Monday, January 09, 2006

John recently acquired a set of braces. His orthodonist wants to yank out some of his teeth. I have all 32 of mine, although five of them now reside in a black plastic film cannister.

I had horribly crooked teeth when I was a kid, and my parents didn't have the money to get them straightened. My upper incisors were stacked on top of each other, one of my lower incisors was pushed out by itself. In pictures from that time period I never showed teeth when I smiled.

My sophomore year in college I decided to do something about that and went to the University of Michigan dental school. The following fall I went in and the dental students pulled out my first maxillary premolars and my right mandibular central incisor (can you tell I took a human osteology class?). The students asked if they could keep them, since they would have been perfect to use as teaching specimens. Nope, I wanted them. Now when I look at them I'm impressed at how white they are.

Five of my teeth.

The braces worked wonderfully, a year later they were removed and I had a lovely smile.

Homer's braces.

In the 20 years since I have had one small cavity. Unfortunately, about nine years ago the gums around my mandibular third molars (AKA, wisdom teeth) decided to get infected and I had to have them pulled. Oh, that was awful. I developed dry socket and every complication including bone splinters and an ear infection. Very painful, I remember actually crying myself to sleep one night. My dentist would like to pull my other two wisdom teeth. No way. Not going to happen.

Speaking of teeth, I made a lime meringue pie tonight and sunk my seven incisors, four canines, six premolars, and ten molars into two slices of yumminess.

Lime meringue pie.

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