Thursday, 10 August 2017

Oh I wish I had looked after my teeth !

Do you remember the celebrity poet Pam Ayres ?  

Can you recall this particular poem ?

Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.

Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To give up gobstoppers,

From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.

When I think of the lollies I licked
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,

Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My mother, she told me no end,

‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend.’
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’

Didn’t seem worth the time – I could bite!

If I’d known I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s,

Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine

In these molars of mine.
‘Two amalgam,’ he’ll say, ‘for in there.’

How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.

But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

I think she may well have written that poem for me !

I am going to the dentist this morning for the first in a series of fittings for my new dentures -
no let's use the proper terminology shall we - MY FALSE TEETH !

I find the idea of wearing false teeth utterly disgusting !  I blame my present predicament on the school dentist from when I was six and a half years old !

In those good old days a dentist would visit our junior school on a regular basis to check up on we kids' choppers. On one occasion he decided I needed to have two of my baby or milk teeth removed so the adult teeth could grow. Why he could not allow nature to take its course I do not know. Perhaps he was on
commission, who knows. Anyway off to the dentist I was taken - dragged.

Back then there were two ways teeth could be removed. You could be put to sleep using some form of gas or you could have an injection in your gum of - WAIT FOR IT - cocaine !  Yes the now highly illegal Class A drug ,cocaine. My dentist opted for the former. Problem was he did not give me enough of the gas and I woke up during the extraction process.

That was sixty years ago. I can still so clearly remember the dream I had when I was asleep and even clearer I can remember waking up. My mother, in the waiting room, said my screaming was deafening.

So began a life-long mistrust of dentists. I did not look after my teeth. Why should I ?  Teeth are servants of the body, they process food. My teeth are - WERE - my servants, not the other way round.

My uncared for teeth did their job faithfully for sixty and more years but in February I was obliged to visit the dentist who removed every single nasher in the top of my mouth. I was told it would take six months for the gums to harden - it has. Six months of looking like an geriatric with a sunken face. Six months of not being able to talk properly. Six months of not being able to eat properly. Today I have my first in a series of five visits to prepare my FALSE TEETH. The dentist tells me it will be strange, my voice will change and as my gums have hardened in an uneven way they may not fit properly.


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