May 7, 2008


I’ve tried to look after them, I really have – but is there really anything good to say about teeth? From the moment in babyhood when those first tiny ivories penetrate our tender gums, they torment and control our lives: Brush me! Floss me! Avoid too many sweeties (not a chance…) Take me for regular dental checks – and all in the name of avoiding toothaches and bad breath and acquiring a healthy, attractive smile.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way for yours truly. My second front teeth came through crossed, requiring an uncomfortable brace - and were not particularly white to start off with. I also had ‘extra teeth’ that needed to be yanked – and in those distant days of yore they actually used GAS to knock you out with! The horror and pain of it all is etched forever on my mind. The black rubber gas mask… nauseating smell… dizziness… feeling of whizzing through a tunnel backwards… and the humility of waking up and discovering I’d wet my knickers! No time to wallow in self-pity though, I’d be too busy throwing up. None of this was unusual for the times. In fact the whole process was considered quite humane. Milk teeth were usually pulled without anesthetic. Believe me - I know!
Oh how often I have envied those fellow citizens genetically endowed with strong, straight, natural pearly whites, while my own ancestors saw fit to curse me with a hodge-podge of brittle, crooked, off-white curiosities. Bah!
For a while, as a teenager I blamed my less than attractive smile on being born just two years after the end of WW 2 (a ‘baby boomer’) to a mother trying to stay healthy on rationed foodstuffs: i.e., eggs, butter, cheese, milk, meat, etc... Then later, as a mother myself, although well fed, I privately but fleetingly attributed my rapidly loosening molars to the arrival of my own kids! How ‘cruel’ (!) I hear you say - but isn’t there an Old-Wives-Tale that predicts something like: ‘Get pregnant - lose a tooth’? Still, that would only account for three molars at best.
No, there’s nothing else for it. I’ll just have to own up. The fact is I was a greedy, lazy child, who grew up with her hand in the cake tin and stole her little brothers’ chocolate bars, toffees and lollies and employed a perfunctory brushing technique at best!
Happily that’s all in the past now. A decent dentist, has put most of my genetic and hygienic dental legacy and transgressions to rights.
As I smile into the mirror today, I see a top row of gleaming white ‘crowns’ and a bottom row of more or less intact natural teeth, which are however a couple of shades less white than the top row - and that is why I said ‘most’ and not ‘all’ has been put right. There remains just one thing left for me to do and I’m really looking forward to it!
I’ve bought a ‘Teeth Whitening Kit’ for my bottom teeth – and I can’t wait to get started!
There are two tubes of jelly like paste: one for the whitening process and one for maintenance. There is also a half-circle shaped lump of transparent plastic, which apparently has to be heated in hot water and then pressed over my own teeth and held in place for a minute or two to allow it to mould to their shape. This phase must be done properly because once heated and cooled the mould cannot be reheated and reshaped…hmm (slight trepidation in pit of stomach). I must then apply some of the whitening jelly into the mould and put it back over my (bottom) teeth and hold firmly in place for twenty minutes. Repeat daily and after three days I should see a remarkable improvement. Lovely! Seems easy enough, even for my extremely un-technical, un-spatial, un-mathematical brain. So here I go! Tra-la!

I’m bleaching my teeth with a home-try kit,
You have to melt the mould to make it fit….(struggle).
I’m bleachin’ me teef wiv a hmm made kit….(slurp),
Ye af te melt de muld te mek it fit….(drool).
‘m bleech’n mi teefs wiv a hmmm mud kit… (splutter).
Y’v tu mul de mdddd… t’ mek it f’tttt…(slobber….choke!)
And it doesn’t!! It doesn’t fit – and I can’t reheat it…. sob!

Nothing else for it but to phone the dentist for a scrape and a polish and hope s/he can fit me in before 2010…..See ya! I’m off to comfort myself with a cuppa… and a very tiny bar of chocolate.


Unknown said...


How about just eating white chocolate?

Blue footed booby

Geri Atric said...

Hi Blue footed booby,

Now why didn't I think of that! Oh but hang on, did it exist when I was young...? Never mind, I'll dash right out and get some now!