What I mean is that your teeth are a passport for all your horrible indiscretions. They are stamped with the sins of smoking, wine drinking, coffee guzzling and soda consumption.
But -take it from me- as you close in on thirty it becomes more and more difficult to conceal the abuse you have put your chompers through. So the last four months have seen James and I visit dentists for a variety of cleaning/fixing/polishing reasons.
More than anything else, it feels like how an electrical appliance craps out just at the end of its warranty period -my teeth have just put up with a decade that would kill a boatload of Disney pirates and now they’re starting to splutter as the finish line comes into view.
Let me just start by saying I have never had a filling. I certainly don’t neglect my teeth. I just really fucking use them.
Whenever I waddle my fat ass into a dentist’s “surgery” (it’s in speech marks because they’re not real doctors) they express open shock that I don’t have -nor do I need- any fillings. I get the same attitude from other fake medical “professionals” (failed witch doctors) like nurses who genuinely cannot believe my blood pressure or cholesterol or whatever is fine. In their heads they want to say “but you’re fat“. Well, fuck you… Guess a whole lot of that crap is fallible, huh? Ass.
Anyway so we can now say “we have a dentist” because we’ve been there at least five times between us in the last year. He’s awesome. It’s some kind of Turkish family affair… The hygenist is this imposing Turkish woman who yells at me about plaque and refuses to polish my teeth sometimes “because there’s too much blood in there now.”
Now, I had a permanent retainer behind my teeth to stop them going all bung again after my braces were removed sixteen years ago. They’re supposed to be replaced every ten years and –right on cue- the bottom one popped out at my desk on Wednesday.
I dutifully book in to see my awesome dentist. He takes one look and says “yeah you need an orthodontist to do this. Now, I could do it… it’s easy… but the proper way to do it is to go see and orthodontist. Which I am happy to refer you to. But it’s up to you.” Then he stands there looking expectantly down at me.
To be honest, I briefly considered the idea mostly because I liked his moxie in actually just asking the question. But maturity got the better of me (see?!) and I booked in to see his recommendation later that day.
From the outside, the orthodontist looked like any other Edgware Road specialist: kinda crummy with cheap signage and everything written in both English and Arabic. Reception looked the same. The guy hands me a clipboard and form to fill out and says head downstairs to the waiting room and fill it out.
By waiting room he actually meant pied a terre for a Saudi oil baron or playboy prince.
I have never seen anything like it. There was a hundred inch LCD screen on the wall, a leather sofa set, little antique tables in Persian style, Persian rugs (obviously). The whole thing looked like a private members club or a Bond villain’s lair. It was better than my whole life.
The next sign of maturity? My first thought wasn’t “holy fucking shit I hope I’m waiting here forever” but “whatever they are about to do in my mouth, I’m paying them waaaay too much to do it.” (This certainly turned out to be true.) But it was like channelling my mother.
There was another LCD screen flown from the ceiling about the most amazing dental chair I have ever seen. (I’ve seen a total of four. This makes me a leading global authority.) It’s a really clever idea that I hope my brother institutes in his own tooth shack in Newcastle.
Of course, it works much better if you don’t have to watch David Cameron while someone fucks around with drills on your teeth. (I was about to ask for the gas.)
But as he got out the tiniest drill for the last ultra-thin layer of adhesive that had to be removed I reached possibly my most mature realisation ever. I was glad I was paying so much… This specialist/TV salesman does this all the time. As the vibrations from the crazy drill shook me all the way down to my moobs I relaxed.
A good decision had been made. That morning I had briefly considered having this procedure done in deepest, darkest Acton by someone who wasn’t licensed to do it. I would have been terrified.
But maturity means sometimes having to pay proper money for things other than booze and holidays. And being okay with that because you have to take a longer view.
That being said, when I got up to leave, the orthodontist jokes to me “hopefully we don’t see you for a very long time”.
King fucking oath.
I’m mature, I’m not an idiot.