My dad was an oral hygiene fascist of sorts. This made him odd until we moved to Canada. When we were in Ireland people didn’t seem to care much about teeth.
Dad made me and Des brush our teeth until we were good at it and he tried to impress upon us how important it was to take care of them. We used those red plaque revealing tablets after we brushed to help us figure-out how to do a better job. I remember it being important to him that we do everything we can to keep our teeth for our entire life.
I haven’t asked him about it yet, but I’m developing an appreciation of what he may have been getting at. As it stands now, I have ground down my teeth to the point were the bottom needs to be held apart from the top to make sure the brackets of the braces don’t touch, grind and break off. Two semi-hardened plastic globs have been stuck to the second tooth from the back the top of both sides as a spacer to make sure nothing comes in contact with stuff it shouldn’t. Nothing touches except the globs and 1 tooth on each side of my mouth. It works as required.
2 days ago, though, I had the use of 8 pairs of teeth to grind food into a swallow-able and digestible paste-like stuff. Now I have 2 molars, one on the bottom of each side of my month, and 2 globs of softish plastic to, well, do squeeze out some flavor, and mash on food pointlessly.
This could be what my dad was talking about. When you don’t look after your teeth, they need a lot of work and sometimes they need to come out. Chewing with scraps for teeth isn’t very efficient and right now I’d like to have a pizza. That’s not going to happen tonight. So what, I have to deal with this for a 6 months tops – the teeth move quickly once the joints gets used to having constant pressure on them – not the next 40 years.
I get it now. Keep your teeth because CHEWING IS AWESOME!