This one is easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. In previous times, people would pay to have all their teeth removed and just wear falsies. It was easier and less painful. Fast forward some decades, and dental practices and technologies have really improved so we jealously protect all the toothy pegs we have. I grew up somewhere in the middle of those time extremes. We lived in small and rural town. Fluoride was not yet added routinely to water supplies and, to this day I would swear that the school dental nurses practiced on us kids. Yes, nurses would regularly visit our school and we would regularly visit those buses kitted out with lots of drills and amalgam. Cordial flowed freely and we didn’t drink a lot of water. We ate as much sugar as we wanted. It wasn’t fashionable to floss – I certainly had never heard of it. Perhaps it wasn’t invented back then. Anyway, I started high school with a mouth full of mercury. So did all the other kids I knew.
Worse than going to the school dental nurses, was a visit to the only dentist in town. He was very busy given he was the only one. His idea of efficiency was to work on two patients at once, in different rooms. So it wasn’t uncommon to sit in the chair for up to twenty minutes, mouth full of filling scaffolding and not a water sucker in site. Perhaps those hadn’t been invented either. Drool would be spilling down cheeks well before our beloved dentist returned. He had fat fingers and long nasal hair. When in his chair, there was very little else to look at. A visit to our dentist was affectionately called, “The Murder House” and not something to be repeated on a six-monthly basis, for sure.
The first root canal was performed when I was about fourteen years old. I remember wandering around the school buildings high as a kite on some really powerful painkillers. I don’t remember much reading, writing and ‘rithmetic being learned that week. I know now it is much better to really look after your teeth. Pay attention to any mouth pain and visit your dentist six-monthly. Tell the lovely and gentle professional of any issues and suck up the discomfort and cost. The experience will be pleasurable compared to visiting our hometown butcher. Floss daily. The dentist will ask you whether you engage in this practice and you will tell him or her, “absolutely”. They know if you are telling fibs. My partner starts flossing a couple of days before his check-up. Our dentist is onto him. Use those little interdental brushes to get in-between your pearly whites. They are brilliant. I just wish they had been invented when I was a kid! And brush your teeth regularly with a nice and in good condition tooth brush and good toothpaste – your dentist can advise you. My son didn’t like to brush much at all. Sometimes his teeth would be a soft shade of green, like algae. That was until he met his beautiful and blonde girlfriend which seemed to help his interest in personal hygiene.
Look after your teeth.