Weekend Question Thread

What are your teeth like?

I ask because I had a visit to the dentist last week. A visit to the dentist nearly always means a lecture about how lousy my teeth are. I know they’re lousy. I’ve had them for decades. Several dentists have confirmed that they suck. I had braces for three years to correct buck teeth that could open a soda bottle, I need four bridges for molars that never grew in, I had a botched root canal abscess once, I apparently grind my teeth in my sleep and despite eating less candy now than I ever have in my life, I still get cavities like a lollipop-sucking little kid. Also I cannot do any teeth-whitening things because the resulting shooting/stabbing pain makes me want to cut my own head off, and all those whitening strip commercials can just suck it.

So if you’re one of those genetic freaks who never had a single cavity ever, tell me. So I can hate you.

A.

19 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. racymind says:

    My teeth suck, but they were straight enough to avoid braces. Discolored from early use of tetracycline. I’ve had at least six, probably eight root canals, but who is counting? The last one from a few weeks ago took 2 tries, and I am now taking antibiotics a second time because it won’t calm down enough to put the crown and bridge on.
    I am pretty sick of dentists, and I usually don’t go until something happens that hurts or affects my ability to eat.

  2. Jude says:

    I’ll just refer tothis. It’s odd–I never went to the dentist as a kid, so I don’t ever make it a priority now; it’s just not part of a routine that I ever got into.

  3. merciless says:

    Joining the “my teeth suck” club. Just got my second root canal this year. The first crown was a disaster, so I have to get another one made. And it sucked up all my insurance money, so everything else is out of pocket.
    I hate dentists. Buncha sadists.

  4. iceblue says:

    I’ve always had this one tooth that stuck out a bit on the right side, but as I got older and my gum disease began, it began sticking out more. I hate it and want to get it pulled. I cancelled my dental insurance last year because they kept raising the rate every year and I couldn’t afford any care even WITH the insurance. I don’t know about y’all but other than cleanings, I would have to pay a minimum of 40% for anything substantive, but more like 60, so crowns, bridges etc are way out of my league. If I get a job, I am going reinstate my insurance.

  5. MichaelF says:

    My teeth aren’t oh-my-god awful, but they need work that I haven’t gotten done.

  6. Dr A says:

    I had bad experiences with our dentist growing up (he smoked, and chewed clove gum to cover it up. (ALSO, remember Marathon Man? That’s what it felt like for me to go to the dentist.) I had plenty of cavities as a kid and had the fear of dentists to show for it. My personal record for not going to a dentist is 14 years and covers college, work and almost to the end of graduate school. In grad school, a friend of a friend was a dental hygeinist and had to bring in a “hard case” to perform teeth cleaning on to get her LA licensure and was going thru friends of friends,and everybody she could find. At 14 years and never having my teeth cleaned, I wasn’t “hard” enough. She told me that I must have good mouth pH…but to see a dentist…I did and saw a TERRIBLE one and didn’t go again for 5 years…then I went to a colleauge’s partner. Since I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more problems…my teeth are wearing away cuz I brushed too hard for years, etc, etc. I had root canals last year…and grind my teeth and really and cracked two teeth since then -need a mouth guard…and I am going to hell because I don’t floss regularly…My sisters are horrified and go to the dentist religiously every 6 months…(they had a different dentist after I went off to college).

  7. Marc says:

    I had every form of orthodontic appliance known to man. I was a very brave orthodontic patient from fourth grade through college. I ended up with a perfect bite.
    However, as an adult, I know have Dental Appointment Anxiety. That scraping – UGH. I don’t want to trivialize real torture by calling it torture, but – just UGH. I’m in the 90-90% percentile when it comes to brushing/flossing, but that hasn’t stopped the cavities – or the lectures!! (Evidently I too am going to hell along with Dr. A. Sounds fine.) Plus, no matter what I do, it’s always a bloody affair – for just a cleaning. Last time I joked with the dentist that I needed a transfusion after the hygienist was through with me. Another time, the hygienist said “I’m getting a little bleeding here” and I said “Perhaps your poking my gums with that needle-like instrument has something to do with it.” I know the gums are supposed to be able to handle a little poking around, but jeez.
    As with Dr. A above, I too have been brushing too hard for years. [NOW they tell us?? Yeah, like I can really brush with my left hand so I don’t brush as hard–what’s wrong with going to work every day with toothpaste all over my clothes?]

  8. Marc says:

    know = now
    Proofreading fail. Again.

  9. dan mcenroe says:

    Cracked one when I got “doored” on my bike, two in a mosh pit, another in an aikido class but otherwise … yeah, genetic freak. Sorry.

  10. OkieBlue says:

    Extreme teeth grinder here. Cracked almost all my molars so far. Tried a teeth guard. Chewed completely through it.

  11. pansypoo says:

    gee, i have root canals + caps, need another cause my childhood SADIST(no novocain for kids) was a zippy cavity digger. and i didn’t LISTEN to him and my mother was bad cause her mom had no teeth. but they are straight. fairly clean looking. need a cleaning. i need to see how my gums are doing. they were not bad bad, i brushed wrong + too hard. was slowly getting better w/ better brushing. but last trip for cleaning, he said, ‘what have you been doing to your gums? they had IMPROVED markedly. and less tartar or need for scraping too. HMMM, what was i doing? oh yeah. i got into the habit of w/ just my finger, rubbing toothpaste over my teeth + gums, NOT rinsing right before bed. yummy minty teeth when i hit the pillow. so after my trip, i looked at them. they DID look better. NOW they look great. NOW poke at my gums. gotta see if those numbers are better.

  12. liprap says:

    No cavities here. Let the hating begin.
    The most work I had done was an operation to remove a tissue ensuring that my top front teeth would grow at a 90-degree angle from each other. They shot my gums full of novocaine, removed the tissue, and had me eating ice cream for a day when I wasn’t stuffing my bleeding gums with gauze. A close second to that was the removal of three-and-a-half impacted wisdom teeth (one was described as a “mutant tooth”) by a really good oral surgeon. Dentists like me despite the tartar buildup I bring in that they have to chisel off, and despite my bruxist practices. Tried a mouth guard for it, but it felt like I was choking at night and the heavy breathing disturbs my husband to no end.
    I had a glass casting instructor who used dental plaster to cast some of his work. He also used dental tools to get the tougher bits of plaster off the finished castings. He fired up one of his dental tools during a class trip to his studio and half the class shuddered in unison. Dental professionals really need to work on their reps.

  13. Jimintampa says:

    Bad cavities/fillings for a long time, finally quit smoking (dentist later said if I hadn’t quit I’d have lost all my teeth). Then gum disease/peridontal surgery. Now (68 YO) rigorous flossing daily, electric toothbrush, same dentist for 20 yr, stable (but not very attractive) teeth (or fangs).

  14. RAM says:

    My teeth are the one part of me that seems to work fairly good. I had a spate of cavities when I was in fifth grade (got glasses that year, too), and have had a few since, but not too many. I attribute this to my mom’s genes (my dad had false teeth by the time he was 30), and the high fluoride content of our well water–I’ve lived in this house since I was 8. My daughter’s teeth were discolored from the fluoride when she was a little kid. My son’s weren’t. Now as adults, both of them have extremely good teeth (Ms. RAM added her genes to their mix, too, and she’s got good teeth as well). So I thank both genetics and geology for my extremely good fortune. I really hate dentists.

  15. Gozer says:

    Never needed braces or had any cavities in nearly 30 years on the planet. I’ve had my wisdom teeth out and had a supernumerary tooth removed at the same time, but that’s the extent of any dental work.

  16. joel hanes says:

    SADIST (no novocain for kids)
    My childhood dentist also mostly refused novocain for kids, and reworked my early molars with huge fillings, inevitably followed by crowns. He was otherwise a gentle and wonderful fellow, and I’ve always assumed he had what he considered good reasons. If he were still alive and practicing, he’d still be my dentist.
    Front teeth discolored and deformed — maybe too much fluoride (my town had naturally-occuring fluoride in its well water, and I think I used to swallow toothpaste) maybe tetracycline — we never new.
    One incisor died and broke in the Army, and they extracted it and sent me back to duty — after the service the GI Bill paid for pretty audacious bridgework up front, root canals and more crowns in back.
    The bridge failed after fifteen years, and I had a bone graft followed by implant surgery to give me front incisors again.

  17. We’ve all had good teeth in my family. I have had great teeth for pretty much my whole life. I had a big gap in them when I was a kid and all it took was for the dentist to talk about possibly needing braces. My front teeth straightened out on their own. Swear to God.
    The only thing I’ve had done, other than some fillings, was I had to get a crown on one of my molars because the filling came out and it was too big to put a new one on. And Oh. My. God. I thought I had died. It was worse than my knee surgery. Worse than my broken elbow. Worse than my eye surgery. Worse than my Female Surgery. Worse than anything I’ve ever had done. I felt completely violated. My teeth REBELLED. They were like, “how the fuck could you do this to us.” It was awful. It took me like a YEAR to get used to that fucking crown. And now I think I need another one on another tooth and I’ve been putting it off for about 3 years because I just can’t go through that again.

  18. pansypoo says:

    i have an old oral pathology book. dentistry can only get better. blessed be modern dentistry.

  19. Ruth says:

    More than half my uppers are capped or missing, two thirds of the total have been filled (surface or root canal or both). BUT my mother had had all hers removed by the age of 45, so I’m ahead of the game at 50. Tetracycline did for my enamel.
    Viva the NHS, but even so I’m down well over a thousand pounds sterling over my adult life (NHS dentistry is subsidised but not free).

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