It’s OK.

This is a letter to myself giving me permission to do one of the things that I shouldn’t do that I really need to.

It’s ok that that you eat soft food that wrecks your teeth.

You know better. You know that cavities aren’t caused by not brushing or not flossing, cavities are caused by not chewing enough. Modern industrial foods are sweeter and softer than anything we ever ate before. The sugars in the food acidifies our mouths. Cavities are the erosion of our teeth enamels that happens when our mouths spend too much time in an acid state and not enough in an alkaline state. Chewing creates saliva, which neutralizes the effects of the sugar and remineralizes our teeth. Flouride is an alkalizing chemical that increases remineralization and helps undo cavities that have already begun to form, but it’s artificial and like all things artificial, has side effects. You don’t need to brush your teeth or drink flourided water if you just make sure to chew enough so that your body can do what it’s supposed to do to protect and repair your teeth.

You hate the medical industry, and you hate the condescension of doctors. Dentists are the worst because they tell you that your poor hygiene is the reason that your teeth are eroding, that tooth erosion is natural, and that their drills and lectures are the only thing standing between you and mouth rot. If you just ate more raw vegetables, cooked your meats a little less so they were tougher, chewed the bones and the gristle, and quit your sticky yummy GABA gummies, you could quit brushing your teeth AND quit going to the dentist. Your mouth would naturally heal itself and you could be free of the crippling nasty effects of mercury fillings.

But let’s be honest with ourselves: you hate the grinding vibration of crunchy crackers against your teeth; you hate how chewing a raw carrot rattles your eyes in your skull; you love pulling food apart with your tongue, or pressing it between your teeth only to feel it disintegrate; you hate when you’re playing with a soft or smooth texture in your mouth and you find something hard. And you especially hate the feeling of semi-digested mash squishing around inside your mouth when you actually chew stuff. Face it, you love the texture of food more than you love the flavor of it and forcing yourself to eat foods with the wrong textures every day will suffocate your spirit.

You have a food texture sensitivity that is both wonderful and terrible and it’s not a stain on your moral fabric that you cater to it and, like most Americans, end up with rotten teeth that need dental interventions.

It’s ok. Just eat the foods that you like because you have enough trouble getting through your days as it is. If you started eating food that you hated because it’s healthier for your teeth, you’d end up starving yourself like you did in Japan for four years. It’s not enough to say, “This is bad for me and I know it and I won’t do it,” you have to also say, “This satisfies a need that I have and if I give it up, I can get that need satisfied elsewhere.” Until the day that you have a personal chef that cooks food to your specifications, to whom you can delegate the choice of textures and rest confident that you will still be able to eat that day, until that day arrives you are allowed to eat soft food that you know is going to wreck your teeth. Just brush them whenever you start to feel bad about it and make sure you use toothpaste at least some of the time. It’ll be ok.

You might get another cavity that you have to get filled. Your teeth will slowly rot in your mouth and you will have to deal with dentists, but you can deal with those things. You can compartmentalize them and plan for them and give yourself a PILE OF COOKIES as a reward for getting through them, and even if the dentists end up doing permanent damage to your teeth that requires maintenance until you die, you’ll still be ok. You won’t have to go in every six months or every year like they say. Hell, you’ve had a broken tooth in the back of your mouth for seven years and there’s really been no consequences, so you can pace yourself. You can stay in control.

And you don’t have to prove to the world that you know better by single handedly fighting every battle of modern civilization! Yes, you know that it’s the food that’s wrecking your teeth. You know it’s the fact that getting healthy food is hard that makes such a mess of your mouth and your life more generally, but it’s ok. You don’t have to fight that battle. You can just be the one tiny human in a cosmos so large that your imagination can’t even contain its vastness. You can let it go.