I like my teeth.
I’m rather attached to them. Or rather, they’re attached to me.
And I don’t say that to suggest I’ve got the million-dollar actor-perfect teeth—though my parents might suggest I do after seeing me in braces for two and a half years. Funny story about that.
I love to chew gum. I particularly like double-bubble bubble gum, y’know, the kind you used to be able to get for 1¢ per piece. (Remind me to tell you a story about my dad and bubble-gum…but that’s digressing far too much this time) I love the stuff and one of the most difficult things for me to do when I had braces was to give up chewing gum…and ice. But this story is not about ice.
So I hadn’t had my braces that long when I had to go in to get them “tightened.” Anyone who had braces before the last decade or so knows that tightening hurt like the dickens. I was in pain. I was in my bed moaning—okay, I was probably crying—I was in 7th grade, after all. My mom walks in and you could tell she felt very sorry for me and was doing her motherly best to sooth me. In fact, she tells me she picked up a treat for me to help my brace-blues. She reaches behind her back (this was in the days before Wal-Mart, kiddies), and gives me a huge pack of—you guessed it: GUM!
I would like to tell you that I burst out laughing because I thought it was a good gag. I would even be happy telling you that I chuckled knowing she meant well and then gave it out to all my friends the next day at school. I wouldn’t be horribly disappointed to tell you that I broke the rules and chewed the stuff anyway.
Nope. I broke out in tears (I was in 7th grade, I said!) and couldn’t believe my own mom would torture me in such a way.
Those of you feeling sorry for my mom right now must know that she’s heard me tell this story a million times and so she knows I’ve recovered from that dark episode in my youth.
So when the dentist tells me that I’ve got a crack in my otherwise fairly healthy teeth, I don’t react too well to that news. I’m a pretty good dental patient when it comes to cleaning and all. But my mind will not block out the filling of a cavity (after I got my braces off, no doubt) in which the dentist informed me he could give me no more pain/numbing shots because I’d reached the max and proceeded to fill the cavity even though I could feel it! No, my mind will not block that out. So when they tell me that not just a filling will do, they have to “shave” my tooth and put a “crown” on—like calling it a crown is going to make me feel better about it—I’m not the best patient.
Yes. I recently went to the dentist.
Yes. I like my teeth. But not quite the way you think!