This is What We Get For Painting Her Teeth With Corn Syrup Every Night Before Bed

Athena is off to get a cavity filled. I am going along for moral support, and because she can’t drive herself to the dentist. See you all in the afternoon. Remember to floss.

26 Comments on “This is What We Get For Painting Her Teeth With Corn Syrup Every Night Before Bed”

  1. Yes, please. Floss. Accept moderate amounts of fluoride in your diet, as well as topically to your newish teeth.

    Even if you have naturally strong teeth it will catch up with you if you don’t. If there is anything that highlights how recently the human lifespan has increased dramatically in the last few millennia, it is the sad fact that human teeth pretty much give up on us in our forties unless special care is taken. And even then…

    A combination of years of lower income and the assumption that I’d live forever has resulted in a near-miss with a root canal. I now have some teeth that were manufactured in a lab using the same techniques that they use to cast toilet bowls. Hurray for me.

    Nothing makes one feel old like a couple of months of dental work in order to save a couple of molars.

  2. “Remember to floss.”

    What is this… flossing… you speak of? I hear of it from my hygenist a couple of times a year, but am at a loss as to what it is or what it entails.

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in pain

    My daughter so far has had NO cavities, while at age nine I had at least nine. I’ve made her a deal that if she goes until 10 years without cavities I will take her to New York and all the broadway shows she can handle.

  4. Chang @ 4:

    I probably shouldn’t tell you that I went until age 22 without any cavities. And my mom still yelled at me for them.

    (I always delurk myself for the strangest discussions here.)

  5. Growing up with no flouride and certainly no tooth sealants I had numerous cavities in my molars. Besides the pain of drilling I have also faced the big expense of numerous crowns as these hollowed out teeth have cracked over the years. I swear I payed for my Dentist’s new boat.

    So brushing saves money!

    Flossing saves lives too. Gum disease allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the veins which makes them more prone to fat buildup and blockages. A heart attack or stroke may result.

    Granted this is not totally confirmed yet but there is increasing evidence that it is so.

    So only floss the teeth you want to keep and stop flossing when you want a heart attack. Also if you are ever sent to prison you can braid the floss to make a rope to escape with, or a garrot (floss-rope and toothbrush) to strangle your cell mate Bubba.

  6. I had a distinctly memorable trip to the dentist when I was nine or ten years old. For some reason, Grandma had gotten the assignment to take me. Now, I’ll grant that “pain-free” dentistry has come a long way since the 60’s, but his guy was hurting the crap out of me. Grandma came storming into the treatment room when she heard me asking at the top of my lungs if he’d learned from Joseph Mengele.

    I did not get dessert that night.

  7. For those folks who hate to floss, I recommend Oral B’s Satin Floss or Crest’s new Glide. Both slide between my teeth easily but still manage to pull off the gunky stuff in between.

    CJ and Chang: I’m thirty-one now and still no cavities. But apparently I do have some minor gingivitis because of the flossing stuff. So if I don’t floss, I could still lose my nice strong teeth. So…flossing….eet is good.

  8. Athena is going to be cranky when she gets home. As well as a little woozy until she recovers from the anesthetic. She’ll let you know when she’s ready to create a little hate and discontent. :)

  9. @Nathan — I can’t decide if I would have given you two desserts because your comeback was so awesome, or withheld dessert from you for weeks so you didn’t have to go through that again. *pets you*

  10. @Jim Winter 2 (and probably many lurkers), and not to be read while eating:

    For those of us with naturally crooked teeth who were bereaved of both the awkwardness of pubescent orthodonture and the extra kick of attractiveness that comes from having orderly dentition, traditional flossing can be awkward, perhaps even painful.

    However… they’ve come out with what amounts to Floss on a Stick: you have a handle not unlike old-skool toothbrush handles, onto which clips a disposable and replaceable D-ring that’s closed with a length of heavy-duty floss (good for several uses if you go to the trouble of washing it after you’re done).

    It’s certainly more expensive than plain floss, and I questioned its utility since flossing has not been a particularly identifiable cause of my dental health problems.

    However, when I first started using those widgets, I was thoroughly dismayed by the amount of, um, cr^H^H detritus I was pulling out of my mouth.

    After brushing.

    Better safe than sorry?

  11. Nathan,

    I hear your pain. Olde Tyme ™ dentists didn’t use novocaine or gas on kids. They said we didn’t need it, which I can tell you was one big load of hooey.

    I asked my current dentist about that and apparently the needles were bigger back then and they were reused and the dentist’s themselves sharpened them and they were too thick for children’s mouths. Holy oleo!

    I remember at age 13 or so getting two molars drilled and while the first was awful the worst was knowing I had to go through the same thing on the other side. Ugh. The whine of the drill, the smell of the hot enamel and decay flying into the air, the cold water hitting the nerve, my first flop sweat, nausea . . .

    Ah yes, childhood.

  12. Tripp,

    Thank you so much. While before, I was only having a sort of general hazy memory of the experience, now its much more specific. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Yow!

  13. 31 years old and cavity-free. I go to the dentist once every 5 years or so and they never believe that I am a (now ex-)smoker and a wine and coffee drinker.

    I expect that my teeth will fall out by 40 just to make up for it.

  14. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in pain

    Nathan, as always, rules. Very funny man.

  15. No cavities ever, 36, brush daily, fluoridated water as a kid, floss occasionally.

    Flossing – can reduce your risk of heart disease as noted by Tripp (7). FLOSS IT SAVES LIVES.

  16. No cavities until I apparently had a virus which caused several tiny cavities to appear in a cluster in my 20s. Only one in my family with good teeth. Fluoridated water and fluoride treatments. Now that we are on well water, I still get fluoride treatments as an adult when I get my teeth cleaned. Still seems to work, but the dental insurance won’t pay for adult fluoride treatments. Even though they are far cheaper than dental corrections. Go figure.

    Dr. Phil

  17. I have no cavities. We had an unusual program when I was in the first few grades of school. Everyone who went to that school had a well for water rather than a town water system, so about once per month, some ladies would come in with some kind of fluoride mouthwash and have us swish it in our mouths for a minute then spit it out. I don’t know if it helped since other kids were still getting cavities, but I can still chew on tinfoil if I choose to.

  18. Right when she was going in, you should have had her gargle with Seagram’s 7, just to get that WTF look on the dentist’s face.

  19. All of the cavities I got (and yes, I got a lot) were on molars. Nothing forward of that. Incidentally, I floss before brushing, using the reasoning that the brushing clears out the detritus removed by flossing. I believe my love of breadstuff is primarily to blame (it’s worse than candy on your teeth, if not so bad as soda.)

    I’ve known several people who got cavities for reasons other than hygiene— one in particular fell victim to a fatigue disease and her teeth got rotten in a year (once she got better, she had them capped.) So brush and floss, but don’t neglect diet and health because those will affect your teeth as well.

    Severl years back I read about the natural disinfectant properties of sunlight when applied to teeth. I don’t know if this is the reason all of my cavities were on molars, but I will pass along this piece of advice that was in one of my yearbooks:

    Smile. It’s good for your teeth!

  20. I am going along for moral support

    For a moment there, I thought you said ‘molar support’ and groaned at the bad pun. Then I looked again, realized that you didn’t, and groaned again, because it means I need my eyes checked, and I hate that.

  21. 29 and no cavities here. On the other hand, I got all the orthodentistry. My younger brother got all the cavities. I’m pretty sure I got the better end of the deal, no matter how awful braces seemed back in junior high.

    Oh and, post-dental work: chocolate mousse FTW. Especially if it’s homemade. Turned out my father made (makes) kick-ass mousse. The things you learn when you have four baby teeth extracted at once!

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