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Why Brushing my Teeth is a Constant Reminder of Life’s Joys

The gentle, constant buzz of my electric toothbrush soothes me. Its soft bristles trace circular paths across my teeth. One, two, three…30 seconds pass before the humming halts momentarily to indicate it is time to shift quadrants. This calm lasts for two minutes total and it is something I look forward to every evening.

Why would I look forward to this? Besides the fact that dental hygiene is a must, life can be busy and stressful. It is easy to get sucked into the whirlwind of hustle and routine. Time moves fast. Nonetheless, each day has highlights that might be missed if people do not look for them. The time with my toothbrush—designated to reflect and express gratitude—helps me find the hidden gems. The time with my toothbrush is when I think about my day and appreciate all of its positive moments. Every day, regardless of what happens, has some sort of light to it.

I spent an evening chatting with friends on the Lakefill with views of the Chicago skyline.

I tried a new workout class at the gym.

Someone I did not know complimented my jacket.

A girl I just met said she loved my energy.

I went on a spontaneous trip to Chicago just for ice cream.

I was featured on the Hillel Instagram.

My friends and I played on the playground like little kids.

I had a really silly texting conversation. 

I passed the night away doing Just Dance in my dorm’s basement and got almost 20 people to join.

Good things happen daily. If I do not take the time to appreciate them, the overwhelming, bad days will seem worse, and the fun, good days will fade into the background.

Essentially, everyone should brush their teeth. It kills two birds with one stone: pearly-whites and positive reflections.

Madeleine Stern

Northwestern '26

Madeleine is studying journalism at Northwestern University. When she is not writing, she can be found exploring Chicago, trying new Evanston restaurants, going for runs along the Lakefill, dancing around her dorm room, cheering on the New York Giants, or spending time with her friends.