Listen, I am so scared of the dentist. I really am. I take insanely good care of my teeth, and they may not be the whitest, but they chew ok and don’t hurt ever and serve me well. The only time my teeth bother me is in my dreams, when they fall out and fill my mouth with blood at inopportune moments, like during the SAT. For some reason I am forever taking the SAT in my dreams, which is weird because I don’t even remember taking it in real life, but my dreamscape is littered with number 2 pencils and tiny bubbles left unfilled.

I know that I need to go to the dentist soon, but my feet drag behind me, and there’s a herculean effort in lifting my finger to dial those numbers on my iphone. You and what army are going to make me go get my teeth cleaned? It’s not about pain. I am heavily tattooed and I can take hundreds upon hundreds of hours of impromptu and anesthesia free sessions without complaint. It can be nervous business, getting a tattoo, but I never flinch or falter or become pale with the pinpricks. I go with the pinches and the burn because I love the results.

With teeth, since I haven’t had any problems, the rewards are not as visible or satisfying. As a child I had countless hours of oral surgery, that left my psyche and mouth full of holes, stitched up crudely with thick black thread that tasted of blood and bone. My teeth had not lined up side by side as I grew, rather they placed themselves haphazardly along my gumline like headstones in an outlaw graveyard during the 1800s. there was a civil war quality to my mouth, and all my parents money went into the correction of this. Orthodontists and dentists were my babysitters, and I spent most of the hours between 4-6pm reclined in a chair with a light shining into my eyes and a tray and towel pinned to my neck.

About half my teeth were removed, as they came in huge and white and mighty to replace the feeble baby ones that were once there. There was no reasonable way my mouth could accommodate them all, so they got yanked. Being as big and deeply buried in my jaw as they were, it was no small feat to unearth them, and my flesh was cut away to expose the roots and kill the healthy tooth at the base of where they lay.

I spit out huge bloody clots of spongy gum tissue and this sped my healing as they didn’t rot with decay. The remaining teeth stood valiant and shiny and strong as the wire braces bound them into a kind of order that they still march in today. The lines of my orthodontists plan have faltered slightly, as the genetic pattern of teeth, your original tooth destiny has strength beyond what headgear and wires are capable of controlling, but even after 30 years they seem ok, and I don’t think I need to go back for anything.

7 thoughts on “Teeth

  1. Do you know if the dance man is still alive or not?
    an old website by fuckedcompany.com said he died.

    I say BS on that. He was that early sensation dude who danced all over California.

  2. I have been told dreaming of “losing teeth” is symbolic to the idea “getting OUT of here.” Trying to get Out of someplace. SAT? hmmm… testing yourself?

  3. I’m 28 and undergoing orthodontia (followed by jaw surgery) to fix my jacked-up teeth. I’ve had teeth pulled and spent hours in the orthodontist chair, like you.

    Going to the dentist is really important, though, even if there’s nothing wrong with your teeth right now. There’s a link between gingivitis and heart disease, so regular cleanings (along with taking care of your teeth) is just good practice. I don’t much like the dentist either, so I totally understand where you’re coming from, though.

  4. Talk about dentist. Unfortunately my parents never took me to the dentist as a child and I have not the money to get my teeth fixed. I would guesstimate I need about 20,000 dollars done to them as I have a few missing teeth, need of root canals, a few implants, rooting and scaling because of my periodontal disease and such. It sucks to have bad teeth, but it can also be hereditary too. I suffer from panic attacks so I could only imagine getting done what I need done. It’s not something that I am proud of and I am only 33, too young to be having such issues. So hey, on a lighter note, at least some of your situations as far as “teeth” go aren’t as bad. Have a wonderful day =)

  5. Just wanted to note dreaming of losing teeth is quite common. The reason is because it relates directly to tooth grinding while you sleep. That’s why it feels so visceral and real… you actually are grinding your teeth, and your dreaming brain interprets that as falling out or whatever. The tooth grinding is normal and nothing to be concerned about unless your dentist has noticed it and let you know.

    That’s why this is such a prevalent dream. I dream about it all the time and don’t have any fears or qualms about going to the dentist- in fact I enjoy it! 🙂

  6. I had really bad memories of going to the dentist as a kid. The worst part wasn’t the pain (although there was plenty of that). The worst part is that I felt judged by the dentist who was critical of my brushing. I was always a pretty diligent kid tho so I imagine a lot of the work I had to get done was related to genetics. Being older (I am 32 now), I still dread the dentist for the same reason – I hate being told that I’m not doing as good a job. I try to tell myself – screw them – they are my teeth anyway. I’m paying you asshole, just fix my teeth and move on. I don’t need a lecture. Unfortunately when I get in the chair though I always forget that and become this 7-year-old ashamed for not doing better. I’m off to the dentist tomorrow to start a series of appointments to get my teeth back in shape. Maybe this will be the time I stop worrying what other people think about me.

  7. Teeth. My least favorite subject. My teeth are mostly gone. I treated my teeth very badly. I would eat six or seven candy bars at a time as a kid. I drank Cokes all the time. I have endured many many hours in the dentist’s chair. I put off going to the dentist until I am in such pain that I absolutely cannot stand it. I am stupid. But I am not alone. I am still not kind to my remaining teeth. I have no excuses. Reading about your dental horror stories inspires me to never read such things again. The last thing I want to do is think about my teeth, until I absolutely have to!! How stupid is that!

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