Dental Hygiene

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Around 3pm each day during the week, I shamefully stroll to the bathroom at work carrying my toothbrush and paste. I can’t help but feel awkward as people stare in awe that I’ve carried something in. Sure, I know that it’s perfectly acceptable to have clean teeth and good breath, but it’s the act of doing it at work in a shared bathroom that is just uncomfortable.

I used to be the type that scoffed at people who carried out this almost-religious habit. But, I think what’s happened is that they’ve conditioned me to feel that it’s worse to have brown teeth and bad breath than to be seen scrubbing away while people do #1 and 2 – I know, right? Might as well walk in and out of the bathroom with a rolled-up newspaper. Ugh, the battles we fight.

So, what are your thoughts? Brush during the work day? Is it necessary, or is doing it before and after work as far as you’ll go for dental hygiene?

  1. I know exactly where you’re coming from. When I worked in a very busy Manhattan office for about two years, I used to be embarrassed about the Dopp kit I kept beneath my desk. Everyday around 2:30 -3:30, I’d walk across the 23rd floor to the men’s room, with a toothbrush and toothpaste stealthily by my side, and I’d take care of business. At that time, the 2 cups of coffee I had earlier, the lunch I had just eaten, made me feel like my teeth were absolutely filthy, and I had to brush them. I’ve since left that job, and have a Dopp kit at my new job, but I’m not ashamed of it. In fact, knowing that I have a toothbrush or an extra thing of deodorant, or perhaps a spritz of cologne keeps my mind at ease. Besides, I’d much rather be the guy who is known to dapper up in the bathroom than the guy known for reading the entire sports section on the can.

  2. Tim-Thanks for the feedback. Totally agree with you. Awkward, yet acceptable and necessary at the same time.

  3. Now your friends/co-workers will be watching the “branded” movement you religiously execute via work, ha

    I feel that performing socially conscious activity like this revitalizes your human factor, in tandem with owning your spirit, during the work day. This time all too often is associated with rigorous serving of other efforts, and submitting to robotic motions. You’re becoming perpendicular to the norm, thinking for yourself, and confidently conscious of your actions. Congrats.

    On a personal note, I like to model what a spiritual leader and mentor implements as a ritual during the day, called a “Paste List” (i.e. a list of people to pray for while brushing my teeth in the morning). Perhaps you can add an addendum to your work brushing, and place a ‘paste list’ in the ‘powder room’ too, ha).

    Thank you for sharing, Matthew. Enjoyed the personal insights, mixed with professional passions.

    I encourage you to invest in gum that the dental association has approved to fight cavities, whitens, has a tolerable professional flavor if you cannot perform this action in other environments.

  4. Most definitely brush during the day. I’m the head of HR. I can’t have bad breath and junk in my teeth while talking to people about professionalism. And being prepared is my life’s motto so this is just another way to show that!

  5. Kate, nice! Glad we’re on the same team.

  6. I totally agree with you about brushing your teeth at work. It is so nice to know there are other people out there who do it and feel it is awkward but a necessity just like I feel.

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