I have a love/hate relationship with my teeth. I got lucky in that I only had to have “brackets” for one year in elementary school when it was cool to change the color of your rubber bands. I didn’t even have full on braces, just 6 brackets on top (or at least that’s what they called them back then, but we’ll call it braces). My bottom teeth were straight. So that was the upside.
The downside, and there’s a big one, I had an overbite and had to wear the dreaded headgear to sleep. My headgear hooked into a metal hole that was put on my top molars and had a pink strap that went around my neck. Luckily it was just for a few years, but ugh headgear is no fun and you can only sleep on your back. If there is any photo evidence of this headgear it must be in my mom’s possession because I looked through all of my old photos and didn’t find any.
Let’s just take a trip down memory lane to my 4th and 5th grade school photos…
On the left is the beginning of 4th grade. I remember I loved this photo. I loved my hair, I loved that I was tan, and I just thought it was a good picture. That orange top is actually a t-shirt dress. Notice the cross necklace — I went to a Catholic School in Kansas City at the time. I don’t remember chopping my hair off that short but can we talk about those hair-sprayed wings!?! Oh the early ’90s. In 3rd grade my hair much more blonde and I had a perm (maybe I’ll reveal all of my school photos at some point).
As you can see on the left, my teeth were not straight up top! The photo on the right is from 5th grade. I remember only having my braces on for around a year or so, so it must have been part of 4th grade and part of 5th grade. My 5th grade photo is the only year I had braces in a school photo. Here the rubber bands are red and I’m wearing a sweater so we must have done school photos near Christmas that year. Hello scrunchie and perm! My teeth had already straightened out by this point thank goodness.
I also would grind and clench my teeth at night, and I had TMJ (temporomandibular joint), which is a version of TMD (temporomandibular disorder). I would have jaw pain, and sometimes my jaw would pop out of place (not fun), and I couldn’t chew really chewy things without pain or my jaw coming out of place. Usually chewy candy, gum, and sometimes pizza crust would do it.
The TMJ has gotten better with age but is still faintly there and randomly rears its head. I still don’t chew gum longer than five minutes because it makes my jaw hurt and sometimes my jaw will lock up for a few minutes, but nothing too serious anymore.
If all of that wasn’t enough (although I’m sure some of you had it way worse) I also have thin enamel on my teeth. My mom thought it was a result of having a high fever as a baby, but I’m sure it could be that and just genetics. So my teeth stain easily — I don’t think my coffee, tea, and wine drinking helps this much. They also chip easily, so I have a few composites, and two full crowns. One crown is from an ice skating accident in high school. That’s a story for another time. I think I have a photo I can dig up from that.
Back to my teeth. So I’ve never really had white white teeth due to this thin enamel situation. My dentist advised me that whitening them wouldn’t be good for my already thin enamel.
You know when you don’t have something, you notice that thing on everyone else. I notice big pearly white teeth on everyone. I’m always mesmerized by big beautiful teeth because mine are so small.
I was never one of those people who was like, oh boy, I can’t wait to brush and floss my teeth twice a day! You know those people who take ridiculous care (albeit the recommended amount) of their teeth, even when they are drunk they brush and floss their teeth. I hate those people. I mean who really flosses TWICE A DAY? Anyone? Twice, really?
I’ve tried electric toothbrushes but none of them made enough of an impression on me to keep them, and I’ve just been using your regular old toothbrush from the drugstore for as long as I can remember. Not replacing it often enough. Not realizing when I got strep throat back when I lived in Kansas City that I needed to replace my toothbrush because I was just giving it back to myself. I had strep three times in two months and the last time it turned into bronchitis, which turned into a cracked rib. Ain’t nobody got time for dat. I digress.
Finally, I’ve found a toothbrush that honestly, I love. It’s called Quip. No, this post is not sponsored and I get zero commission if anyone buys it. The company did send me the product, but I’m only writing this post because I actually love it, and because in my reader survey you all mentioned wanting more product reviews, so I wanted to tell you why I love this product.
I love multiple things about the toothbrush. First is that it is a modern company taking on an everyday product that hasn’t changed much. The most innovation in toothbrushes has been electric toothbrushes, but those haven’t changed much either, and they’re all ugly and bulky.
From the branding, to the website, to the packaging, Quip had me. Then when I got the product, it was chic. I can’t believe I can use the word chic to describe my toothbrush, but I can because it is. It’s a black metallic and white.
On top of all of that, in your first Quip package you get instructions on what the best way to brush your teeth is. Maybe you already know, maybe you have just assumed you are doing it right your whole life?
I love that the toothbrush is battery powered so I don’t have to plug it in. My husband has an electric toothbrush with a cord and it’s just annoying on the counter. Not cute either. This toothbrush is beautiful. It’s small for an electric toothbrush, it’s easy to hold, and it’s SUPER quiet for any parents with sleeping babies out there.
The holder has a sticky strip so you can stick it to your mirror, or set it on your counter. I have mine standing in its holder in a deep drawer. We have a small bathroom counter and don’t like to clutter it up. Also, I spray beauty products and things in the bathroom and I don’t want to be brushing my teeth with hair spray residue! So I keep my toothbrush, and all of my beauty products put away.
I actually want to brush my teeth with this toothbrush. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a new toothbrush!
You can look into all the toothpaste, read about the research, and learn about their subscription model on Quip’s website.
Have any childhood teeth stories of your own? Adult dental stories? I want to hear them! Do I have any readers who are female dentists?
Photos by Meg Biram