The Toothpaste Work Around

23 Aug

by Charlotte Poetschner

This may shock some people.

I don’t put toothpaste on my toothbrush.

Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I decided it was a waste of time. Maybe I didn’t like the failure rate.

Too often I would try to ooze out that mint flavored worm along the brushtips of my toothbrush, only to find that it had dropped off. Or I would knock the toothbrush on the floor in the process of putting the lid back on the paste. Or I’d find a toothpaste surprise in my hairbrush, or on the counter, or, heavens, decorating my pajamas. How did I manage to do that!

Bad enough that I can’t see what I’m doing. The real difficulty is my lack of manual dexterity. Or is it my non-existent hand-eye coordination?

But why does anybody, blind or otherwise, do this task in just this way? It’s a habit. It’s the way we’ve always done it.

But why? No one else is with me in the bathroom. No one else uses my tube of toothpaste.

I no longer put toothpaste on my toothbrush. I do it a different way now. It’s my private act of defiance, although, for all I know, I may not be alone.

I put the tip of the toothpaste container into my mouth. I squeeze. Just the right amount. No mess. No lost blobs of toothpaste somewhere out there.

It’s a small thing, a practical parable, a toothpaste work-around.

I need to trust that this is good, this giving of permission to myself to discover new ways of doing things.

Charlotte Poetschner likes contemplating thunder storms, digging in her garden beds, and living with the two men in her life, her husband and son. Going through vision loss in her mid-twenties, she has been blind from Diabetic Retinopathy since 1986. Whether she gets published or not, writing a book is on her bucket list and she is on her way with a novel in the works. Plans for the future also include creating a blog and web page.


One Response to “The Toothpaste Work Around”

  1. Donna W. Hill August 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM #

    Actually, you’re not alone. One of the main reasons I don’t put the toothpaste on the brush, however, is that I don’t start my oral hygene with a toothbrush, but with one of those intradental brushes (Butler proxi or Oral B intradental) that clean between the teeth. Also, since the benefits of floride and of the stuff they use in Sensadyne to eliminate dental pain increase the longer the toothpaste is in your mouth, I want to get it in there and distributed ASAP. Although I do it sometimes, I prefer not touching the tube to my mouth (probably no harm in it). I put the toothpaste on my finger first, after washing my hands. Best of luck with your book.


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