Last week, my dental hygienist gently suggested that I could probably do a better job brushing my teeth, and that I might benefit from having an electric toothbrush.
Even though my recent checkups have been reasonably good, I didn’t doubt that she was telling me the truth. I’m honest with myself, usually, and I know I could improve, which is why I agreed to buy one.
There was another factor in my decision. I didn’t want to admit to her that there is a reason why I’m not handy with a manual toothbrush, namely my deep-rooted fear of the Swirling Hole of Horror.
Yes, I’ve already admitted that embarrassing fact to you, but most blog-readers are far removed from my person, while the dental hygienist was already right up in my grill. And since things were already a bit too personal, the easiest thing for me to do was to just buy the damned thing and start planning my escape.
There’s no denying that my new toothbrush is a real beauty, and it’s packed with all the latest bells and whistles. This bad boy even has Bluetooth connectivity, which means it links right up with my iPhone, though the designers apparently never stopped to consider that “bluetooth” and “toothbrush” don’t make the most appealing image.
Well, I’ve been using this thing for about a week now, and here’s my review:
The first thing I did was follow the instructions and download the Oral-B app to my iPhone, then synced it up with my new toothbrush. Soon, a message flashed onto my phone’s screen:
Let’s take care of those pearly whites!
“Jesus Christ,” I thought, “that’s awfully damned chirpy!”
I didn’t have long to contemplate the message, however, before the next screen appeared on my iPhone. It depicted a set of choppers, with a timer set right where its uvula should be.
Click on the “Start Brushing” icon, and one portion of the iPhone’s “teeth” (a disturbing thought if ever there was one) are highlighted, signifying that’s the area you’re supposed to start brushing in your own mouth.
I started brushing with the best of intentions, but problems soon arose like an overflowing pot of boiling spaghetti.
Water and spit were flying all over the place, spattering the mirror, my face and everything else within 12 square miles. In order to keep my eyes fixed on the iPhone screen, I had to maintain a more upright position than my usual tooth-brushing posture. At one point, I thought maybe I should actually place the iPhone inside the sink, but that just didn’t seem like a great idea.
One good thing was realizing that since I was focusing my attention on the screen, I wasn’t thinking so much about the Swirling Hole of Horror, so my level of nausea wasn’t redlining like usual. Soon, however, a bigger problem arose: The toothbrush was signaling that it wasn’t finished with me yet, not by a long shot!
Watching the blue line crawl around the timer dial was worse than watching paint dry, and long before it was finished, I was already dying.
After what seemed like an eternity, the timer finally signaled that it wanted me to move on to the adjacent set of teeth. There was nothing I could do but keep brushing, even though the vibrating head was already kicking up a wake in my mouth like a 300-horsepower Evinrude in a duck pond.
I couldn’t spit because the damned thing ordered me to keep brushing, and I sensed that bad things would happen if I failed to comply. When an explosion felt imminent, I thought to myself, “screw this,” but when I stopped to spit, the damned iPhone instantly lit up with an alarm. Turns out it actually listens for the sound of the toothbrush and knows when you’re cheating!
I turned it back on and kept going, knowing there was no escape and that a bad report had already been e-mailed to my dentist’s office, the Tooth Fairy, and god knows who else!
At last the next quadrant of teeth was highlighted, and I moved the toothbrush into the next zone, silently willing the timer to move faster. I let out a moan. This thing isn’t a toothbrush, it’s like some stick blender from Hell, and it’s turning my mouth into a swirling mass of soupy mashed potatoes!
By the time the fourth and final quadrant of teeth lights up on my screen, I’m thinking I actually might not survive this. My eyes were streaming and foam was flying from my mouth like that of a rabid dog.
When the timer finally finished, I removed the toothbrush from the fetid swamp that used to be my mouth, but because I forgot to turn it off, it hosed down every last inch of the bathroom with a fine mist of pulverized toothpaste, spit and whipped potato goo.
But wait! We’re not finished with you yet! Oh no!
After mopping the splattered iPhone screen with a sopping towel, I note that it says I’ve done a good job so far, but I still need to brush my tongue! Are you effing kidding me?!?!? Brush my tongue with this belt sander?
Even though I was about to collapse in a fit of weeping, I man up and follow orders. Oh my god, this feels so bad, I think I’m gonna yark!
I switch off the toothbrush and signal the iPhone that I’ve completed the tongue-sanding, but it just won’t be satisfied. Now it’s demanding an antibacterial mouth rinse and flossing, though how any bacteria could still be alive in there is beyond my ability to comprehend.
It should come as no surprise that I soon decided that since I now know the routine, I could just stop using the damned iPhone app. But when I stumbled out of bed this morning and grabbed my phone, this message was waiting for me:
Good morning, Glenn!
We’ve missed you!
Where have you been?
Jesus wept! What have I done? There’s no escaping this thing!
Even if my dental hygiene improves, I know one thing for sure: My new toothbrush is a real bitch!