The Awesome Yet Terrifying Power of Abba Zaba
Posted on February 27, 2010 Posted by John Scalzi 68 Comments
Behold the Abba Zaba, a taffy candy bar. Also behold one of Athena’s teeth, which had been loose. The tooth met the Abba Zabba, and the taffy adherence power of the candy yanked the tooth right out of Athena’s jaw. I would have found it alarming if I were her, but she apparently seems to think tooth extraction via candy bar is the way to go with these things. Kids.
As it happens, I also ate an Abba Zaba today. I chewed it very very slowly.
Abba zabba zot zot a nom nom
Tooth extraction by candy was my favorite method for getting rid of those pesky loose teeth as a child. Much better than the string doorknob method, that frankly terrified the heck out of me. I remember the first time I experienced caramel lock jaw after biting down on a Sugar Daddy Sucker. I felt as though I was fighting for my life to get my teeth pried apart from their sugary prison. The loss of one loose tooth was a small enough payment for my freedom. But a light bulb went off in my head, painless and tasty and at the end a gift for the tooth fairy that was a win win solution in my book. From there on end every time I had a loose tooth it was time for a trip to the candy store.
Does this mean a member of a defunct Swedish pop group will leave a billion dollars under her pillow?
Yup, for me it was a 100 Grand bar.
I’m not a dentist, but that looks like a pre-molar. I realize it’s a ‘baby’ tooth, but shouldn’t it have some roots to it? Are you sure it’s all out? Leaving roots in could cause pain and infection in the future. (Of course, all my knowledge of the shape of teeth comes from pictures, and assisting with dog and cat dental procedures, so I could be wrong.)
Let’s hope the right fairy shows up tonight.
Does this mean a member of a defunct Swedish pop group will leave a billion dollars under her pillow?
No, Swedes are teh evil socialists, remember? The pop group will leave 7 cents to EVERYONE in Ohio… ;)
KateH@6: As permanent teeth grow up under the baby teeth, they wear away at the baby teeth’s roots. By the time a baby tooth comes out there’s little left below the gum line.
By the way, John: I can has “zaba” spelled with one ‘b’?
I think the last one that I lost came out with an apple. You know how it is– you get to the point where you can spin the thing 360 degrees in its place, and then it just sort of comes out.
I lost 2 with a box of milk duds during a movie. You would think my parents would have taken the box away after the first one…
Synchronicity – my daughter lost one of her teeth yesterday, but to a Fruit Roll-up… Is there some sinister scheme afoot, hatched by the sticky candies of the world for nefarious purposes yet to be revealed???
Nah, probably not.
I concur with those deciding that tooth extraction via candy is a good thing (assuming it’s a baby tooth that was meant to come out, of course). My 6-year-olds have lost 5 teeth between them, which were quite slow to come out and caused much pain in the meantime everytime they were accidently bitten down upon. Anything that painlessly cuts the process short is okay by me! Too bad I have weird kids that don’t like a wide range of candy…
A couple of years ago my son lost a tooth to a bowl of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. I don’t know how he managed that. Campbell’s noodles are about the nearest thing to a liquid that a solid can be.
Well, considering that I once sliced open a finger on yogurt, I can’t criticize your son for losing a tooth on soup.
Yes, I once lost a tooth to a Hallowe’en candy apple. The lesson is clear: Whether it’s fast or slow, candy intends to make you lose your teeth… so get it before it gets you.
I don’t want no Abba Zabba,
I don’t want no Almond Joy.
It’s got to be a chocolate jesus,
to satisfy this boy.
Lost a filling once to a bit-o-honey.
It’s like the candy/dental confession thread, it is.
Never lost a tooth to candy myself, but there were a couple of times with a Jolly Rancher that if I had fought the candy, something would have come loose.
Huh. I can’t remember how I lost any of my baby teeth, but I lost a filling to a piece of caramel once. Does that count?
Never had an Abba Zaba. Sounds good!
Gotta find me an Abba Zaba.
Never lost a tooth in candy. Did have a cousin accidentally knock one down my throat once.
>> Well, considering that I once sliced open a finger on yogurt, I can’t criticize your son for losing a tooth on soup. <<
You're not alone. Yoghurt always looks so innocent, but in reality it's vicious! I was attacked by a fromage frais for goodness sake.
My theory is that yoghurt resents it's reputation as a soft, squigely, cuddly treat and is lashing out rebelliously in a bid for recognition as a another manly treat; like steak; or beer.
Well, I think that's enough crazy anthropomorphism from me today.
How much is a tooth worth these days? My almost 11 year old son is still waiting for the tooth fairy to come… I think the tooth has been tucked in an envelope under his pillow for a week or so (he shows me every day -hint-hint-)… But how much is a tooth worth, now, in a Recession?
And does Athena wait for the tooth fairy?
kathy e@25: The going rate at our house was a dollar three years ago. We didn’t want to risk giving too much.
The Abba Zaba bar is my favorite candy bar. To avoid teeth issues, it’s best to simply suck on it until it becomes very soft, to then suck the peanut butter out of it and the rest melts in your mouth. This only works, of course, on a soft Abba Zaba. Many places outside of CA that sell them sell them hard…at the “world’s longest candy counter” store in Littleton, the owner thought they were SUPPOSED to be hard.
Abba Zaba — great for pulling out fillings and crowns also.
You knew someone was going to have to link the song, right?
Abba Zaba, by Captain Beefheart.
kathy e. : I figure that the tooth fairy only brings coins. Not only do they have those cool Presidential dollar coins right now, they’re still making Kennedy half-dollars.
I have some friends who have the tooth fairy bring books, and that seems like an awesome idea.
A tooth is good. An Abba Zaba would kill my boys. Which is why me and my wife sneak around out of the house for peanut products now and again. Mmmm. Peanut butter…
Haar @ 18 – I’ve never understood that lyric. Until today. My life is so much better now.
Heh I lost a crown to a free caramel candy once. That candy cost me $90 to have the crown re-attached (it wasn’t damaged).
I always got silver dollars for a tooth, up to a point. When I had to have 4 molars pulled (complicated thing involving braces, wisdom teeth, and a short jaw), even though I kept the two that didn’t break, I got no money.
I still have the teeth, though. Hey, they are MINE.
The words “Long lasting fun” on a candy bar do not inspire confidence in trying it out. Sounds like trouble…
Now I have to get one!
In my youth, extraction by candy was very common. I had several friends plied with caramels who chewed very carefully to prolong the caramel treatment.
The Mother Goose & Grimm was priceless — we miss seeing that strip in our daily paper.
To Murphy Jacobs — of course you kept the teeth. They don’t pay, they don’t get them!
PS- I’m old. We got dimes. Real silver dimes.
I didn’t lose it (had to have it extracted after my hyper-powered gag reflex meant reconstruction was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out), but I did manage to break a molar while chewing on an egg sandwich. Just a slice of regular white sliced bread, some sliced egg and a dab of mayonaise. My dentist was inclined to disbelieve me when I told him!
Rachel@37: You do know you’re supposed to take the shell off of the egg before you eat it, right?
The only time I’ve lost a tooth to candy, it did so by breaking one in half. As a point of caution, if never recommend going skiing with a pack or starbursts in your pocket, then attempting to eat them, at least without warming them up or something. It didn’t hurt or anything, but it left this sickening feeling with me. Bleh.
Thank you for the input in regard to how much a tooth is worth these days… I think between mining my couch for hidden coins and digging through my car’s ashtray, I should be able to come up with 3 dollars. The time spent counting his bounty should keep him busy, too… until he asks to go to Walmart, or worse, hands the lot back to me and asks for something on the Playstation Network for his Little Big Planet arsenal of creativity.
I also like the idea about putting a book under his pillow, too…. But the boy is saturated with good books that he won’t read… so alas… I still hope for the one perfect title that will “convert” him…
Maybe the book idea will work for Athena… but maybe she is too sophistcated (or less opportunistic) for the Tooth Fairy…?
The last tooth I lost, I lost it to Nerds candy.
Except this was about 2 years ago and it was an adult molar that broke in two over the gumline.
Years of neglect had left all my molars riddled with cavities.
I paid the Tooth Fairy about 700 bucks, after insurance, for that one.
Still have to go and get my upper cavities filled…
I lost a chunk of molar to a bagel a couple weeks back; I was having lunch between running scans, heard a *crunch* and found that I had removed a goodly portion of one of my 6yr molars. Had to get a crown on that one.
“Abba Zaba, you’re my only friend.”
Well, here’s hoping the tooth fairly doesn’t go nuts:
Redskins were my tooth-extractor of choice. I lost two that way, and another one to a Mintie. The sweet sweet sugary taste dulls the pain.
#44 Steve Hatle: I better not show that photo to my son!… he’s a very enterprising young man without the help of the tooth fairy.
My husband broke a tooth last year (on a hamburger). When he was talking to the dentist and assistant, the consensus seemed to be that people break their teeth far more often on soft things than on hard.
Maybe people are less cautious with soft things? Or they’re softer than you expect, so you bite harder?
When I was seven I lost a tooth to a spoonful of applesauce. I put the spoon in my mouth filled with applesauce and while pulling it out I spotted my tooth on the spoon. Up until that point I had not realized it was even loose. Never even felt a thing. I wish it was that easy when they have to pull adult teeth.
I lost a loose baby tooth with Laffy Taffy once.
I lost a baby tooth to a farmer cheese sandwich.
That’s right, farmer cheese.
Our son lost his first tooth in a caramel chew. He then said, “There’s something crunchy in this candy.” Whereupon he swallowed the entire mass. He wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy explaining the whole thing, and she made good.
I lost a tooth to a blue fruit rollup at lunch one time. There was blood dripping and it was the coolest thing ever (or that week at least)
Kathy E — another good thing for the tooth fairy to bring is a new toothbrush. At least my kids’ tooth fairy always brings a nice fancy character toothbrush (the kind Mommy would never buy for them *wink*), to encourage good dental care.
Hmm. Suddenly I feel like brushing my teeth.
last October I had the same thing happen to me, unfortunately I am 27 and no longer have back up teeth ready to grow in… that ended up being a rather expensive candy bar
Now y’all are making me paranoid; I’ve got my first visit to the dentist in *years* coming up the Monday after this one, and I’m frightened to find out everything that’s wrong with my teeth.
THANK YOU for proving that I’m not the only person who remembers that one.
“The doctor said I need a backiotomy! ”
kathy e @ 40 – Every now and then there’s a kid who never does “convert” to reading for fun. Despite (or maybe because) my husband’s and my passionate love for books, and access to every possible bridgeway book, my son remains uninterested in reading.
I’m sad that I won’t get to share with him the excitement and discovery that I’ve found in books, but we find other areas where we can share enthusiasms.
Recently it’s been spray-can painting!
I also lost a tooth to a sibling, Steven. My brother and I were fighting in the back seat of the car. I had a loose front tooth, there was a flailing elbow, and I swallowed it. I think I was more traumatized by the loss of Tooth Fairy money than having the tooth knocked out.
When did this happen? I thought Athena would have lost all of her baby teeth by now.
I didn’t lose all my baby teeth until I was in high school, so her losing them this late is not really that unusual, given her family history.
Closest thing I’ve ever done is crack a crown with a piece of bubblegum. Darndest thing. It wasn’t the jawbreakers or gummi snacks that finally got me. For all intents and purposes my artificial tooth is made out of the same material as a porcelain sink. It was created by fusing glass in a furnace at 2,200°F, and bubblegum did it in.
Maureen @ 56: I, too, waited WAY too long between visits to the dentist – 15 years to be exact. The visit cost me $400, consisting of X-Rays, cleaning, two silver molar fillings and an enamel colored filling to a broken incisor. All things considered, I was lucky. Until near my 6-month visit when, while eating a sub sandwich, the incisor filing broke off and I ingested it.
FORTUNATELY for me, the dentist repaired it sans cost, except for the minor cost of another X-Ray. To this day, I’ve babied that filling as if it were pure gold. LOL I hope your upcoming experience will be free of problems!
Sigh. I lost front teeth, luckily baby ones, to a sister with a wild baton throw. I would have much preferred the Abba Zaba method. It would have to be the original though- the apple-flavored ones are just wrong.
Lost a tooth the same way once, but via caramel.
I lost one of my baby teeth to a Starburst. The particular flavor has been lost to the mists of time, but what a painless, sweet sweet way to do it :-)
Never had a tooth pulled out by candy, but I did have a filling pulled out of a tooth by a Sugar Daddy bar. Do they still sell those? Basically a flat caramel lollipop. I think CMOT Dibbler used to sell them.
Ah, when teeth are ready to go, they go. The elder spawn lost his last deciduous molar at the Roosevelt Inn at Lake Quinault, eating one of their famous cloud-like biscuits. There are few other deciduous things there, it being an evergreen sort of environment.