The Tooth Book

Blog 1789 – 08.17.2020

The Tooth Book

The Tooth Book

Teething is a time when many of us babies are not on our best behavior and that is the whole tooth nothing but the tooth about even otherwise happy and easy babies. From early on till late in life most of us from time to time experience a little trouble with a tooth or several.

As children many of us celebrated more the loss than the arrival of teeth being compensated by the Tooth Fairy if we remembered to tell our parents first before putting it or them under our pillow. Most of us wiser children kept quiet long after discovering the caring conspiracy not wishing to spoil a good thing. I still remember my younger brother running up to me as I returned home one day from the first grade, shouting, “There ain’t no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, and my shushing him to complicit silence so as not to ruin those sweet sources of gifts and cash. I told myself we did not want to ruin it for our parents. I long figured dad was wise to us boys, but whether mom was or not she wanted to keep her boys little as long as she could and at least for those two myths we were more that willing to cooperate, till we ran out of baby teeth anyway.

A year ago I had to have a large jaw tooth pulled due to a painfully deep unrepairable cavity. Fortunately for me, after the hole it left was healed I was able to afford a bridge attached to the two healthy teeth on either side. No one would even know unless I told them that I had ever lost a tooth. I am, at almost seventy, far more fortunate than my parents when it comes to teeth. They both had all theirs pulled and replaced with dentures by their fifties. My mom was adamant with dad about their spending money on our teeth for fillings when my brother and I were teens to insure that we had the use of our natural ones as long as possible. It was she who encouraged, even demanded, that we brush after meals and before bed. We are both glad she did. I rarely recall her smiling for she long tried to hide her poor teeth and by the time she had dentures top and bottom the unsmiling habit was perhaps too engrained.

She has been gone twenty years. I would so love to see her smile again. And that is the tooth.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White


When You’re Smiling

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