Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nonconsecutive Gratitude - Gold Teeth*

What CAN'T Jeremy Be Grateful For?

On Tuesdays and Thursdays we're gonna answer the question, "How in the world can Jeremy be grateful for _______?" The blank is up to you to fill. Leave your suggestions in the comments below or find me on Instagram @nonconsecutive

Maybe it’s a generational thing, but my most immediate association of a gold tooth is Joe Pesci in Home Alone. I love the way the fabulous director, John Hughes, had light glint off of the tooth when Joe was in the cop uniform and smiling at Kevin. You’ve got to love the panicked way Pesci realizes it’s missing later. And how can you not love the way the beautiful Katherine O’Hara finds the tooth and visibly ponders what exactly she has found?

Do old school gold fronts count in the same way as Pesci’s tooth? You know fronts, AKA grills, those clip in tooth covers for adding bling and swag to your smile? I knew a guy once that bought some 14k fronts on a whim. I mean, how many among us have not heard the siren song of amateur cosmetic dentistry? He said that they fit in a technical sense, but that they became exceedingly uncomfortable after a few minutes. Imagine that. Certain hip-hop notables have gone around the bend with the gold teeth and are now sporting diamond encrustations. Braces caused my middle-school friends to have abrasions on their inner lips. What must princess cut stones do?

I might hazard a guess that at some point in dentistry’s past there was a more (legitimate) reason for gold in the mouth. Before it gave you street cred it gave you hygienic fillings. It sounds a little scammy, I know.

“So doc, ya say I’ve got holes in my teeth? What in the world can ya fill them holes with do ya reckon?”

“Uh, well . . . I’m not exactly . . . GOLD! Yeah, gold is uh . . . safer and . . . so forth.”

It probably didn’t go down like that. There was probably some trial and error. Maybe even some deliberation. Perhaps a scholarly paper in a peer-reviewed journal of dentistry. The Benefits of Gold as an Elemental Filling and Coating for Cavities and Replacement: All That Glitters is Not Molar.

I’m not trying to blow my own whistle here, but I only have one filling. I’m a man of a certain age, and I’ve only had the need to have addressed one tiny pinhole in a noncritical tooth. I actually don’t know what tooth it’s in. My tooth health is so primo that I can’t even specify the one incisor that had the lone issue of my oral history. I’m grateful for a mouth devoid of decay. But I’m not sure the congratulations should go to my brushing technique. And I know that it can’t be the flossing. Because other than at the dentist and in the terrified 24 hours immediately following a visit, I have not flossed. I don’t gargle. I don’t mouthwash. You hate me, don’t you.

I’m of the opinion that tooth health has a huge genetic component. Some folks just have tooth enamel that’s harder than trigonometry. Some people have some baller enzyme action preventing the sugar bugs from wreaking their havoc. I don’t know what my dental advantage is, but I sure am grateful for it.

1 comment:

  1. You are right...I do hate you! No I don't. BUT, I have only 2 teeth in my mouth without, a crown, veneer, filling, or root canal, and I floss at least once every day and brush at least two times a day and have been to the dentist at least 2 times every year since 1970. BUT I was born a lot earlier than that and did not have good dental care growing up. I've enjoyed reading you.


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