Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rushing off to the dentist this morning! Tis significant in that I haven't been to the dentist since before I got married, about six years ago. Neat!

My dad never went to the dentist. He was convinced that the teeth cleaning "removed all of his protective plaque" and then put him in danger of getting cavities. He didn't go for about twenty years and then got some insurance and went one day. Guess what? Doctor said he had no cavities! All were amazed. They gave him a good cleaning and six months later he went back for a checkup. Guess what? He had, like, fifty cavities. Went to his grave with incessant toothaches. I remember him complaining about it, among other things, and blaming the hygienists. ("And I paid for this?!")

So we'll see what I've got. I bet I've got a few cavities, and I know that I'll probably need a crown back there on a broken tooth. I'll probably get some grief about my TMJ problem, which is the dental version of quack chiropractic in my humble opinion. But sometimes my jaw just locks open! And sometimes it clicks when I eat! Anyway, another crown and I'll have three lined up in a row. (Clearly, I favor that side.)

Last time I was in I asked the dentist about my wisdom teeth and whether or not they needed to be removed. He said, "Plenty of room!" So, good for me, I've got more teeth than most. These extra teeth, I believe, have slowly pushed together the Letterman gap on my two front incisors. That gap defined my face in my youth, but the days of whistling through it are coming to a close, literally. I'm changing. By the time I'm fifty, I reckon, I'll have a nicely aligned top set of teeth from my self-managed orthodontia. The bottom row I'm not so sure about: they're beginning to jam together.

What's the protocol here, by the way? Should I brush my teeth before I go? Should I walk in sucking down a jalapeno breakfast burrito and a Frappachino? Bag of candied nuts and popcorn, maybe? I hope he doesn't catch my cough, poor guy.