Tea Stains

I’d better warn you now: this post is a tad gross.  It may also describe something you’ve experienced, in which case you’ll want to read it — maybe.

Today I stopped by a CVS store in Downtown San Francisco and bought some toothpaste which is supposed to remove stains.  No, I don’t know what my dentist thinks of this product.  I didn’t buy the brand with the nastiest reputation, and I don’t know if they even make that one anymore.  It wasn’t on the shelf.  Yes, I looked carefully because that brand was the first choice.  Just kidding.

I plan to use the magical whitening toothpaste most of the time, but frequently fall back on the dentifrice I’ve used for years.  That will create a sense of balance, and also prevent waste.  It would be a shame to throw half a tube of the old toothpaste in the trash.

Yes, “dentifrice” is a word.  I became familiar with it a long time ago, when the word turned up in a Bloom County comic strip.  Steve Dallas complained that his toothbrush smelled of fish, and Opus admitted he had borrowed the toothbrush without permission. Opus pointed out that we don’t all use the same dentifrice.  He also accused Mr. Dallas of being squeamish.

Earlier this year, I got into the habit of drinking PG Tips black tea. Where tooth stains are concerned, tea can be even worse than coffee.  I drank coffee for years, and never noticed it affecting my teeth.  Tea will turn my teeth brown just three weeks after a professional cleaning, though.

The mug that’s used to drink tea is pristine, but only because I use baking soda and a wet coffee filter (again, preventing waste when habits change) to scrub it often.  In time, will that damage the mug? Many years ago, my mother’s dental hygienist warned against using straight baking soda for tooth brushing because of the abrasiveness. I hope the glaze on that mug is tougher than tooth enamel.

It’s time to close this post because there’s nothing else to say.  Well, I could bitch about the self-checkout kiosks at CVS, but what’s the point?


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