An Open Letter To My Boyfriend’s Mouthguard

Dear Mouthguard,

Listen, I don’t want you to take this letter the wrong way, because I appreciate your work, I really do. You valiantly protect my boyfriend’s jaw night after night from the very real dangers of bruxism (aka teeth grinding), and it’s thanks to you that he hasn’t gnashed his teeth down into sad little stumps in his sleep. “Teeth” are like, number three on my Desirable Qualities In A Mate checklist, so in a way, you’ve ensured our relationship can continue to flourish.

It’s just, I guess I didn’t realize what a big role you would play in our relationship…

Ever since my boyfriend got you a few years ago, you’ve become something of a sister-wife to me, a sister-mouthguard, if you will. You’re there every night when we go to bed. If we’re cuddling and he reaches for you, I can be reasonably sure I’m not getting lucky that night. When the sun comes up and I lean in for a good morning kiss, you’re already in his mouth, your plastic facade smugly reminding me that I’m about to enjoy sloppy seconds.

One night a couple months ago, I walked in on my boyfriend delicately brushing you with a toothbrush. I shrieked, “Oh god!” and quickly closed the bathroom door, feeling as if I’d stumbled upon a scene I was never supposed to see. A couple minutes later, my boyfriend came into the bedroom and sat down next to me. His demeanor was that of a parent who’d just been interrupted during sex and needed to explain the situation to his traumatized child. Mommy and daddy love each other very much, and sometimes to show their love, daddy brushes mommy with a toothbrush…

“That’s how you clean it,” he said evenly, patting my thigh. “I have to keep it clean, don’t I?”

“Well, yeah,” I said. “But, I don’t know, the way you were brushing it so lovingly… it was kind of serial killer-ish.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Like, if it turned out you were serial killer, everyone would say they couldn’t believe it until I admitted that one time I walked in on you tenderly brushing your mouthguard, and then they would say, ‘Oh, well of course he was a serial killer. Why didn’t you tell us sooner?'”

He laughed and left the room, shaking his head.

I guess I’m a bit jealous of you, Mouthguard. I’m not used to sharing my boyfriend with anyone else, let alone a piece of orthodontic equipment, and the two of you obviously enjoy an extraordinarily intimate connection (I’ve never received any of that hot toothbrush action).

Maybe it’s time I got a hot young mouthguard of my own, huh? Let the nighttime grinding commence…