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  Sowing the Dragon's Teeth:
by Montana Dove Wojczuk
The Battle Against Water Fluoridation
  A Chat with the Tooth Fairy
from the September/October 2003 issue of Modern Dentist magazine
  Oral Rapport
by Joel Gunz
Cloning the perfect mouth
  Lists
  Items Accidentally Left by the Tooth Fairy
  Materials Least Likely to be Used for False Teeth

Two teeth in your pocket
by

One of my favorite "your mama" caps in elementary school was "Your mama has three teeth...one in her mouth and two in her pocket." While I enjoyed hours of laughter, and a few tears after getting punched for saying it to the wrong guy, I realized that teeth are no joking matter.

From 6th to 8th grade, I rang up thousands of my parents hard-earned dollars on orthodontia. I started with braces, and was fortunate enough to have lips that covered them to the point that some classmates never knew I even had them. The retainers were harder to hide, however. My first retainer floated in my mouth like a large plastic piece of gum, making basic speech difficult. I learned to adapt, but not after breaking a few from biting down too hard on them.

When fitting me for my second retainer, which was much more streamlined, my orthodontist told me to "Never put your retainer in a napkin, ever!" He never offered an explanation as to why, so I drew my own conclusions and assumed that the metal or plastic would react negatively to the paper fibers, thus ruining it.

For more than a year, I managed to keep my retainer firmly in my mouth, with the exception of one morning while taking a leak and yawning. While other friends managed to lose their oral gear at school dances and on vacations, I slurred through readings in Language Arts class.

On my 13th birthday, we went to Chuck E Cheese's Pizzatime Theater. Cardboard pizza, scary robotic animals and too much soda are hard to pass up. When it was time to eat, I realized I forgot my retainer holder and looked around for a backup plan. The primary candidate was a napkin. I briefly recalled the warning I'd received a year previous and elected to take my chances.

After returning home that night, I realized I'd left my retainer at Chuck's and ended up going back to look for it. We dug through the garbage, but never found it. On the way home, I realized why my orthodontist told me not to put it in a napkin. He could have saved me $250 by just telling me why. Stupid chemical reactions.