Thursday, October 27, 2005

LIFE: Open up and say ahhh

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I think in my 34 years of life, I must've spent at least one entire year of it at the dentist's office. Went to the dentist yesterday for the second time in two weeks, one visit for the regular checkup and another to repair a filling that was going out. When I'm in that chair, it feels like I've been staring at the ceiling and that funky little light they use that looks like the head of some droid from "Star Wars" for an eternity. I float off to some magical place, vaguely aware of the buzz of the drill and the acrid smell that comes when your own teeth are burning. I go zen.

I'm very used to having people mess with my teeth... I had braces for what seemed like decades as a kid, from third grade to eighth grade, five years that felt like a freakin' infinity when you're young. I had pretty snaggly teeth as I recall, so they took a bit of straightening. (I also happen to think our orthodontist really needed a new car, but that's another theory.) I wore that damned metal garbage from the time I was playing with action figures until when I was playing with girls. For the first year or so of that treatment, I even had to wear that humiliating headgear that makes you look like something out of "A Clockwork Orange" (and if there were justice, the United Nations would pass a law making it a crime against humanity to ever make any kids wear that stuff in public).

After the braces were finally off, I had this awkward little metal brace put on the inside of my mouth along my bottom front teeth. It was meant to "keep them in place." But sometime in college it broke, I had it removed and never thought about it again. Which of course means my teeth are very slowly going crooked again, two teeth coming together in the front, barely noticeable to anyone but me. Thousands of dollars of orthodontia and this is what you get. Egad.

The weird thing is, despite it all, I do have pretty good teeth. I had a lot of cavities as a kid (too much Pepsi) but have barely had any in the past 10 years, mostly just problems with old ones coming back. I have the risk of periodontal problems in my family so the last several years I've had to be a lot more dilligent about flossing and all that nonsense. According to my dentists, I'm gifted with extraordinarily large teeth that don't have a lot of space between them. Guess I'm part horse.

Teeth are a pain, when you get down to it. If there's intelligent design, then the designer who decided all these tiny little bits of bone with gaps between them — hard to clean, harder to maintain, and at the risk of a thousand different complications – was a good idea, he needs to be let go. Teeth are inefficient.

*Ten Blogpoints* to whoever identifies the source of my photo above first. Blogpoints invalid in the 50 United States and Guam, but they are accepted for most household goods in Belgium. *Term Blogpoints™ David Hitt now and forever in the known galaxy. You happy now, NASA boy?

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