What if teeth could talk? What might they say? This article attempts the answer.
Hey there! My name is Joe, and I’m a tooth. I’m a bicuspid, but that doesn’t really matter, because I could be any tooth, in anyone’s mouth. Here is my typical day.
In the Morning
I wake up to a splitting headache most every day, but it’s not my fault. My person grinds his teeth and snores. The snoring is annoying, but it’s the grinding that’s just killing me. The official name for it is bruxism, and there is help for it, but my person just keeps putting it off, while I suffer. To tell the truth, I’m about to crack up, but I’ll hold on in the hopes he gets a night guard. We teeth are an optimistic lot.
Let’s see what’s for breakfast – maybe some nice healthy food that can give me the vitamins and minerals to keep my enamel strong! What?! Pop Tarts and a coffee with three sugars? You’re killing me here — literally! But all will be forgiven with a thorough brushing to get rid of this morning breath.
Brushing Me Up
Ahhhh, that feels good, and just a bit ticklish, but don’t stop so soon, keep brushing! You’re supposed to brush at least two minutes, and that pass barely touched me. I need more, so much more, but that quick scrub is typical. Most mornings all I can hope for is a few seconds of cleaning, a quick rinse and off we go.
The Work Day
Once we’re at work I deal with the daily grind of pencil chewing, paper clip biting, sour candy sucking, jaw clenching and soda drinking. Does my person not understand that he only gets one set of adult teeth, and we are not made of steel? We’re sensitive, we’re not invincible, and we won’t stick around forever with this kind of treatment.
Lunch. Seriously? Gummy worms, Corn Nuts and a Mountain Dew? Oh if only I could enjoy a crunchy apple now and then, some carrot sticks, raisins, anything that doesn’t stick and feed the billions of bacteria swarming around in here. We could wrap this lunch up with a piece of sugarless gum, or just some plain old-fashioned water, but no, it looks like some Cheese Doodles are all the fiber and calcium I can expect today.
The Day’s End
As we go through the day, the bad habits persist — more soda, more sugar, more sour candies. If I could brush myself, I would, but I’m not in charge here! Dinner comes and after we plop down to watch a bit of TV. All those toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash commercials make me jealous! I’m stuck in this mouth that’s going from bad to worse, and there’s nothing I can do but hang on for dear life. My gums keep receding from this abuse and the bacteria move in to that new real estate. Once those organisms go too far, it means the end for my exposed roots. Take away the strength of my foundation and the rest of me gets loose, starts wobbling and comes right out. Then he won’t have this bicuspid to kick around any more!
What a Tooth Wants
The things I need are simple:
- Take me to our Placerville dentist for two visits a year. Any sort of dental insurance pays for that!
- Brush me twice a day, for two minutes at a time,
- Floss me every day, working out the gunk and plaque between each tooth and behind the last molars,
- Avoid sugary snacks and sodas and don’t chew anything that makes me crack, like ice cubes!
Are these things so much to ask? Think about the things I’m expected to do all the time:
- Chew food,
- Smile pretty for the camera,
- Help you speak clearly and enunciate,
- Keep your face looking young and healthy.
All I need is about ten minutes of attention each day, but here we go, off to bed once again with just a quick brushing with a worn-out toothbrush. The floss sits in the medicine cabinet, all wound up with nowhere to go. I don’t know how much longer I can go on, but tomorrow is a new day. I hope for future dental visits and cleanings, regular brushings and, dare I say it, daily flossings? That is all we want, that is usually all we need. We are teeth, we are amazing, and we want to stick around for years.