Friday, August 28, 2009

Say Cheese

G-sizzle’s two front lower teeth recently poked through her gum. Depending on the facial expression she makes, you can get a quick glimpse of them. I try to pull her lower lip down to see the central incisors (thanks Google!) but she gets annoyed and swats my finger away with her forearm of sausage links. Upon seeing the teeth for the first time, a few questions arose in my head:

How long until I don a tutu and play the tooth fairy? What is the going rate for a lost tooth these days, adjusting for the recession and of course, the state of the current economy (the blame of all current evils)? What happens if she catches me as I’m trying to do the cash-for-tooth exchange?

Furthermore, what kind of orthodontic work is my daughter going to require as an adolescent? Considering the dental makeup of her mom and dad, it’s a good possibility that head gear, rubber bands, and awkward pronunciations of esses are in her future sometime between 5th and 8th grade.

What I notice most about braces is not the actual hardware. I mean, they’re noticeable but after a while, I forget about them. More so, it’s the awkward way that many braces wearers curtain their lips over the teeth in a feeble attempt to hide the evidence, as if to throw off the scent. “Nothing to see here folks. Just a normal set of pearly whites here. Move along.” All I can think of is a boxer before a fight after the trainer plops in the mouth guard before squirting some water in his mouth. Brett Favre and Tom Cruise always did this during their adult invisalign periods. Overall, though, no big deal.

At least the wife was fortunate enough to get braces as a kid. She apparently had a good set of bucked out choppers and did the whole 80’s grille circa Jennifer Grey in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Martha Plimpton in The Goonies (they had braces, right?).

Unfortunately or not, AIG did not have a dental plan when we were growing up so I was blessed/cursed/stuck with my gap on the upper deck. Honestly, I’ve been totally content with my gap for a long time. It took some time and teasing of course to get there. But at this point, if dentures are in my future, I’ll opt for a recreation of the gap as long as the replica isn’t Michael Strahan-esque.

Whether G grows buck teeth, a gap, or even a shit tooth, I am comfortable knowing that cosmetic orthodontic solutions abound. However, there is one dental fear for G-sizzle that I dread worse than zombies, Sarah Palin boosters, or Greta alone in a bar with a single, 55 year-old Casey O’Connell: the dreaded food in teeth phenomenon. My teeth crevices are like a Venus fly trap for food scraps, I swear. Might as well just pack a box of tooth picks with me 24-7.

While the horror and embarrassment of discovering a post-meal treat long after several conversations, laughs, and grins with multitudes of people are excruciating, it doesn’t compare to the frustration I experience when a friend or relative who admits he/she chose not to disclose that half a pound of chicken was visible in my teeth for all the world to see beginning 2 hours ago. And don’t even get me started on the red wine/wood teeth thing.

Greta, don’t worry kid, I got your back. Not only do we have dental coverage, but I’ll give you the head’s up when broccoli or poppy seeds decide to stick around in the fangs after a meal. Just make sure you tell me, too!


Tom Kirk said...

she'll be fine, and btw uncle Tom DID have braces Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Braces r cool! :) and ur gap rocks!

emilyteravainen said...

You know who to call with any dental concerns or questions. :) I think you know this, but I'll tell you again...I started working in an orthodontic office in I'm learning all about the movement of teeth!

Tooth fairy advise: as far as I've heard, kids usually get more money for their first exfoliated tooth (haha how do you like that fancy dental word) and then less for every other lost tooth.

<3 Emily (your family RDH)