36-Year-Old Still Looking For Ways To Make Brushing Fun

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After Birth

Parents Of Crying Child Must Not Be Any Good

WOODBURY, MN—Noting how the pair’s failure to promptly resolve the situation was a clear indication of their inability to raise or care for another human being, sources confirmed Friday that the parents of a crying infant must not be any good.

How To Adopt A Child

Adoption is a beautiful way to provide a loving home for a child, though it is a logistically complex process that might take months or even years to complete. Here are the steps involved in adopting a child:

The Pros And Cons Of Helicopter Parenting

The rising trend of “helicopter parenting,” or hovering over a child’s educational, social, extracurricular, and home life, has been praised by some as true dedication to one’s kids and decried by others for potentially smothering a child’s independent development. Here are the pros and cons of helicopter parenting

Conductor Fatigue Blamed In Massive Model Train Crash

BLOOMINGTON, IN—After surveying the dozen railcars and cargo of Lincoln Logs strewn haphazardly across the grass mat, investigators concluded Friday that a massive model train derailment was the result of conductor fatigue.

The Pros And Cons Of Co-Sleeping

The act of co-sleeping, where babies and toddlers share a “family bed” with their parents, is a rising trend in the United States, though the practice is contested by those who doubt its purported benefits. Here are the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your child

The Onion’s Guide To Trick-Or-Treating

Halloween gives revelers a chance to receive candy all over the neighborhood. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your experience and take home a big haul.

How To Talk To Your Child About Sex

It’s not easy to decide when and how to have a discussion with children about sex, and many parents wonder how explicit they should be or where to establish boundaries. Here are The Onion’s tips for having “the talk” with your kids:

Child’s Loose Grasp On Balloon Only Thing Between Peace And Anarchy At Restaurant

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Eating their meals and conversing pleasantly without paying any heed to how loosely the string was wrapped around the young child’s finger, diners at a local Panera Bread reportedly went about their lunch Wednesday completely unaware that 2-year-old Nate Pollen’s tenuous grasp on a red helium balloon was the only thing standing between peace and total anarchy.

Childish 12-Year-Old Still Believes In Father

HARTFORD, CT—Saying she just assumed he would have figured it out by now, local mother Kathleen Rivers expressed concern to reporters Tuesday that her 12-year-old son, Dylan, still believes in his father.

How U.S. Schools Can Improve Math Education

With U.S. students regularly placing behind 20 to 25 other nations in mathematics test scores, many education experts are wondering what the sources of the problem are and how we can take steps to fix them. Here’s a look at how American schools can improve their math curricula and help struggling students:

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

How To Talk To Your Child About Death

When your family has experienced a loss, it can be a difficult concept for young children to process. The Onion breaks down the best ways to converse with your child about the realities of death

Single, Unemployed Mother Leeching Off Government

WASHINGTON—Taking advantage of the system and giving nothing back in return, local unemployed, single mother Mei Xiang reportedly gave birth to two more children out of wedlock this week and continued to pathetically leech off the government.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

How New Parents Can Stay Healthy

Having a baby changes everything, and the resulting lack of sleep and general stress can contribute to a decline in overall wellness. Here are some ways new parents can prevent bad habits and maintain good health

Single Woman With 3 Young Children Unaware She Subject Of 984 Judgments Today

LINCOLN, NE—Oblivious to the thoughts and looks directed toward her as she shopped for groceries, stopped by the post office, and ran several other errands with her three young children, single mother Karen Nichols, 29, was reportedly completely unaware that she was the focus of 984 separate judgments by strangers this afternoon.

Tips For Traveling With Young Children

Family vacations can be a time for bonding and building lasting memories, but when young children are involved, trips can also be stressful to plan and execute. Here are The Onion’s tips for traveling with kids

Good News Kept From Parents Out Of Fear Of Proving Them Right

DANBURY, CT—Saying she wants no part of the conversation that would inevitably result if she broke the good news, local medical billing technician Jenny Comers reported Friday that she’s keeping word of her recent pay raise from her parents out of fear of proving them right.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

North American Children Begin Summer Migration To Dad’s

NEW YORK—With the increasingly warm weather signaling the commencement of their age-old journey, millions of children across the North American continent began their annual summer migration to their fathers’ homes this week, sources confirmed.

Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Kids Love When Mom Sad Enough To Just Order Pizza

FORT WORTH, TX—Saying they get their hopes up anytime they notice her looking particularly downhearted, siblings Paulo and Marisa Hernandez told reporters Wednesday they love it when their mother is sad enough to just order pizza.

Baby-Naming Tips For New Moms

Mothershould’s Grace Manning-Devlin breaks down some of the hottest baby names of the year, such as Cooper, Tanner, Milkman, and Serf.

Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

As the American education system continues to place more emphasis on standardized testing to measure academic achievement, critics have argued that it can be more harmful than helpful to students’ development in the long run. Here are some of the pros and cons of standardized testing:

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Blog Post Read By Mother To Shape Child’s Next 18 Years

PAOLI, PA—Poised to inform future parenting decisions on medical care, dietary restrictions, and everyday well-being, the blog post “Fluoride Drops For Kids—Good Idea?” which was read by local mother Laurie Miller earlier today, will reportedly shape the next 18 years of her young child’s life.

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

OVERLAND PARK, KS—Appearing stunned and unsettled as they entered her classroom Wednesday, students from Ms. Frederickson’s fourth-period social studies class were reportedly overcome with panic 
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

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Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

PITTSBURGH—Saying they should have known from the moment they walked in the unmarked speakeasy entrance and spotted the extensive wood paneling, customers confirmed Friday that, ugh, this is one of those places where the bartenders all wear bow ties.

36-Year-Old Still Looking For Ways To Make Brushing Fun

Naasz tries to enjoy his new toothpaste.
Naasz tries to enjoy his new toothpaste.

SAN FRANCISCO—More than three decades after acquiring his first Pink Panther toothbrush, Mark Naasz continues to search unsuccessfully for new ways to make brushing his teeth fun, the 36-year-old Bernal Heights resident revealed Monday.

"Check it out: Tom's Of Maine fennel-flavored all-natural anti-cavity toothpaste," said Naasz, pulling the $4.89 item from a Whole Foods bag. "It says here that fennel is an all-natural, herbal breath-freshener that's been used for centuries. And look: This little snap-lid bottle fits in my jacket pocket, so I'll probably start brushing my teeth after lunch. I've been meaning to get into that habit for years."

Although Naasz's taste in toothpastes, mouthwashes, flosses, brushes, and other oral-hygiene aids has grown more sophisticated over time, his desire to make the chore of dental care enjoyable has remained constant.

"Every time I go to the dentist and get a cleaning, I vow that I'll start taking better care of my teeth," said Naasz, who brushes two times a day and flosses once or twice whenever he buys a new flossing product. "If I could just find something that would make fighting plaque and tartar less of a boring, repetitive chore—like a really flavorful toothpaste or a cool electric toothbrush—then I'd want to do it."

Naasz's pursuit of good dental hygiene extends beyond dentifrices and brushing devices. He recently embarked upon and quickly abandoned a foray into home tooth-whitening.

"I thought whitening my teeth would be fun—really dramatic or something," Naasz said. "But the [whitening] strips felt weird against my teeth, and it was torture keeping them in my mouth for 30 minutes. Really, I don't know what I was thinking—I can't even stand gargling with Listerine for 30 seconds."

Faith Combes, Naasz's girlfriend of three years, has stood by as Naasz cycled through dozens of over-the-counter tooth-cleaning products. According to Combes, Naasz's fascination with new dental products is matched only by his ability to grow bored with them.

"Whenever a weird, nobby toothbrush or a ridiculously complicated toothpaste comes out, Mark buys it," Combes said. "He was really into this 'liquid calcium' Enamelon for a while. Before that, it was Mentadent—you know, the toothpaste with the 'unique dual-chamber pump.' But then he got tired of buying the big, stupid refill cartridges. He went through an extreme toothpaste phase for a while. But lately, since they opened the Whole Foods near his apartment, he's been on an organic, all-natural kick. Hence the fennel stuff, the taste of which I'm guessing he'll hate."

"I don't know," Combes added. "Somewhere along the line, Mark got it into his head that oral hygiene can somehow be made fun. It's an idea he refuses to let go of."

Naasz's preoccupation with the brushing habit started in 1974, when he received a Pink Panther electric toothbrush on his 6th birthday. Naasz quickly discovered that he didn't like the feeling of motorized bristles on his teeth, began using the Pink Panther toothbrush as a doll, and was well on his way to developing his first cavity.

When he reached his teenage years, products like Aquafresh toothpaste—with its alternating red, green, and white stripes—briefly appealed to Naasz, who found a renewed interest in fresh breath and white teeth upon reaching dating age. But according to the 36-year-old, not one product has helped make brushing anything but an unpleasant responsibility.

"All the packages look so great in the pharmacy," Naasz said. "But using the products is never as nice as looking at them on the shelf, when they're all pure and full of promise. Once you put that first dent in the tube, the allure is gone."

Naasz said that reflecting upon his misbegotten dental-care past "brings him to the brink of despair."

"Sometimes I'm like, 'What's wrong with me?'" Naasz said. "No matter what I buy, I have to force myself to brush, and I come away thinking brushing is an everyday duty that has nothing to do with pleasure."

American Dental Association spokesperson Elizabeth Bagnold said Naasz's case is like many seen by the nation's most prominent dental-health advocacy group.

"For years, the ADA has stated that brushing should be fun," Bagnold said. "But upon reviewing Mr. Naasz's case, we are considering revising our policy. Proper oral hygiene provides plenty of lasting benefits, but it is rarely enjoyable for its own sake. I would go so far as to say that fear, rather than fun, provides a much more legitimate motivation to brush and floss daily."

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