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2002-02-18 - 10:34 p.m.

I was thinking today that I don't brush my teeth nearly as long as Matt does; he will alway brush at least the full prescribed 2 minutes, if not more. I don't, and not because I don't like my teeth, or even that I am lazy, which I am often accused of. It is because I don't like to. It hurts, and makes my gums bleed. And I think it makes my gums recede also, like a man in his thirties hairline recedes. And don't go thinking that's some hypochondriac excuse, either. My mom had to have surgery at 36 to have skin grafted from the roof of her mouth onto her gums, because her gumline had receded far too much. Her dentist/oral surgeon said it was from years of brushing too hard, too long, and with a toothbrush that was far to stiff. He recommended the softest bristle possible, too. And my dentist said the same thing to me. I had reached 20 with no cavities, braces or other dental work, and had the tell-tale signs of receeding gums. Keep up with the Listerine, and always use soft bristles. And try to floss, but not to excessive religious mania. I don't like flossing, either. I don't like it when my gums bleed, and though they say that goes away if you floss regularly, I don't like the idea of forcing my poor sensitive recessively inclined gums to "toughen up" to accept the floss. It's like saying a horse should get used to a big bit, or that a dog will have to get used to a spiked choke-chain. When something is sensitive, you don't make it tougher, you treat it more gently.


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