Teeth

Side View of Right Teeth by Laura-Elizabeth

Teeth.  My first two teeth are chipped from a generally adventurous life and most recently from foolishly stripping insulation from wires with my teeth.

Once my dentist asked me if I wanted to cap my chipped front teeth.  He offered to file them down and put what he called a prosthesis, a fake tooth cover, over each tooth.

“Will it protect the teeth?  Keep them from chipping further?” I asked.

“Not really,” he said, “It’s mostly just aesthetics.  If you don’t mind the jagged look of it right now, don’t worry about it.”

“I don’t really care,” I said and explained that I just wanted to keep my teeth in my mouth so I could chew my food when I’m old.

However, as my front teeth have chipped further — not seriously, but irritatingly — I wished that I had had my dentist at least file the edges smooth even if I had no need for the cap.

Driving in the car today, I was thinking about the teeth I never had filed as I ran my tongue over my jagged front teeth.  They were knife sharp.  If I hit my chin accidentally, I might bite my tongue clean off.

One thing that always strikes me when I go to the dentist is how similar the tools and process my dentist uses to that of say a sculptor or carpenter, just on a smaller scale.  My dentist’s files look just like the ones I have in my toolbox.  His grinders look just like some of the ones I use with my Dremel tool.

If only I had some way to naturally wear down my jagged front teeth, some way to accelerate the inevitable natural process of wearing off the rough edges.  Maybe chewing on wood would do it.  Or biting stacks of paper.  Something.  Lightly grinding on a soft metal, like copper maybe.

What did I have in the car, I wondered.  Driftwood, copper sheet?  The jagged teeth were so irritating.  I looked around the car.  I reached behind my seat as I drove.  I came up with 150 grit wet/dry sandpaper that I had used when refinishing the car.

Hmm. why not?  I ran my tongue over the serrated edge of my front teeth.  Would it hurt?  Could I feel it?

So I began sanding my teeth like a carpenter sanding down a rough edge on some cabinetry work.  It didnt’ hurt.  I couldn’t even feel it.  In fact, it was strangely pleasant, smoother than you’d expect.

And it had an effect.  I could feel it with my tongue.  It was less rough.  Teeth were neither harder nor softer than I’d expect.  It took about as much effort as I’d expect to sand down mildly jagged teeth.

I sanded my front teeth until my tongue was more or less satisfied with the smoothness of the tops of my teeth.

A good day, with pleasing experiments in do-it-yourself dentistry.

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One Comment

  1. yogazulu
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Eskimo women wear their teeth down to nubs by chewing on animal hides to soften the leather. Maybe you can find an elk hide to chew on, or an old pair of sturdy leather shoes. The thought of sandpaper gives me fork-tine shivers down my spine.


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