must brush more…must brush more…

by Grace Bonney

Last month I went to the dentist for the first time in four years. And let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. My mouth was totally clean and normal but my teeth, well, they got more than a few visits from the cavity fairy. Like, twice a year for all the years I missed the dentist. I know, awful. And as I write this post, I’m still tasting sugar (even though I brushed and flossed twice, Dr. Yampolski!) from all the sweets I ate at last night’s Baked book party. I don’t see myself ever losing my sweet tooth (I get the irony that I could lose a tooth instead) but I’m doing my best to cut back on snacking and brush after every meal, without exceptions. So when I saw these cute little toothbrush holders from Kontextür, I was sold. I’m always covering our built-in toothbrush holders with tiny vases of flowers (I guess my lack of dental priorities have been staring me in the face for a while) and these standing holders are perfect for me. The shiny gold option? Totally up my alley. The holders come in gold, silver or nickel and hold razors as well as toothbrushes, so if you’re in the market for something that will remind you to brush more often, click here to check out (and buy) one of these Viktor toothbrush holders from Kontextür. Happy brushing! xo, grace

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  • When I got my 1st job at 15, I worked at a TG&Y. One day I bought a box of gumballs (the kind that go in little toy dispensers) and popped them like candy until they were gone. Next trip to the dentist & I had 10 cavities. I was shocked and have not chewed any gum that’s not sugerless since, and haven’t had any more cavities. I just wish I’d learned that lesson with fewer cavities!

  • This same kind of thing happened to me. I had 12 cavities. It turns out my toothbrush was too hard. You’d think a hard-bristle brush would clean better, but the dentist recommended a soft-bristle brush. That way you can brush more vigorously without hurting your gums.

  • OMG Grace, I went to the dentist last month for the first time in 5 years and I had 8 cavities on the sides between my teeth – ugh. My dentist reco’d a sonicare toothbrush and flossing. You’re not alone!

    • jen

      that’s EXACTLY what happened to me. same number, same locations. and the thing is i USE a sonicare! and have for years. she thinks i’m genetically predisposed to get them or something. but i definitely floss extra extra carefully now. :(


  • Ugh, i think the same thing will happen to me, if and when i finally schedule my first dentist apt in 4 years. I always had good teeth, and only one cavity when i was a kid, but in the past four years I became a “light n sweet” coffee drinker all of a sudden. I’m kind of dreading it…. I’ve been so paranoid lately, like i can’t get my teeth to feel clean anymore!

  • Bummer about the sonicare! I was also told I have bad genes…my husband went in for the first time in 5 years and not one cavity.

  • Haha Ryan – totally true!!

    I went to the dentist yesterday actually, for the first time in two years – 5 cavities. TERRIBLE. But something interesting – he said that if you have alot of candy (you know sometimes you feel that rough feeling on your teeth?) you should rinse with water first. If you just brush right away you will wear off your enamel which is even worse!!

  • @Michelle: I heard something similar, and it even said to NOT brush your teeth immediately after any meals or sugary or sour drinks, because it “loosens” the enamel and you brush it right off. So now I religiously wait for at least half an hour before brushing. Sometimes, if I had something to eat right before going to bed, I even omit brushing altogether because that’s better than brushing the enamel away. Which is not as bad as it sounds, actually, because the cavity-producing bacteria need at least 24 hours to begin eating away, apparently (or so my source says).

  • Not to sound like a nagging mom, but everyone should be going to the dentist every 6 months! I know it’s not cheap, but not only do you put yourself at risk for cavities, but you also could have untreated gum disease. Infections in your mouth can lead to infection in other parts of your body. Dentists can also spot signs of oral cancers early.

    Think of it this way, forgo eating out a couple times and you could have gotten a cleaning. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to get it done try going to the medical/dental school near you. They often have discount cleanings so the students can practice. The quality of these kinds of cleanings are superb because the med students are supervised and want to be really thorough.


  • It’s been a while since I’ve been (at least a year) but the NYU dental school isn’t THAT painful. If you’re riding the unemployment train like myself you won’t mind the major time commitment. Go forth and clean!

  • Grace, I feel your pain. I didn’t have my first cavity until I was in my mid-twenties, and now they won’t stop! I’ve been avoiding the dentist for fear of getting reprimanded… but I haven’t always been diligent about brushing twice a day and flossing, so it’s my fault, really.

    And if I didn’t use a Sonicare, I would totally use a cute toothbrush holder like these!

  • I also heard that Restoration Hardware carries nice toothbrushes but I’ve never seen. Anyone know if they are nice? I really want something classic/retro looking.

  • I hate to sound pessimistic but unless the cavities were obvious to you on the xray pics or by pain or with an oral digital camera, you might want to get a second opinion. Dentists have been known to be dishonest! They’re like mechanics – find a good one and stick with him/her.

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