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Tracy Beckerman column: The tooth shall set you free

Tracy Beckerman
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Columns share an author’s personal perspective.

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“Do I want sensitive teeth or regular toothpaste?” my husband asked as he shopped online to pre-order his toothpaste from the drugstore.

“Are your teeth sensitive?” I said.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Well, let me insult them and see if they take offense,” I replied.

“What?” he said.

“What?” I said.

My husband had hit a toothpaste wall. With so many varieties to choose from, he had been rendered stupefied by toothpaste overload. It was possible he might need a toothpaste intervention, or at the very least, toothpaste therapy when all this was said and done.

This was one of the big differences between us. When I decide to buy something, I can usually make up my mind what I want pretty quickly, or at least, in this millennium.

My husband is another story. It can take him, days … weeks … months of research to decide what kind of whatever it is that he wants, and even then, after he picks one, will immediately have buyer’s remorse. Some of the time, he lives with his decision and grumbles under his breath about it for a while. Other times, he will play a game of receive and return that makes it feel like I’m living in an Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Such was the case recently when he wanted to buy a new toothpaste.

Of course, I realize there are a million varieties of toothpaste on the market and it can take you a few minutes to weed through all of them. But it would seem to me that if you basically know what you want, how hard could it be to pick one?

I, for one, am a gel girl. I prefer gel over paste. I know this about myself so I would never select a paste over a gel unless there were no other options. I consider myself lucky to have this choice. In the past, there was only paste, and it wasn’t a nice minty paste that whitened and brightened, either. Ancient Egyptians used a paste made of soot, water, and the hardened sap of an Acacia tree, water. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

There, now you know more about the history of toothpaste than you ever thought you’d need.

For tomorrow’s lesson, we will learn about the ancient forms of toilet paper.

But back here in the present, my husband was still having a really hard time picking out toothpaste.

“Do I want a whitening formula with baking soda or a charcoal toothpaste to brighten my teeth?

“If you get a charcoal formula, we can also use it to light the grill,” I said.

“I don’t think it works that way, honey,” he said.

“Have you ever tried?”

“No.”

“Well then you don’t know.”

He shook his head and continued.

“Do I want anti-cavity, anti-plaque, anti-gingivitis, and anti-halitosis, or do I want one that is made in the Himalayas and is fluoride and gluten-free.

“Get that one. It comes from the Himalayas so you can use it on your pet Yak, too.”

“We don’t have a yak,” he said.

“That’s because we never had the right toothpaste for one,” I replied.

He sighed. “You’re not helping.”

“Here, give me your computer,” I said, reaching for his laptop.

“Okay, you like paste, not gel. You don’t want a whitening formula because you have veneers. You do want cavity-protection and you like your toothpaste minty fresh. You can get either this one or this one,” I said triumphantly, handing him the computer back with two options highlighted.

“How do you do that?” he said.

“It’s gift,” I replied. “So, are we done?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Great,” I said. “Now tell me what kind of wife you want because if we have to ever do this again, I’m leaving.”

You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBeckerman and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.