We’re Officially a Mint Toothpaste Family

January 19, 2017

A recent series of events has confirmed that, without a doubt, the Clark family is officially and forever and always an all-mint, all-the-time toothpaste family.

Over the past two weeks, we’ve been on poor Gavin about his seemingly absent oral hygiene. His breath has been otherworldly. Honestly, at one point, I thought to myself, “Dear God. This is EXACTLY how I imagine Creed smelled.” You know the episode – the one where you permanently checked mung beans off your grocery list. No? Then watch this.

We couldn’t figure out what was going on – especially because the stench was new.

Listen, I know. We all have bad breath at various points, but this was LEGIT. We’re talking green waves of stank coming out when he opened his mouth. Kenny and I have been tap dancing down a careful line to flag the issue to Gavin while not making him self-conscious, but really…I’d hate to add ‘smelly’ on top of the trials Gavin sometimes faces because of his (ahem, adorable) red hair and freckles. I can’t say I’ve successfully tap danced, though. After reading below, I think you’ll agree … it was pretty much a C for effort. His breath has been so bad that:

  • We quizzed him about mouth or tooth or throat pain.
  • We then started sending him back in to re-brush his teeth after he just brushed them because the smell hadn’t diminished after the first time.
  • This escalated to me standing there and watching him to make sure it was done and done well enough when it was particularly stinky.
  • And that escalated to me literally taking out my iPhone flashlight and inspecting his teeth to see if there was something funky going on in there.  More than one time. (Yay, joys of motherhood). There wasn’t – to my untrained dental eye, things look as they should.
  • This all culminated with me cleaning my own Sonicare, popping on a new brush head, using some Colgate and getting in there myself to see if I could help alleviate the problem. I did the same for Grace, too, so as not to cause a complex in Gavin. (Germophobes, don’t panic, they each had their own brand new brush head – just a shared handle!) This seemed to help – temporarily.

Ok, fine. I failed. I basically left my tap dance shoes at the discount dance store and went to TOWN trying to fix this. But, despite all my crazy, it wasn’t until last night that I had my AHA! moment. I finally found the culprit. I think. I hope.

Dude’s been using fruit-flavored toothpaste. A tropical citrus blend to be exact.

Remember a few years back when designer toothpastes were all the rage with mainstream manufacturers? Things like vanilla mint and cinnamon and citrus? Some lasted – like vanilla mint and cinnmamon. Some didn’t…like citrus.

I’m thinking there’s a reason for that.

I shared my theory with Kenny last night as we were lying in bed. (Such a temptress with my bedtime conversation topics, I know.) “Do you think Gavin’s breath smells like someone stuffed a dirty dishrag in there because he’s been using mango toothpaste?”

Laughing, he said, “Oh my GOD! Is that what he’s been using?”

“Apparently. I just realized it tonight. His other kind must have run out, and that tube was in the drawer,” I said. We typically buy bubble mint or some other flavor popular with youngsters, but this particular brand was on sale and I had a coupon, so…mango toothpaste for Gavin and Grace.

Kenny said, “Aw, man, that poor kid. On the way to futsal on Sunday, I asked him three times if he brushed his teeth because all I could smell was his rotten breath. He kept laughing and telling me, “Yea, Dad! I brushed them! Twice!”

Dear Lord.

I said, “So you think that’s it?”

(Those of you who have ever seen Kenny go on a rant before will appreciate how hilarious the delivery was  here. It’s a rare scene, but rich when it happens.) He said, “How can it not be? Seriously, why is that even a thing? What outcome does the manufacturer expect when you are jamming fruit into a tube to rot before you spread it on your teeth twice a day? What should we expect when they use it? Cross our fingers and hope their teeth will be clean? Hope they have fresh breath after we let them scrub rotten fruit across them? We are done with natural toothpaste for them. They are graduating to mint. Adult, mint toothpaste like us. Starting now. I don’t care if they don’t like the taste. I can’t handle their rotten fruit breath.”

Hahaha. HAHAHAHA. Hahaha. Obvs, we’re not scientists. And, no, Kenny really doesn’t believe they jam fruit in toothpaste tubes. But, we’re minted, and not looking back. The dawn of a minty fresh-breathed Gavin has arrived. #colgate

This is not to say that all kids who use fruit-flavored toothpaste will have / have this breath issue, and I am sure these toothpastes are just fine! Maybe Gavin has weird mouth chemistry. If tropical citrus toothpaste is your thing, go for it. But we are firmly on #teammint, and have declared oranges and mangoes are for consumption only.


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