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It’s Ok to Brush – Just Don’t Inhale

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And you can quote me: "Swallowing toothpaste is one thing. Inhaling it is another, and let me tell you that when that searing hot mint hits your delicate pulmonary tract, you experience a full minute and a half of "oh please God let me die NOW" intense pain with every attempt at breathing."

Posted in My Day, July 27th, 2006


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Who would ever have thought that a seemingly innocent thing like mint toothpaste could incapacitate someone with what can only be described as a “phasers on stun” response to being accidentally inhaled?

Well, let me tell you, don’t try this at home, kids.

When you think about the act of toothbrushing, and how often you do it (uh, hopefully), the fact that you probably don’t hold your breath when you brush your teeth (although you should if you don’t brush your teeth – at least if you are standing near me), and the proximity of all that toothpastey backwash to your epiglottis, well, it’s amazing that this doesn’t happen more often. Certainly it’s the first time that it has happened in my forty-mumbledy-some-odd years.

But there it was. I was brushing my teeth, with Crest cool-as-ice-ultra-minty gel, and somehow, a tiny bit ended up going down the wrong way.

And let me tell you – when that searing hot mint hits your delicate pulmonary tract, you experience a full minute and a half of “oh please God let me die NOW” intense pain with every attempt at breathing, every futile cough which only serves to re-sear the entire length of your trachea as you desparately claw at your throat and chest and wonder if you will ever live to see another episode of Knotts Landing.

Then for the next five minutes the coughing hurts somewhat less (only somewhat), and you have the bizarre sensation of having minty fresh breath that is minty fresh all the way from the bottom of your lungs on up.

An altogether unpleasant experience, and I think I’m switching to Tom’s of Maine orange/mango toothpaste from here on out.

Searches that led to this article: what happens if you inhale toothpaste,  inhaled toothpaste burning lungs,  my bird inhaled fumes,  

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101 Comments »

  1. Omg help! Inhaled TP last night and had all the horrific symptoms listed on this thread. BUT, my throat is still so sore some 18 hours later, and milk is helping for small amounts of time only. Did this happen to anyone else? And when does it stop?!

    Comment by Christie — July 11, 2021 @ 10:13 pm

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