Most of my life, say since the age of fourteen, I have used only one brand of toothpaste (except emergencies). One of the common ones, but probably the least popular in that it doesn’t taste of birthday cake or doughnuts. I chose it because it made my mouth feel good and was neither too sweet nor tasted of week-old chewing gum.
Now over time the packaging has changed and so has the formulation, you notice now and then as you pick up the tube but it is similar enough to the last iteration to be called the same thing and your mouth doesn’t complain.
I mentioned that it was probably the least popular variety and recently it was nowhere to be found, so we got a ‘natural’ toothpaste, nice taste of fennel – how surprised I was – anyway my gumline complained a little so I went out and got MY toothpaste.
Except now it wasn’t MY toothpaste anymore, into my mouth it went and what a shock, what chemical hodge-podge was this that was like napalm on my tongue, like bleach on my teeth and a blowtorch to my gums? What subtle changes had accumulated to take MY toothpaste away from me and replace it with this simulacrum, which although appearing to be MY toothpaste, in name, in colour, in active ingredients, was no longer anything of the sort.
I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere…