Heading to Dentist
John Norberg, humor columnist s

I see on my iPhone calendar that I have a dentist appointment coming up this month.

You know what that means. It means it's time for me to start taking better care of my teeth so the dentist and hygienist won't know what I've actually been doing for the past six months.

I certainly don't want them to find out about that bag of Halloween candy I ate. My wife hid it from me, but I found it. I'm pretty sure I burned off more calories searching for it than I ate.

But it probably wasn't too good for my teeth.

The last time I went in for a check up the dentist talked to me about sweets.

Dentist: "Do you eat much candy?"

Me: "Much candy? No. Is that like Hershey's Candy or Fanny May Candy? I've never heard of Much Candy."

Dentist: "I mean do you eat a lot of candy, cake, ice cream."

Me: "Only if I can find where my wife has hidden it from me."

Part of getting ready to visit the dentist is brushing my teeth especially good so I studied up on dental care.

We live in a wonderful age. It's the Too Much Age. There are 15 million sites on the Internet dedicated to toothpaste. People -- that's more information on toothpaste than any of us need.

And it goes beyond that. I discovered there are actually 350 different kinds of toothpaste at the stores. Store aisles have shelves seven feet tall on both sides with tubes of toothpaste screaming at us to buy them.

How are we supposed to know which toothpaste to buy? Wouldn't it be a lot easier if they just made maybe three different kinds? Couldn’t we all live with that?

I walked down the toothpaste aisle in a store the other day. The first thing I saw was "pro-health" toothpaste. Of course it's pro-health. Do you think they would market "anti-health" toothpaste?

There was "whitening toothpaste," "enamel shield" and "gum protection." I found toothpaste for sensitive teeth -- like our teeth are going to get their feelings hurt if we use the wrong toothpaste.

There's plaque control and 24-hour plaque control and gingivitis prevention. I'm not sure what gingivitis is but the word is so disgusting I don't ever want to get it.

If you don't want toothpaste you can get tooth gel.

There is "invigorating clean mint," "smooth clean mint" and "fresh clean mint" toothpaste all from the same company. What's the difference between "invigorating," "smooth" and "fresh" mint? And why do they have to say "clean" mint. Is there dirty mint?

Why doesn’t someone invent what I want: mint chocolate chip cookie dough toothpaste!

There are more toothpaste flavors than you can find in a candy store. Instead of spending so much money to put candy flavors in toothpaste maybe they should work on putting toothpaste in candy: new Hershey Mint chocolate bars with fluoride, extra whitening and gingivitis protection.

Maybe not.

If "pro-health" isn't your kind of toothpaste you can get "healthy fresh." I don't know how that's different from "pro-health" but it must be. Or how about "complete herbal mint." That sounds like something they should keep in tea aisle. If you don't want "healthy fresh" and "clean mint" you can buy "arctic fresh," but that sounds too cold to be using while you're in your pajamas at the bathroom sink.

Here's one I really like. I've been shopping for a TV and they have "3D White Lux" toothpaste. I don't have any idea what Lux is but I love 3D. But you probably have to wear those stupid glasses over your glasses when you brush your teeth in order to get the full benefit.

How about "baking soda and peroxide" toothpaste? Isn't peroxide what women use to use to dye their hair blonde? Do I want blonde teeth?

You can also get "lustrous shine" toothpaste which sounds like something you should put on your shoes. If "lustrous shine" isn't your thing you can buy "glamorous white" toothpaste. There was another one that offered to make you feel fresh five times longer. I might try it as a deodorant.

For those who don't want "glamorous white" you can get "advanced white." Another was "total advanced" and another "maxi-white." What is whiter: "advanced," "total" or "maxi?"

I found a toothpaste that said it was "optic white" which I guess means you put it in your eyes and your teeth look brighter.

I don't recommend looking at the ingredients in toothpaste. It's full of pyrophosphates, triclosan, zinc citrate, sodium hexametaphosphate, strontium chloride, potassium nitrate and sodium bicarbonate.

No wonder toothpaste foams in our mouths. It sounds like it has a chemical mixture that could explode.

Along with the hundreds of different kinds of toothpaste there are also hundreds of different toothbrushes. And then you can decide if you want a regular brush or an electric and there are hundreds of those to choose from.

I was so frustrated walking along the dental care aisle trying to figure out what toothpaste to buy that I got a huge headache.

So I walked over to the pain relief medicine aisle. You've heard of jumping from the frying pan into the fire? There are more than 300 million people in this planet and that's about how many different kinds of pain relief medicine we have to choose from.

But I am a man. I have the strength and intelligence to know how to face this problem of too many choices at the stores.

From now on I'm going to let my wife do all the shopping and just use whatever she brings home.

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