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Brush your teeth, I say! Here is a persuasive speech that I wrote for AP Language and Composition earlier this year. It’s about oral hygiene and has a humorous twang. A man with rotting, discolored teeth approached me on the streets of Boston yesterday. He approached me and ranted to me, for what seemed like hours, about “his cause,” and why I should donate to it. I stood their dazed as his brown teeth, hanging from purple gums, spewed yellow saliva into my face. I did not recoil, I did not complain, and I did not listen to a single word he said – I was too fixated on the bacteria breeding and brewing under his gray, scaly tongue.

Finally, he ended his eloquent speech and offered me his outstretched palms. I gave him a toothbrush and walked away. Some people might call me a miser for such an action – but I can assure you that giving him a toothbrush was the nicest possible thing that anybody could have done for his cause. Sure, I could have given him a few coins or bills, but then how could I be certain that he would practice good dental hygiene? Instead, I took the paintbrush of cleanliness and colored his brown teeth white, his purple gums pink, and his yellow saliva clear.

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In fact, I did a service to everybody by giving him that toothbrush – no more will they be assaulted by the pungent odors of his ramblings – instead, what awaits them is a sensual massage of minty-fresh aromas. Such an improvement will surely increase the number of donations his charity receives. It goes without saying that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Some dentists suggest three times, and a zealous tooth-crusader might recommend eight, but twice is sufficient. Twice is necessary.

Statistically, most of you probably brushed your teeth this morning, and will brush them tonight, and have done so for years upon years. Good. Continue to do so. Statistically, however, there is a fraction of you who do not regularly brush your teeth, or commonly find themselves saying, “Whoops, I forgot to brush” or “Oh no, I won’t have enough time to brush. ” And I am willing to bet that one of you lives your life thinking, “I don’t need to brush. I can just eat an Altoid for breakfast every morning. ” Well, you’re rong. All of you non-brushers and forget-to-brushers and Altoid-spokespeople are all wrong. It’s true. Every time your toothbrush somehow manages to miss meeting with your teeth, germs prosper. Did you know that 80% of American adults have gum disease? 80%! That means that everyone in here, except for me, because I always brush, and… you…and…. you, have some form of gum disease! There is bacteria crawling around between your teeth, at this very moment, and you think that Altoids can save you from becoming toothless.

Now, you may be thinking: “Well, if 80% of Americans practice inadequate oral hygiene, it must be the cool thing to do! I can’t disagree with gum-diseased 80% of America! ” Well, you’re wrong again. America is not aware of its teeth, but now you are. Now it is up to you to brush your teeth, and floss, and use mouth wash. These daily 10 minutes might seem tiresome and wasteful, but I assure you, they are not! If you want Gingivitis, then go ahead, forget about floss and Listerine while your gums bleed and swell. Oh, now you have a hankering for Periodontitis? Great, throw away your toothbrush and lose your teeth.

You might escape gum disease now, but just remember that poor oral hygiene and tooth decay increases your chances of heart problems later on in life. You cannot escape it all. Worse yet are the dreaded cavities! All because of that cursed plaque! Those wretched little blobs and globs of germs that puncture holes in your teeth in a million wretched little ways, and eventually lead to despair as your teeth collapse under their own weight…Plaque must be stopped…and can be! And I think you know how. Jerry Nophlous describes his battle with gum disease as, “a terrible ordeal.

My gums just wouldn’t stop bleeding, and when I actually remembered to brush my teeth, it proved to be a torrent of pain and misery! ” Ebert and Roeper gave Gingivitis two thumbs down before they realized it wasn’t a movie – though if it was a movie, it would probably receive an Academy Award in the category of Worst Movie Ever. I used to have problems with oral hygiene – in the days when I was a stupid, punk kid with nothing to lose by not brushing my teeth. Yes, I was the hotshot rebel who always said “No way” to the man, and his tooth-enslaving devices.

But things changed. One night, when I was having a toothbrush bonfire in my dentist’s backyard, I felt a sharp pain a in my mouth. It started as just a burst of discomfort, but it gradually escalated into something unbearable. Little by little my gums erupted like volcanoes, spewing blood, like magma, out of their diseased cavities. It was a dreadful mess. After that day, and the subsequent 3 weeks I spent in the hospital, I was a new man. I brushed two times a day, flossed regularly, and gargled Scope as if it tasted good!

My gums eventually healed, and my teeth thanked me by becoming white and beautiful – like tiny mirrors of alabaster, glistening with cleanliness. I still eat candy, and drink soda, of course, but it’s okay, because I purge their poisons from my mouth shortly after. Good oral hygiene is not a chore, or an epic struggle – it is a simple, 10 minutes a day spent with your teeth. Who needs those 10 minutes, that badly, anyway? You’d probably just waste them watching TV or studying for English. Don’t waste your time! Brush your teeth, I say!

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