t do one more thing!

  3. Debbie, I just LOVE you!! For me it’s washing my face. If I didn’t wear make-up it’s fast and easy, but I dread washing off eyeliner, mascara, foundation and the rest of it. Lol Sometimes my kids and I will race to see who can get ready for bed first, just so this mama can lessen her own dread of face-washing. Do you have any favorite songs that last 2 minutes or so? Or could you listen to 2 minutes of a podcast or something to distract you from the drudgery? That helps me (when I remember to do it!).

    1. Pearl, I clearly remember having “contests” with my kids when they were small so I could accomplish something. They still talk about their mom and the “flight of the butterfly.” We did that when a room of the house, or several rooms, were totally wrecked. I set a timer and we had to flit from one little task to another (like a butterfly) to finish the job before a timer went off! We Moms are resourceful people! Thanks for the two-minute suggestions at bedtime. 🙂

  4. Yes! I feel your pain except I hate the washing face/makeup removal routine I do…ugh! I know I have to do it and my face needs the makeup off and moisturizing but I start dreading it way before bedtime. But once I do it or start doing it I’m fine and I’m OCD so there’s no way I could go to bed without doing it and sleep! And I ALSO have to keep the bills in my wallet facing the same direction, heads up, in ascending order 😬

    1. Yes, Jennifer, if I don’t start dreading bedtime by 5:00 p.m., I’m running behind schedule. I drive myself literally crazy!! And that wallet thing simply makes sense! Of course sometimes I can’t find my ones, fives, and tens because my wallet is stuffed with totally random receipts and notes to myself!

  5. Very interesting. Our daily and nightly routines can truly consume our thoughts. 🙂 Now, I am thinking about brushing my teeth and it’s only afternoon here. 🙂

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