Darth Vader a key player in maintaining dental hygiene

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
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Having returned from a two-week break I could easily have filled this week’s column with the goings on from the past fortnight.

As I flick through my phone’s picture gallery, reliving the highlights, I don’t think anybody but my immediate family is really that fussed on being regaled about Ben’s run-in with Ulster Rugby mascot Sparky, Karen’s attempt to tackle the most haunted Toad In The Hole in the UK, Lucy’s first trip to the hairdressers or a two-day frenzy of activities inspired by Peppa Pig which involved the four of us going swimming, then camping, then falling about the place laughing in muddy puddles.

Instead, I’ve decided to pack the entire two-week period into a single paragraph (above) and instead talk about something that everyone can identify with regardless of age, social status or family circumstances.

It’s an act that I carry out at least twice a day, though some people do it even more. It’s not something that normally comes up in everyday conversation though it’s an action that boasts an internationally recognised gesture.

The subject of this week’s column is cleaning one’s teeth.

What could be more natural than the act of putting paste on a miniature brush, putting it in your mouth, then using its bristles to remove debris from your teeth?

I’ve never met anyone who enjoys brushing their teeth. It is perfunctory action designed to make visits to the dentist less stressful.

It doesn’t work of course. You’ll not find a waiting room more tense than that of a dentist. At least in a doctor’s surgery you could strike it lucky and be diagnosed with an illness that will get you a sixth-month sickline from work without having any impact on your social life.

There is no best case scenario with dentists. Even if you don’t require a filling, a tooth pulled or a root canal to be attacked, a visit to the dentist will always involve getting the wee sucky tube put in your mouth as your teeth are being scraped with the spiky stick.

At home our toothbrushes serve two functions. They are used primarily to clean our teeth, but when they start looking like legendary boxing promoter Don King, we put them to use as bathroom cleaners.

They’re great for getting into those hard to reach areas and removing Limescale and Mould, who incidentally would make a great regional detective pairing, a vehicle perhaps for Jim Broadbent and Keith Chegwin.

The other day I was cleaning the bathroom and as it is not something I usually do I had to ask Karen where the ‘dirty’ toothbrush was. She pointed me in its direction but I couldn’t find it so I abandoned the remainder of the task.

As punishment for my laziness Karen used my clean toothbrush to complete the cleaning. A few days later as a means of apology for her rash actions she bought me a new toothbrush.

I must admit it is a rather fabulous. It is jet black and ominous. It is exactly the sort of toothbrush Darth Vader would use, especially if he’s just eaten a Galaxy far, far away.

I love my new Darth Vader toothbrush. I’ve learnt that when it comes to cleaning teeth, Lord Vader is on my side.

Each morning and night when I clean my teeth it’s a case of The Empire Strikes Plaque.