Monday, March 10, 2008


So I broke a tooth the other day. That can only mean one thing. I’m officially old now. Now I don’t mean to imply that old age is the only thing that reduces teeth to shrapnel in your mouth. I know of people who have experienced cool and exciting adventures which led, ultimately, to having a tooth broken. Many pirates, not that I know any personally, have at least one broken tooth from a drunken brawl in some exotic Caribbean port. Sports figures, particularly hockey players, are likely to have broken a tooth if they’ve had a distinguished career bashing heads and eating pucks. Mine was from a wheat thin.
That’s right, back up and read it again to be sure. I broke a tooth on a “WHEAT T-H-I-N”. You need to understand that just before I ate said wheat thin I dropped a handful on the counter accidently and most of them broke of their own accord. They were apparently already resigned to their assumed destiny. One of them had other plans I’m guessing. He was taking prisoners on his way out. It wasn’t an ordinary tooth mind you. It was what I have always considered to be one of my “horse” teeth. You know the ones toward the back of your jaw, the big, fat, thick ones that are supposed to grind up anything. They’re like “ginsu” teeth. I used to grind down whole tootsie pops, jaw breakers, blow pops, and all sorts of things of that consistency. Just the week before I was powering through a theatre sized box of Milk Duds…nothing, not even a creak or a groan to indicate the impending structural failure.
Just so you know, as if you wanted to, it was a bicuspid… the tooth I mean. The next morning I happened to run into one of my hygienists from the dental establishment that I am connected to. I was standing in line at my favorite coffee place (not here at Starbucks) telling her about my dental woes and my impending visit to her office. Being the helpful and professional soul that she is, she asked if she could see it. It was just as I thought. I broke off a “cusp”. It guess that it is now known only as a cuspid, since the “bi” part was eliminated. Wednesday is the day chosen to begin the rebuild effort.
I’m sure that I can’t wait for this experience. I haven’t exactly been the model patient for dental awareness and tooth care despite my mother’s best intentions. It’s not that I have a fear of dentists though. Did I tell you that my dental office used to be a funeral home and mortuary? I have actually performed a funeral there in my pastoral life. That was of course before it was resurrected for living body use. I don’t fear dentists any more than I do funeral directors. I have insurance. This whole thing is simply inconvenient. I have better things to do than sit in a chair with the jaws of life holding my own jaw open while pairs of hands try to “bondo” my tooth back to its intended shape.
I guess the worst part of this experience, what is really bothering me, is the knowledge that life will never be the same for me. Tootsie pops will now become potential grenades in my mouth. Blow pops could possibly be landmines every time I indulge. Milk Duds are bound to cause me anxiety instead of the peace and joy that they’ve always provided my inner being. Don’t even get me started on Sugar Daddies. Life will never be the same. Days of jello and mashed potatoes approach. It’s been a good run though. I’m proud of my mouths accomplishments. We’ve conquered many things together. It’s just hard to go out on a wheat thin.


Anonymous said...

demineralisation.flouride rinse before bed,prescripetion strength flouride toothpaste.

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart Dan
I am still smiling over your little episode. not that it is funny. just puts me in mind of my youth. that is, when I had teeth, all my own teeth......

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan--broke a tooth myself, one of the big back ones on a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven (soft). Anyway, I guess in my case, my old metal fillings are expanding and cracking my teeth apart, so I can't blame the cookie. Don't know about your tooth, but maybe it wasn't the wheat thin.