Observations on a Toothache

Well, I’m scheduled at the dentist at 3pm to deal with the cracked molar, and until then I have a toothache which occasionally throbs up, but is mostly under control at the moment thanks to the dynamic duo of ibuprofen and Orajel. Be that as it may it’s too distracting to allow me to be terribly creative at the moment, so instead allow me to offer some thoughts on me and my toothache.

First, I feel lucky to be alive in the relatively small slice of human history during which dentistry is a licensed medical profession, said doctors have an understanding and appreciation for basic hygiene, and we have access to lovely, lovely mouth-numbing painkillers. Considering the vast majority of humanity typically had their teeth pulled by people who also doubled as hairdressers, and had to feel every single yank and twist until it was over, the advantages to being alive now should not be understated.

Second, this is a reminder that sometimes things just happen. Four years ago today, as it happens, I wrote my “Being Poor” essay, in which one of the things I noted was “Being Poor is hoping the toothache goes away.” To which some arch twit who thought he was very clever responded in the comments that being poor doesn’t excuse people from brushing their teeth, and did not appear to want to be convinced that the simple act of brushing one’s teeth does not mean one then has blanket immunity from all subsequent dental issues.

And, well: Hello, I brush and floss my teeth daily. I go to regular checkups as recommended by my dentist. I do not chew rocks or coat my teeth with a solution of sugar and acid directly before I go to sleep. I do everything I’m supposed to do for my teeth and mostly none of the stuff I’m not, and yet one morning — today — I woke up and one of my teeth was cracked. Why? Oh, possibly because I’m a 40-year-old man and this particular molar has been in constant use in my mouth since I was twelve or so, and also possibly because shit just happens, and also possibly because a tooth brush is not, in fact, the magical talisman against life that this smug jackass appeared to think it was.

Now, fortunately for me, I don’t have to just hope that this toothache goes away. As soon as I realized this wasn’t just some random transient pain I hopped on the phone, called my dentist’s office, and was delighted that he was able to drop me into his schedule for the day. I can do this because I have dental insurance and can afford the co-pay without problem. That said, it’s not hard to imagine a situation where I wasn’t so fortunate, without having to resort to being poor. I could be unmarried, for example, since my insurance comes through my wife. Alternately I could stay married and have my wife unemployed, laid off because of cuts her company made due to the recession, and then the full cost of the insurance we have would fall on us, at least until the COBRA runs out, and it would be an open question as to whether we could afford it.

If my wife couldn’t find another job with health/dental benefits — and where we live there are lots of jobs that skip that part — it’d fall on me to cover it. I’m a successful writer, but I also know that much of my success comes from luck; there are other writers who work as hard and are as good at writing as I, who are not as financially successful. I could be in a situation where I (like most writers) don’t make a whole lot of money and would have trouble purchasing a health and dental plan for myself, much less my wife and our child. If I didn’t have dental insurance, I might have to decide whether I want to fix my tooth or pay some other bills first; I might decide it makes more financial sense to chew on aspirin for a while.

And so on. Again, these are some of the situations one might find one’s self in without having to go all the way to being genuinely in poverty here in the US. Not all of these situations are entirely under one’s control, and not all of them are one’s fault. There are lots of people who have cause to hope the toothache goes away, and to dread if it doesn’t, and not just because some guy is fiddling around in their mouth with a high speed drill.

This is what it is (which is not to say it is what it has to be, which is another thing entirely), and what it does is remind me that I really am a fortunate bastard in lots of little ways that don’t bear thinking about until thinking about them is required. I don’t stay up nights thinking “gee, it’s nice that if I crack a tooth I can take care of it with a minimum of fuss,” but when I do crack a tooth, I think it’s worth noting that there are many ways in which it would be a serious problem, were my life just a degree or two off the direction it’s going.

It’s particularly useful when I’m feeling smug and thinking my life is as it is solely because I made it that way on my own. In the real world, what we do with our lives matters, but our lives are lived in a world that is more than just what we make of it. And sometimes you get toothaches.

55 Comments on “Observations on a Toothache”

  1. there but for the grace of novacaine go I…

    Hope you feel better soon. Ask for Nitrous Oxide if he has it.

  2. John, I take it that the 450+ comments from the health care thread weren’t enough for you? Or did you just want to move the conversation to a newer thread? ;-)

  3. Nick:

    This isn’t really about health care, though. It’s a more general observation about the fact that one’s life is not entirely under one’s control, and what one does with that knowledge.

  4. I had my wisdom teeth yanked shortly after my 43rd birthday. My surgeon proudly admitted to being a wimp when it comes to pain.

    OTOH, while the vicodin has come in handy for later use (my wife’s severely sprained ankle, a calf strain I managed while walking 12 out of 8 planned miles on a hike), it most certainly is NOT a wonder drug when you’re on a liquid diet. Advil, otoh, is.

  5. I remember I was watching a town hall meeting on TV — Obama had visited Portsmouth, and I was staying in Hampton for the week — and my family was discussing health insurance.

    My cousin (a bit under 30) managed to stop the conversation with a ‘Yeah, well, I didn’t plan on getting thyroid cancer*’. Really hard to argue with that — she was a student at the time, and thank heavens she did have coverage to help her pay for it, since she was still working on building savings and paying off loans, and her parents are pretty solidly working class.

    * To the concerned, she’s been in remission for years now.

  6. I had that toothbrush conversation with a 22-year-old friend when I was complaining about having to get a crown. “Try brushing your teeth for a change.” I told him to remember that advice twenty years down the road when they were doing this to _his_ teeth.

    And they’ve got this trick now where they numb you, then drill a teeny hole below your tooth and shoot the anesthetic right on top of the nerve. It doesn’t do anything for the sound effects but you don’t feel a thing.

  7. To which some arch twit who thought he was very clever responded in the comments that being poor doesn’t excuse people from brushing their teeth

    I think we saw enough of the same behavior in the health care thread to know that it’s not just that one twit, it’s a commonly held attitude. Blaming people who’re broke, and can’t afford care for getting themselves in trouble without even knowing the situation is a common enough form of privileged sneering.

    The sad thing is that it infects people who’ve made it out of being broke. They think that anyone who didn’t make it out as well is somehow lazy or deficient.

  8. I’ll happily echo this one. You brush, you floss and one visit to a new dentist in your teens lines you up for a world of trouble 20 years down the line…

    Or… one delicious granary bread tuna and coleslaw sandwich that cracks a tooth clean in half…

    Or… an unpopped popcorn kernel eaten without thinking…

    Or… a knee to the chin in rugby leading to a root canal 20 years later…

    Or… there are so many things that just happen.

    Of course, my grandparents had it easy. They just had all their teeth pulled…

  9. Sorry, but I’m a glad that you got a toothache. This is a damn fine post Mr. Scalzi.

    It’s kind of like when you get the flu and you’re lying in a quivering heap of yourself and you think, “I really should appreciate feeling perfectly normal more.”

    I have a sore throat, but at least I don’t have a toothache. For that I’m thankful.

  10. I had a cracked molar that most of the time didn’t bother me — it was the sort of thing I’d ask the dentist about when I saw him next. Then I went on vacation to Barcelona, and half the molar cracked off — and the pain went away, except for the mental anguish that I’d swallowed half a tooth, and had a tooth with exposed pulp.

    I had the hotel find me a nearby dentist able to take a last-minute client, and with at least some skills in English. I was frantically typing into google translate in the waiting room, to have a reasonable couple of sentences to say in Spanish, my college classes failing me in terms of dentistry. “Dolor” I could remember.

    So they slapped a temporary filling on it (basically a small, sterile caulk gun), and only asked for 25 euros. I don’t think I could have someone even peek into my mouth in the US for that amount, let alone actually correct anything.

    So next time I have dental problems, I want to be in Spain.

  11. Really wish I knew what bred the “you brought this on yourself” perspective. I’d say it comes from being well off, and having problems take care of themselves for you, but too many people with this point of view aren’t rich.

    So what is it?

    Paul Kruggman’s somewhat surprising answer is “racism”

    So a question for you boot-strapping individualists. When you picture the “enemy”, those who are lazy and willfully stupid and bring misfortune on themselves for being so, are they the same skin color as yourself? It’s an honest question, I’m really not trying to be provocative here.

  12. Ben:

    “I’m really not trying to be provocative here.”

    You ask a loaded question about race and you’re not trying to be provocative? Sheesh.

    Also, the way you’ve structured your question amounts to “if you’re an asshole, is it because you’re a racist, or are you an equal opportunity asshole?” Which is not going to get useful answers, I suspect.

    Judge says: Bzzzzzt.

    Likewise, others: Let this question go because intentionally or not it has “thread derail” written all over it. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

  13. “In the real world, what we do with our lives matters, but our lives are lived in a world that is more than just what we make of it.”

    I read somewhere that there’s a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.

    So, yes, what you said. Nicely put.

  14. I’m not a boot-strapping individualist, but I think the real issue is fear. If you assert that bad things happen to people because they were somehow at fault, then you don’t have to fear that the same might happen to you. It’s very hard to admit to yourself that bad things can happen to you for no reason.

  15. A cracked molar? Maybe you’re grinding your teeth at night while you sleep. My dentist wanted to yank my wisdom teeth cause he said I was grinding – turned out to be stress related, when I “chilled out” the grinding went away (and I got to keep my extra four teeth)

  16. Allow me to add a dénouement to the whole let’s-wait-to-fix-my-teeth question.

    Teeth are gross. They wear a suit of biofilm on them that’s some of the most highly infectious stuff in the human body’s normal flora. Ever ha a human bite break skin? What results is usually a hot, painful abscess, courtesy teefbugz :F

    When a tooth gets cracked it exposes the blood vessels inside the tooth. One of the bacteria that commonly lives in the mouth is Strep. People used to die from strep all the time, back when they just pulled your teeth out. Strep in the blood is a recipe for a pretty nasty syndrome that can easily result from the strep septicemia. That syndrome is called MODS or multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome.

    So let’s imagine someone has no coverage and they’re eating ibuprofen for the pain. The ibuprofen would mask the fever from the strep infection (use to be called rheumatic feet before that whole antibiotics thing) and so it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the infection goes unnoticed until it reaches the blood. At which point people often become so weak that someone has to carry them to the hospital. Yay sepsis.

    The severity of the sepsis is dependent on what the bug in the blood is. Strep is particularly nasty, resulting often in permanent damage to the heart valves (heart failure in your 30s!) and a syndrome called disseminating intravascular coagulopathu, which in short, means first you make a ton of tiny clots and obstruct blood flow to your hands and feet, which turn black and fall off, and then once you’ve used up your clotting factors, you bleed to death.

    A recipe for a scarily high mortality rate (50-70%) not to mention a quarter million dollar intensive care stay.

    The Moar Yuo Know (rainbowstar!!)

  17. Back when I was working in Glasgow an American colleague cracked a tooth. He went along to the dental hospital and they fixed it for him, and asked if he wanted them to sort out his widom teeth too. He said when he told them he couldn’t afford it they looked at him like he was a crazy man…


  18. “and then the full cost of the insurance we have would fall on us, at least until the COBRA runs out, and it would be an open question as to whether we could afford it.”

    Under COBRA you’re required to pay the full cost of your insurance, including the portion your previous employer was paying. The benefit of COBRA is not continued discounted insurance, it’s continuation of coverage in the group plan. Sometimes that can be significantly more expensive than private insurance.

    On a related note (to your post) I had my teeth cleaned yesterday and was told I have two small cavities. My dentist said that 10 years ago the expectation was a significant falloff of late-life cavities due to improving dental care in the population. That’s not occurring. My dentist said the current theory for why is continued high rates of soft-drink consumption (the non-diet variety). I’m guilty of that, as well as late night ice cream; not good for the mouth or gut apparently…

  19. I think I get where you’re coming from on this. Sure even those of us still lucky enough to barely make into the middle class status (what’s left of it anyway) wish and want for more, if not status, then money, or success, etc. But taking a step back, knowing that whatever decisions, twists and turns of fate got me here happened with or without my direct knowledge, the big picture is okay. In fact, funny enough, I opened my bi-weekly paycheck advice yesterday and saw the total. About the same as always, and my first thought was, “plenty enough”. it ain’t gonna let me buy a house or new car any time soon, but it covers the rent, monthly bills and there’s enough left over for me to have a choice with what I do with it. That itself is pretty remarkable.

  20. One of my professors got a cracked tooth from chewing gum. If you’re a gum chewer you might reconsider.

  21. I’m sure you have a pair of vise-pliers somewhere, John. And if not, I’m sure your father-in-law has them.

    (good luck at the Dentist. I like mine, he tends to crack wise while he’s drilling, funny guy.)

  22. I volunteer for a food bank every other week. Every time I work there I think, “There but for luck go I. . .” I am so privileged that I have a home to go to afterward, that I have food to eat that I can purchase, etc. So many of the people who we’re seeing now have never had to deal with this level of poverty before. It doesn’t take much to fall. And while some people might make bad decisions, so many are the victims of circumstance. Stuff happens — husband gets laid off, wife gets unexpected illness and ends up in the hospital, and they’re suddenly drowning in debt. So I agree with you — I’m lucky that I still have a job, health insurance, and the means to take care of myself if I get sick.

  23. So John, do you grind your teeth in your sleep? I do, and would rather avoid paying the $300 for a night guard that my insurance will not cover. However, if it prevents a cracked molar, I’d reconsider….

  24. Another thing that you may choose to worry about: this could be due to gastric reflux. The acid comes up overnight & has its way with your back teeth. Ask me how I know. I had my first cracked molar when I was around your age. I now have crowns on all four molars in back and two of the teeth next to them (and, yes, I brush, etc.). Just sayin’. OTOH you may choose not to put this one on your particular worry list. Up to you.

  25. Yes, yes and yes.

    And when you find that you do have a life-threatening illness, or at the very least life-changing, and you realize that the insurance is the only thing standing between you, your life savings, and being homeless, you thank your lucky stars that you have it.

    And then you worry and panic what happens when you *don’t* have insurance, and have to beggar yourself and your family and your caregivers just so you can qualify for Medicaid, which still might not cover you enough for your illness, but is the last resort of too many people.

    If you are extremely lucky, you can tell in advance enough that this might happen, and you can try to spare some of your remaining savings by giving it away to your spouse, and then divorcing him/her – so when the government checks your money, they can find that you are actually poor, and alone, and worthy of coverage, yet your spouse can still afford to have a roof over their head and pay for the water heater when it breaks, instead of having nothing in savings.

    Hey, where did this soapbox come from?

  26. I don’t know, to me it is about healthcare. And that’s why I’m so glad you posted it. Because if I had said what I really wanted to say in the healthcare thread — about how shit happens, and the weird way some people blame others for diseases they never signed up for — you would have had to bring out the Mallet for sure. But you said it in a much more thoughtful and civilized manner here. Thank you.

  27. I went to high school in a small town (at least, it used to be small). My dentist was also president of the school board. He would bitch at me about the crappy high school drama department, which I was active in, while I was prone in the chair with four different instruments in my mouth and unable to respond. Used to piss me off.

    (Fortunately, he’s a really good dentist…)

  28. I have a tooth with an infection that I’m hoping behaves itself until I have the money to deal with it. I’ve already used up my dental insurance coverage for the year on an emergency root canal (one of those “how’d that happen?” things) and ended up with plenty of out of pocket things besides.

    So it waits until next year. And I cancel my fall cleaning, since I can’t afford it. And I prepare to pay out of pocket for another thing that needs to be drilled in my mouth sooner than later. And I hope and pray that the infection doesn’t do anything too bad to the bone before I can get it dealt with.

    This is *with* a job and insurance. For me, life without dental insurance is a scary, scary thing.

  29. As someone who just got laid off Monday, and who has opted not to go along with COBRA, and who therefore no longer has dental coverage … I kind of really didn’t want to know any of the things in this comment thread. o.O

    COBRA, by the way, has lucky special discounts This Year ONLY! … from the Am. Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Instead of having to pay your full share plus your employer’s full share plus 2% admin fee, which is often not financially feasible when your income has just dropped to nil, ARRA lets you get away with paying only a third of your employer’s full share. (For the first 9 months. Then it goes back up to the full amount for the other 9 months.) Hurry now to get laid off, sale ends Dec. 31st. ;)

    It’s still too steep for me, so I’m going with no insurance at all.

    Also: dental vacations. There are places you can visit in Europe for a week where you pay your airfare, hotel, etc. and go to their dentists, and it still costs less than it would to get the work done at home. Apparently, some European nations have quite a dental tourism industry going.

  30. A few years ago I was eating breakfast, reading the Sunday paper, when one quarter of one of my back molars broke clear off. (Homemade powerbar.)

    I had gotten dental insurance the week before, so I checked the covered providers and called the dentist across the street. Even though he was at a conference and had never met me before he called me right back and saw me the next day. It turned out to not be an immediate issue, but he’s the best injection-giving dentist I’ve ever had.

    That’s luck.

  31. #32: re mouth guard, you can get non-prescription ones for about $30 which you mold to your teeth yourself. Immerse in boiling water x seconds to soften plastic, immerse in cold water [do not omit this step] for y seconds, bite down, return to cold water. This alone might resolve a minor or intermittent tooth-grinding problem, it did mine. So it might be worth trying.

    I’ve been unjustifiably healthy to this point (early forties) but I’m a big fan of painkillers for wisdom teeth and childbirth.

  32. John,

    Well, I’m glad I have “some” health insurance, but just when the economy was falling on it’s flabby rear, I broke three teeth over the course of six weeks. Even with insurance, devastating. Like when my wife broke her wrist … on Dec. 30th., then all of the subsequent surgeries started a new deductible, etc. on the first. Oh, well. Life, in all it’s messy and glorious splendor.


  33. I am Canadian where we have single payer health care that does not cover any dentistry. I also have a good job that has health* and dental coverage; the coverage is provided by one of the largest insurers in the world.

    The only time I have ever been refused any health care coverage was for my teeth. It was the large, for profit insurer that denied the coverage. I have never had that procedure done because I really couldn’t afford the $800.00 for the crown. Eventually I developed a cavity in the tooth and the dentist filled it; that solved both the cavity problem and the problem that I needed the crown for.


    *the health coverage covers things like drugs, medical devices and paramedical treatments like physio and chiro which is not coverage by our medicare.

  34. For those who would like to hear real dollar amounts for cobra coverage, here goes: while I was employed, my health/dental/vision coverage was ~$200/month for my portion. Now, after being laid off, for medical ONLY, the cost is $1067/month for our family of 4. Dental would have added an additional $150, vision an additional $30. So, right now we are sans dental/vision, and (after gov’t 2/3 paid) we pay $373 a month for medical only… until December, when it’s all on us. Here’s hoping for no dental emergencies….

  35. I don’t have dental coverage, but I take care of my teeth religiously and I’ve never had a cavity.
    But here’s the thing — I work freelance so dental insurance is a no go. Last week a lovely little wisdom tooth began to poke its way through my (very resistant) gums and its been bugging me pretty bad.
    I haven’t gone to the dentist. And the reason is simple — I can’t afford it.
    I’m a hard working guy who is very concerned with taking care of himself, but you know what? Sometimes shit does “just happen,” and you have to deal with it.
    I agree with everything John said in this post.

  36. One of my kids just naturally has bad teeth. It’s a syndrome I can’t remember the name of where the enamel tends to be thin, and the shape of her teeth makes her cavity-prone. No amount of flossing or brushing is going to keep her out of the dentist’s chair.

    So I have a suggestion as to where Flossy McSmugpants can keep his precious toothbrush. Only after he sharpens one end, though.

  37. Reading things like this makes me think: Thank god thank cthulhu thank jeebus thank vishnu thank whatever, that I live and work in Japan. I was eating dinner, and (wouldn’t you know it) had 1/4 of a molar fall off. Ouch.

    Called my dentist, he said, “hey–I close in 15 minutes but no one’s here, come on over”. I went over, he cleaned the hole, packed it in that fancy dancy new UV hardening epoxy resin stuff, and I was done in 20 minutes.

    And it cost me the equivalent of $8.

    I am a HAPPY participant in the national healthcare plan. I read some American expat’s blog where he hated the “loss of freedom” caused by being legally required to pay into it, and I knew, KNEW, that some Americans truly are crazy. I ain’t NEVER going back to the health insurance terrors. Nope.

  38. A cracked tooth = pure and unadulterated non-joy. It happened to me twice, both times while I was eating (I’m wary of whole grain bread, now), and it’s unnerving. No pun intended. The sudden “crack” sound and sensation of something coming appart in your mouth… And then, pain. Not a lot at first, but it soon makes that dentist visit a happy prospect indeed.

    The infuriating part is that I’ve always taken care of my teeth, but still get a lot of teeth problems, courtesy of the bad genetics that plague a part of my family.

  39. A cracked tooth = pure and unadulterated non-joy. It happened to me twice, both times while I was eating (I’m wary of whole grain bread, now), and it’s unnerving. No pun intended. The sudden “crack” sound and sensation of something coming appart in your mouth… And then, pain. Not a lot at first, but it soon makes that dentist visit a happy prospect indeed.

    Same thing happened to me a couple of years ago, though fortunately only once, and I got in to see my dentist the next day. But he told me I’ll probably need a crown someday, and although I have dental coverage through school right now, I don’t think it’ll cover that.

    I just don’t chew with the right side of my mouth anymore.

    (And I’m Canadian – I want dentistry to be covered by OHIP even more than vision-care.)

  40. My sister’s job was recently eliminated, and her hubby is self-employed, so there went the insurance. They have two boys who are in the middle of orthodonture, too. The COBRA payments for continuing her insurance are so high that it would take selling her only asset (her house, which she owned before the marriage and currently rents out) to afford them.

    I don’t know details and am not an expert, but it might help MWT@ #38 to hear this: my sister was told by her HR person, at her exit interview, that COBRA can be taken retroactively — that is, you can have a health problem that would make it worth having paid the COBRA, and then make the decision to go back and do so. I’m not sure how far into the COBRA coverage period that extends, or how it actually works, but it’s worth looking into.

    I hate dealing with health insurance hoops/paperwork, but I realize that’s a headache I’m lucky to have, compared with some others. Like you, John, I find myself feeling lucky that my partner has a job with good benefits. And that my parents are covered by Medicare and good supplemental insurance, since Dad’s cancer treatment isn’t cheap. And while I won’t comment on politics here, I will say that in regards to these issues, for me, “the personal is political” (Carol Hanisch). <–Attribution! See how easy?

  41. @Myth: I’ve got something like that. The theory is that some medication my mom was taking while I was an infant caused the enamel on my teeth to be porous. It wasn’t at all unusual for me to have 12 to 24 cavities a year. Thankfully we found a special toothpaste that works really well, but I’m still 26 years old with five crowns.

    I’m going to sit here a moment and thank my lucky stars that my parents had good jobs and insurance (and that I only spent a couple of years without insurance after going off their plan), because it would have been pretty awful otherwise.

  42. tariquata @48, for all OHIP’s fault, I have to say that being covered by OHIP was the only time I have ever heard a hospital staffer say ‘don’t worry about it, we’ll figure out the insurance later.’

  43. my teeth are in good shape. I take care of them. I currently don’t have dental insurance for the first time in some thirty or forty years. At my last cleaning, my dentist suggested we update x-rays to make sure everything looks good.

    And I said no thanks.

    Because, if he found something, something big an expensive, a) I probably couldn’t afford to have it fixed right now and b) I probably will never have it covered by insurance because it would officially be a “pre-existing condition.”

    Until me or my partner get a job of some kind that offers dental with partner benefit, I am playing the odds that everything’s fine.

    It probably will be, but I shouldn’t have to gamble. No one should.

  44. Sigh. Dental insurance.

    I’m currently employed. I currently have health insurance through my husband’s employer. Neither of us has dental coverage. I’m currently avoiding the dental visit I’m due for because I need x-rays, and do you know how much that shit costs without insurance?


  45. @eringoblog: why do you need x-rays ? Can’t you find a dentist that doesn’t require them ?

    This is a different practice from in Belgium. My dentist (to whom I go about once a year, having had good teeth until now and hopefully in the future) has never taken x-rays. Nor has my wife ever been x-rayed, and she had plenty of tooth problems and consulted different dentists.

    In Belgium, each person belongs to a ‘mutuelle’, there are 5 of them. Each mutuelle offers basic medical insurance. For extra, you can take out additional insurances. You are required to choose one of the mutuelles, no exception. Children are insured via their parents. If you work, a smallish part of your pay check goes to the fund.
    OTOH, when you actually visit a doctor, need medicine, go to the dentist, need glasses, etc, you pay only a fraction of the full costs. The mutuelle steps in and covers most.

    I had a really hard time understanding all this fear of US people going to the doctor because you probably won’t be able to pay it until I read this and previous entries. Now I too am thinking that I have been lucky without really knowing it.

  46. Thank you very much for pointing out, that everybody – even the best toothbrusher and -flosser – may have teeth-issues.

    During my recent pregnancy I cracked two molars, midwives and dentist told me nonchalantly: “One tooth per child, so that’s pretty much normal.” And I am also in the lucky position to have health insurance and can afford to pay the rest by myself without endangering my living.

    So every know-it-all-better bozo can go chew some rocks.