It’s not your fault really, it’s just the darnest thing happening inside your teeth after what must have been a very satisfying meal. Most times it’s meat and at other times, it’s a combo of different strands of whatever was on your plate dangling in between your teeth. You can feel it, but you just can’t see it.
It is unpleasant, distracting and downright frustrating having that little piece of food stuck between your teeth. So I wouldn’t blame you really if I saw you from the corner of my eye carelessly and thoughtlessly picking your teeth in public.
But then I have always been the understanding type!
Most people would consider any form of picking your teeth in public as completely disgusting and annoying.
And have I told you how many forms of tooth picking there are? No? Here goes..,
There’s the sticking your hands in your mouth and pulling out the food particles type which results in saliva drools on your fingers and if you keep at it long enough, you are bound to feel little aches on your jaw. It yields little or no results for all the rigours and contours it brings to your face.
Then there’s the flicking and sucking on the teeth to lure out food particles. This method is a chore for your tongue and yields the least results in removing any food particle lodged between your teeth. Give it up!
There’s also the picking your teeth with edges of business cards, sharps ends of folded paper or anything else in that category. Don’t blame you! Desperate times call for desperate measures. It sometimes is effective when the food particle lie within the incisors but anything further inside your mouth will cause saliva to soak on your makeshift paper toothpick and send little cuts of paper down your throat!
Then there’s the original, made for profit, toothpicks. Usually found on the way out of restaurants, it’s a good idea to keep toothpicks in your home or even in your car. Use the point end of the toothpick to try to remove the annoying object. Do not chew on the toothpick, as they break apart quite easily after a few minutes and you could be left with a mouth full of wood pulp. They are effective in removing food particles hanging in your teeth but many people have accuse them of pushing the food particles deep into the tissues before removing them and that could pore holes in your gums. It’s good practice, though, to rinse with mouthwash after tooth picking so as to disinfect any abrasions that were made on the gums.
And there’s the safer but not ‘sooooo’ popular floss as a way of removing tiny strands of food particles hiding between your teeth. Floss yourself silly when you can. Sometimes that stubborn thing between your teeth simply won’t budge with something like a toothpick. Floss is a very handy item to keep in the car. Not only will it remove plaque and build-up between your teeth, it can get rid of the food particles as well. Take a few inches of floss, wrap it around your index fingers and wedge it between your teeth. There you go!
But whatever form of tooth picking suits your fancy,
DO NOT PICK YOUR TEETH IN PUBLIC PLEASE!
I bet the average ‘Naija’ would consider the public use of a proper tooth pick a fad in itself as it shows that he must have pampered himself silly with meat, chicken or other native delicacies and has the evidence proudly lodged in his teeth!
Yet I would urge us, in the spirit of ‘rebranding’, please let us be courteous and sensitive to other people’s desire to see beautiful things with their eyes –not your dentures, caricature and the disfigured facial expressions you wear when basking in the act of picking your teeth!
And as a quick fix to the nagging reminder of food particles in your teeth, you could find a bathroom and pick to your heart’s content or gaggle with water and then spit out but if you really must pick your teeth, do it quickly and discreetly by using one hand to shield your mouth from public view!
That’s your quota to the sights and sounds of a beautiful Nigeria! Lol!