Not to be cliché, but the smells of autumn are pretty lit. No, I am not talking of the leaves rotting into the ground, dead fish on the banks of the Fox River, or the ever-pungent smell of the Fox River Paper Company, although these are definite hits by my book. I am, however, referring to the pumpkin spice and the warm cinnamon apple aromas that Yankee Candle really capitalizes on. While the pumpkin spice trend only recently manifested, cinnamon in particular has been a paramount scent and flavor for decades, its medium encompassing everything from pretzels to potpourri. It would seem that cinnamon is fit to flavor anything, then. But you would be so wrong. Cinnamon, while valuable to the fall atmosphere and the flavor spectrum as a whole, should frankly be banned from ever entering a tube of toothpaste. Or gum. But mostly toothpaste.
I do not know if any of you know this, but I almost died this summer. I was going to the bathroom one day at summer camp to brush my teeth. Aimlessly, I picked up whatever tube of toothpaste was in front of me. Without looking, I squeezed a bit on my toothbrush. The white color did not provide me with a proper warning for what I was about to experience. I put the brush in my mouth, and began on my lower molars. Thus began the worst experience of my life. The toothpaste felt like acid on my mouth. My tongue burned. My gums stung. Did I put snake venom on my toothbrush by accident? No, far worse in fact, as it was “Close-up” brand cinnamon toothpaste that entered my mouth. Had I not been at summer camp as a camp counselor and therefore been allowed to carry my phone around, I would absolutely have called Poison Control without hesitation. I was poisoned, plain and simple, by cinnamon toothpaste.
I will be the first to say it: mint-flavored toothpaste (which is redundant, because all toothpaste should be mint-flavored anyways) is sacred. Toothpaste exists on this universally hallowed ground on the intersection of hygiene and pleasure. For it to be marred — nay, polluted — by a flavor as unrefreshing and offensive as cinnamon is sacrilegious. Mint is ideal. Mint is clean, happy, safe and precious. We do not change things that are already at their peak optimum. I can understand and will entertain the need for kids’ toothpaste flavors, like watermelon and bubble-mint, as a true and valiant mint can be too “spicy” for an unseasoned tongue. However, these kids move on to the classic Crest or Colgate mint flavors as they age. No one, no matter who you are or what walk of life you come from, should ever be subjected to the poison that is cinnamon toothpaste.
If you are someone who happens to use cinnamon toothpaste, I will suggest a few self-help lifelines. First and foremost, call poison control as soon as you can, because we are not sure how prolonged use of cinnamon toothpaste can affect the body. Next, you may want to take a trip to your nearest drug store to pick out a new toothpaste. I have been using Colgate MaxFresh as of late (not sponsored) and have been thoroughly enjoying its cool mint flavor sensation. As a precautionary measure, you may also wish to replace your toothbrush with a new one. Calling a counselor or speaking with a therapist may also be helpful as you make the transition from using poison to brush your teeth to using toothpaste to brush your teeth.
So, as we delve into this beautiful fall season, be wary of cinnamon trying to force its way onto your palette via heinous methods such as toothpaste. Use my near-death experience as a lesson, warning you of the dangers and horrors of cinnamon toothpaste. You deserve better than cinnamon toothpaste. You are worthy. You are good enough. Do not beguile yourself by the pervasiveness of cinnamon into thinking it belongs in your toothpaste. It does not.