Which reminded me, when wondering what wise words I wanted to write today, I should go to the dentist. It is not that I have lost a filling, am suffering from tooth ache or a tooth decided to fall out. My teeth are in perfectly good order. That is my opinion. For a 70 year old golden oldie, they could be worse
Mum never really bothered with teeth problems and neither did dad. Mum came from a family that only visited the dentist if you had tooth ache and dad was of the opinion, if it hurts, then have it removed. I was one of those kids that had my first two teeth at the age of two months, and the next four all appeared at once a few weeks later. I was already equipped to eat a steak for dinner, all on my own.
I was of course educated to have clean teeth, but in the East End working life of London, you only needed to clean them in the morning, the rest took care of itself. In the meanwhile mum already had a complete set of false teeth at the age of 45. This was in the fifties when teeth care was still in its beginnings and the british national health service, which was free, only covered the cheap stuff. Mum’s teeth were not in a good condition and the only affordable solution was to have them removed.
In the meanwhile my teeth were ok which was more luck than judgement. I was cared for by the british school dentist, who was also a memeber of the cheap free national health system. As I said mum and dad were not the perfect examples of teaching me how to look after my teeth, and at the age of 12 I had to have my top front tooth repared.
Long story cut short, I made my own dental appointments as mum never bothered to do it for me. She was convinced that is was not necessary to have your teeth checked from time to time and dad was still having the painful teeth removed. This seemed to run in the family as my mum’s sisters were of the same belief. If it hurts, either have it removed or live with it.
I even began to clean my teeth in the evening before going to bed. Not because mum told me to, but because it seemed a logical step to take.
Today I still have all my own teeth, with the exception of one so-called pivot tooth, which I had inserted at the age of 18 and it has remained firm since. Swiss dentists are expensive, there is no insurance and I clean them three times a day. Mr. Swiss always visited the dentist regularly and thanks to him, dental visits also became part of my life. I have had a few ups and downs, nerve removals, and even have a gold tooth. It is a back tooth, cannot be seen, and had to have a new crown. The idea of a gold tooth appealed to me and I still have it today after many years.
And so another appointment is to be made, actually overdue. In the meanwhile my trusty dentist is now retired and his son has taken over the practice. The practice has grown over the years and I now visit the assistant. I received a letter reminding me it is time to go again. Unfortunately I skipped the first letter, but the second tells me the month of May must be for the next visit for a control and a professional tooth cleaning session and so it seems the daily prompt is an omen, and I have now organised an appointment which will take place in two weeks. My actual dentist is absent at the moment but it really only needs a tooth cleaning expert. X-rays and general inspection also belong to the job, so if anything has to be done a further appointment with my dentist will be made. Dental treatment has improved over the years, and it no longer hurts so much. It is only the pain you feel in your purse that hurts.