Thursday, October 29, 2009

Armchair Philosophy: Save Your Teeth

When I was a kid growing up in the late forties and early fifties, the world was a different place -- in so many ways. Don't worry, though, I'm not about to wax sentimental about old tunes or glass milk bottles or anything here. In fact, I'm about to highlight a way in which things have actually improved (hah!): dentistry. When you had a toothache back then, in my family anyway, first you rubbed oil of clove on your gum and hoped the pain would go away. When it didn't, the cut-rate dentist pulled out the offending tooth. There were no sealants or fluoride treatments to prevent more decay of other teeth, and since children (and even adults) considered pennies to be real money in those days and saved them, you could buy quite a bit of "12 for a penny" sweet treats that didn't help with cavities either. Bottom line result: I have only one decent molar left for chewing. Night before last, at 2 a.m. I had a cough drop in my mouth, which I evidentally bit down on -- and the back half of my last molar crumbled. But I'm lucky this time -- my dentist filed down the sharp edges and set up an appointment for me to have it filled next week. The moral of this story, kids, is Save Your Teeth!

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