Saturday, 17 March 2012


My teeth have always been an interesting topic to write about. Or not.

In school I had braces, where each visit to the orthodontist ended with the promise that "next time" the damned railways would be taken out. Mine were taken finally removed and for the first time in years I could let my tongue glide across the smooth surface. No more food stuck somewhere! No more elastics that could shoot out of your mouth at any minute! No more awkward brace-kissing! No more holding your hand in front of your mouth when you're laughing! The joy!!!

Years later my friend knocked off a piece of my front tooth with a beer bottle, by accident. The tooth was evened out and my smile, though crooked, had straight teeth again.

Today I had to go to the dentist. There was nothing wrong. Some months back a tooth broke off (story of my life it seems) and they fixed it and somehow today was just to fix what was fixed already. But damn it hurt. It is still hurting. First that abnormally large silver syringe that looks like it had time-travelled from the 19th century just to be stabbed into my gums. Then the dentist and his assistant kept talking about the 'excavator' ( which made me imagine them pulling Excalibur from between my teeth) or the 'plugger' or 'Helen's instrument' ( pretty sure I heard this one wrong) and stuffing roles of pink cotton into my cheeks. The next tool used was some blue light that I could see reflected in his glasses, and then it felt like the  two of them were competing to tear the corners of my mouth further and further apart.

The highlight of it all: being told that I was being very "soet" ( in Afrikaans), which one tells a child when they are behaving well. Great. I cannot wait to get my lollipop.

Look, it wasn't childbirth or anything, but ja, my gums are still hurting. Damn you, giant syringe.

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