This morning I woke up with “morning breath.” That’s what we call it these days, where we promptly take steps to try to get rid of that hot, coated, somewhat slimy feeling on our teeth and tongue that comes from keeping your mouth closed during a good night’s sleep.
When you think about it, “morning breath” is really just the absence of minty freshness that we all expect to achieve as a result of our time standing at the bathroom sink, brushing and flossing and gargling and swishing. We want to feel that frosty sensation and experience the rush of cool air when we inhale after a vigorous encounter with toothbrush and toothpaste. And, thanks to the effective advocacy of toothpaste commercials, we are vaguely embarrassed to have “morning breath,” and we wouldn’t dream of walking outside and inflicting it upon people we encounter in the unsuspecting world.
Yesterday I went to the grocery store and needed to pick up some toothpaste. Although there are the dozens of different toothpaste offerings, purportedly geared toward sensitive teeth and teeth whitening and plaque prevention, virtually all of them involve flavoring with spearmint, or peppermint, or some combination of the two. The same is true of mouthwashes, and even dental floss is offered with mint flavoring. Yes, mint is what we want, and mint is what we must have. Have you ever gone to the dentist’s office for a tooth cleaning and had the oral hygienist offer you a choice of mint versus, say, cherry toothpaste? Cherry? Yeah, right! Nobody wants their mouth to taste like a cough drop when they rise from the dentist’s chair!
Mint is supposed to have lots of health benefits, from aiding digestion to pain relief. That all may be the case, but it’s that blast of arctic chill that we crave. We must have mint in the morning!