February 17, 2016 by Heather
I have this theory.
It’s a loose one, but the more I mull it over, the more legit it sounds.
A few years ago, around the time Parker was born, I started buying toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. I had noticed that anything cold or really hot made my teeth hurt a little, so I thought it might help. I made the mistake of telling Andrew that I had “weak enamel,” and he has yet to let me live that down.
Since I started paying attention to the sensitivity, it has only gotten worse. I have another theory about the sensitive toothpaste people making their formula in such a way that it causes you to have to keep buying it, but we’ll save that for another day. A couple months ago I used an electric toothbrush for about two weeks and my teeth are just now recovering from the jarring of it all. My poor molars, I should’ve known better.
In recent days, it has donned on me that I can maybe blame my weakening enamel on being a mom. Hear me out, it makes a lot of sense.
1. Taking too many deep breaths. You know the days I’m talking about — the ones where you periodically lock yourself in the bathroom and angry-text your mom friends about how you’re about to punch a hole in the wall. But because I am working on my wall punching habit, I (healthfully) decide to instead take, like, 47 deep breaths to diffuse my temper. Sucking in all of this cold air really hurts my teeth, but it saves our drywall.
2. Stress eating. This usually happens on a day like the one mentioned previously. Both boys are hungry for lunch at the same time — whining, climbing on the cabinets, acting a fool. So in my rush to fix lunch, oh, what’s that? Parker’s Valentine candy! I’ll just cram these skittles in my mouth real quick. That will lift my mood and give me the sugary boost I need to make it until nap time. Wrong. Boom, tooth pain. See also: sugar crash, sugar guilt.
3. Gritting my teeth. Boy, motherhood is a refining fire, isn’t it? Obviously by now you’re catching the drift that I struggle with a bit of a temper. So, if taking 47 deep breaths keeps me from punching a wall, gritting my teeth helps keep me from yelling things like WHY ARE YOU SO WILD AND CRAZY AND LOUD IT WAS BEDTIME FOUR HOURS AGO OH MY GOSH MAYFIELD SHUT UP #$%^?@*^&, etc etc. The amount of force from my top teeth being drilled into my bottom teeth, and vice versa, makes for a highly uncomfortable enamel situation.
4. Forgetting to brush my teeth. I know, gross. Sorry, Dr. Allmon.
5. Loud noises. Sometimes, when Parker screams at Mayfield and she barks her shrill bark back at him, I think my teeth may literally fall out of my gums and scatter all over the floor. This sensation is also felt when I send Parker to time-out and he bangs on his door so hard that it rattles the kitchen window. It would probably make going back to his room for the post-time-out discussion a lot more effective anyway if I showed up with no teeth. “This is what your yelling has done to me, son. What do you have to say for yourself?”
6. Smiling too big. You had to see this coming. This list was in dire need of redemption, so here it is. Even on the crappy, crappy days — the days where I experience tooth pain from all five of the earlier things mentioned — there are moments so full of joy that I feel as though my head and heart might burst, and, therefore, my teeth. If history and our mothers teach us anything, it is that these are the moments we will remember. I’ll gladly pop in a set of dentures on behalf of this one.
Happy Tuesday! And a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful mom, who miraculously still has all of her teeth.
P.S. Just in case anyone else is in the Weak Enamel Club, I’ve recently discovered these wonderful toothbrushes.