Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I’ve noticed a proliferation of women at my office lately who go into the ladies’ room after lunch to brush their teeth.  They have a little arsenal of dental hygiene products with them: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, tiny cup for rinsing, etc.  It’s really quite the production.  They cluster at the sinks like sparrows in a birdbath and do their brushing, flossing, gargling, as though it were just another chipper afternoon coffee break but with lots of spitting.

Perhaps it’s just me.  Maybe it’s the result of being an only child, or just rather private in general.  I don’t know.  But I prefer to keep my routine hygienic activities at home, behind a closed bathroom door, where they belong.  I don’t like pulling large chunks of partially-masticated food from between my teeth in front of other people, then displaying them like fresh kills and guffawing at their immense size.  I don’t like gargling in front of other people.  I don’t like spitting in front of them.  And I’d really rather they kept these activities to themselves, too.

Moreso, I’ve seen how often and how well these bathrooms are cleaned.  I’m not particularly interested in getting that well-acquainted with the sinks (I’m looking at you, ladies who lean over and drink directly from the faucets!).  I’ve had salmonella; I don’t wish to experience e. coli as well.

So here’s my question, dear readers: are you one of those folks who religiously brushes their teeth in the office bathroom after lunch?

And if you are, explain yourself.  The world (you know how incredibly self-centered I am, so by the “world” I obviously mean “me”) wants to know.

11 responses to “Inquiring Minds Want to Know

  1. That is what *gum* is for. I’m a compulsive flosser, but I try not to do it in front of other people!

  2. HECK YEAH I pull out freakin pieces of steak from my teeth in the bathroom.

    Not really. I never floss.

    I keep a toothbrush and an adorable toothpaste tube on me at all times. Not because Im all about hygiene (I just said I dont floss) but because of my massive coffee intake. Sometimes a lady just has to scrape her tongue clean.

  3. No way. If I need to floss, I’ll close my office door and do it at my desk, otherwise I’m waiting until I get home. I will break this rule only if I have a dentist appointment after work.

  4. For what it’s worth, I’m a guy that has, in a pinch, brushed my teeth in the restroom before. I don’t make a habit of it, however.

  5. I must admit that I am a post-prandial brusher/flosser. In my defense however I work in a dental office and have since I was but a wee tot…okay, teenager…and I have access to a private restroom in which to perform my ablutions. Of course, my co-workers and our patients will notice the bit-o-luncheon I am carrying with me as I sally forth after break. It is necessary for the job that I perform that I present a clean smile and fresh breath. That said…I can completely empathize. I have privacy…as do my co-workers! For crying out loud…we work in a dental office and we are not gathered ’round the campfire having a group floss! And …probably more than your average folks…we are conscious of public water sources and “who touched where with what before I came in to use the facilities”. Keeps you on your toes even in a small exposure office!!
    I am a gal who wakes up in the morning excited about what the day will bring food-wise! But I can enjoy my lunch and complete my clean-up on the sly. I’m sure that this public fixation with oral hygiene is simply the progression of cellphone over-sharing and the new boomer obsession with letting folks know what your latest cholesterol numbers are.

  6. Periodontal disease is a real drag.

    I say give the tooth-hygiene-obsessed borg a break.

    I should be that serious about perio maintenance.

  7. Just another example of the weirdness of the office in which you work. You should write a book.

  8. Ok, let’s try this again. I am not one of your post-lunch brushers. But, a coworker of mine does it religiously. She is just really conscious about her teeth and gums. But I have noticed more of a trend lately, and I think it has to do with vanity. In order to truely look younger these days, the media/society has deemed it necessary to have pristene pearly white teeth. I think a lot of women do it to look younger and that is how all the models/actresses look, so they want to be the same.

  9. Normally my post lunch habit is to chew some gum, but on occasion, I’ll brush my teeth, too (esp. if I had a particularly garlicky meal). Mostly I just hate having that leftover food taste in my mouth all afternoon & want my mouth to feel clean. I’ve also had lots of dental work done over the years & anything I can do to avoid further trips to the dentist to have things fixed, the better.

    I’m a religious flosser, but that’s done in my office.

  10. I think I’m the only one in my building who brushes (discreetly) after lunch, and sometimes after morning coffee. My motivation for this is to minimize my chances of offending others with stinky coffee breath, etc.

  11. Oh nooo! I would never brush my teeth in a yucky public lavatory.

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