Is good brushing actually BAD for me???

So I wrote in my humor column this week about the fancy, new toothbrush that my wife and I bought earlier this week, but ironically, it hasn’t all been fun and games … in fact, after actually using it for a couple of days, I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible that in the short term it’s going to do me more harm than good…

Of course, the HUGE caveat to this theory is that historically I’ve really been pretty horrible with regards to taking care of my teeth. I only brush once a day, I never floss, and I’ve been to the dentist exactly once in my adult life. That visit was maybe 2-3 years ago and after an hour of scrutiny and lecturing, I left with a $3,000 repair estimate and just never even bothered going back. And that was with dental insurance!

Well, let me think – I may have actually went back once to fill a single cavity or something, but that was about it. Seriously, the list was atrocious – maybe a dozen cavities of varying degrees, and also a couple of crowns and other things that were really expensive, and of course, when I asked about priorities, he said that the most important things were also the most expensive, so I could just rank them according to price. Needless to say, my budget didn’t exactly jive with that particular logic, so I promptly cast the quote into the garbage and didn’t really give it a second thought.

My concern now, though, is that I’m curious if somehow this awesome, new toothbrush of mine is somehow exacerbating those problem areas in a way that my traditional, half-assed brushing never really affected in the years past. The head of the new brush is very much like the one a dentist uses when he cleans your teeth, or so I vaguely remember, and thus I’m wondering if there’s a chance that it’s somehow irritating my gums that are probably already damaged when it’s down there giving them a deep cleaning that they haven’t felt in years.

The reason that I wonder all of this is because for the last two days, I’ve been fighting a mild headache that just tonight started to hint that it was stemming from around my jaw and throat area. I’m a little swollen down there, just on one side, and so in the back of my head I started wondering, “I wonder if this is a freaking root canal that’s just now coming to light…”

Other than that, I actually really like the toothbrush – it really does feel like it does a better job than I would with those cheapy, vibrating brushes in the past, and I like that it’s rechargeable so I don’t have to worry about the battery dying out a month later. Plus, I have to do less work and it actually tells me when I’m brushing too hard or I’ve stayed in one place too long, so that’s kinda neat! I’m just hoping that this $100 toothbrush doesn’t lead to me having to revisit that $3,000 dental plan to boot…

Recommended by the American Dental Association … crap.  😳

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