The Wandering Tooth Brusher

I am what I like to call an EFFICIENT teeth brusher. I mean why stand there at the bathroom sink when you could be getting things done instead? Laundry for example, or checking your email.

Sometimes I even brush my teeth in the shower. I know this sounds crazy but again, I say no, not crazy. Efficient. I developed this technique when I lived in London.  There was no division between the bathroom floor and the shower; it was all just one big mass of tile. I was a grad student at the time and therefore I was A) always stressed out and B) always pressed for time. Brushing my teeth in the shower made perfect sense. All counted, I think I saved probably an entire eight or nine minutes over the course of a year. And one can do a lot in eight or nine minutes. Like, you know, go for a jog. If you’re in to that sort of thing…


The European (who I dated last summer) was a very focused teeth brusher. He used to stand at the sink with his little motorized brush, doing goodness knows what else. (Probably nothing. Except brushing his teeth. Hence the reason I still maintain that his way is was a waste of time. I don’t know for sure though because I never watched. I was too bored by the entire process.)

He used to say that his way—the stationary way— was better than my way—the “wandering” way—because “then you don’t spill.”

My response? “When have I ever spilled?

PIC by contrast, is an efficient teeth brusher. It is one of the many things I love about him. He starts brushing his teeth in bathroom, then comes into the bedroom, sits down on the bed with his iPad to read the day’s headlines and puts his stop watch on the pillow.


Well, he brushes his teeth for exactly two minutes. And the only way to know you’ve brushed for exactly two minutes is to time yourself on a stop watch.

(At least this is his rational. I’ve pointed out that there’s probably an app on his iPad that would allow him to eliminate the stopwatch, this streamlining the entire process, but what can I say? Some folks just don’t know a good suggestion when they hear one.)

At any rate, since I can’t think of anything more earth shattering for today, let’s talk teeth: what’s your process? In the shower? With a stopwatch? Do you sing the ABCs like they tell you to at the dentist?


22 Responses to “The Wandering Tooth Brusher”

  1. becky119

    I don’t know if I would call it efficient necessarily, but whenever I brush my teeth I usually have a puppy in my lap and scratch his ears. Sometimes I alternate with a kitty…

    I’ve never done laundry while brushing my teeth but sometimes I’ll load the dishwasher. The challenge is finding that activity that you can do one-handed so you’re still in the process of brushing whilst doing it. Otherwise you’re just wandering around with a toothbrush in your mouth. I’ve done that before too.

    • Kat Richter

      Yeah, I am totally guilty of wandering around with a toothbrush in my mouth for a good five or ten minutes without actually brushing… One handed activities is the way to go!

  2. Marvi Marti

    LOVE it!!!! I brush in the shower, to save time. I totally understand what you mean, so much can be accomplished when multitasking and really what is more boring than standing at the sink while you brush. Exactly 2 minutes huh? I probably get in several more as I’m brushing, walking, starting the shower, maybe a load of laundry….

    • Kat Richter

      Haha, indeed! Our laundry is in the basement and our shower is on the second floor so it’s a bit of a trek. Maybe someday I’ll have one of those fabulous laundry rooms on the same floor as the bedrooms…

  3. ginnybosch

    I have always been a brushing wanderer as well, but I’ve definitely caught myself trying to do ridiculous things while brushing. Usually this is trying to remove my contacts, which though I can usually do one handed, just slows down both things I’m doing. Usually I catch myself and laugh when I realize my brush has been stationary for a minute. I totally hear you though! I have a hard time standing still when getting ready in the morning and before I go to bed so maybe that’s it? Thanks for sharing!

    • Kat Richter

      Wow! Contact removal while brushing is truly skilled 🙂 But yeah, when you stop and think about it, it’s probably more about being restless and scatterbrained than actual efficiency 😦

  4. wendy13fh

    I used to brush in the shower, until I killed one of our electronic tooth brushes that way, whoops!

    I’ll do small tasks, like get the shower ready or find my socks for the day. Our electric tooth brush buzzes every 30 seconds so you know to switch to a different quadrant of your mouth, which is a feature that has oddly spoiled me.

    • Kat Richter

      Oh goodness! I hadn’t thought of that- thanks for the warning. I like the 30 second ding. Evidently I brush too hard (I finally conceded to switching to medium bristles but that was a big deal) and my dentist suggested switching to the electric kind because they let you know if you’re brushing too hard.

    • Kat Richter

      So glad to know I’m not the only one! My problem is that I often leave my brush in the shower and then when I go to brush before bed, I can never find it…

    • Kat Richter

      Yes, the European was rather lengthy and focused about everything, which became quite infuriating at times. Hopefully you and your hubby are more tolerant of one another 🙂

  5. Doug

    I’ve heard that it’s best to brush your teeth in the garden if you have one. They say that some tooth paste soap will kill Aphids that attack rose petals. And if when spitting on Aphids you accidentally drop soap on your shoes, you can spit polish the shoes. And if the toothpaste has fluoride besides taste enhancer chemicals the Aphids may smile and leave on their own. And of course if the rose petals fall off, you’d be right there to collect them. They say, “Life is not a bed of roses if you don’t brush your teeth and kill Aphids.” Op. cit.


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