Friday, May 22, 2009


Teeth are weird. I mean really...aren't they? They aren't bones, because they don't have marrow, and the inside of your tooth is called pulp.  It is not really something you want to think about as you swig down a nice glass of fresh orange juice, is it? Your pulp is what sends messages to your brain.  Messages like, "ooh...crunchy."

We use our teeth to eat, speak, and occasionally tear at things. There are different types of teeth...canine teeth, wisdom teeth, baby teeth. Lil' Bit has exactly 1 one and one half teeth, which we brush every day. The average adult has 36 teeth, including wisdom...and of my 36 teeth one in particular has been giving me mega problems.

There is nothing like getting major dental work done with a head cold. Today the whole time I laid there with my mouth stretched open trying not to sneeze. Last week, I had a temporary veneer put on my front tooth which fell off twice. Once while Chef and I were eating lunch at 29 South. I had just taken a big bite of a soft and delicious Mediterranean wrap. I felt the thing dislodge, spat out my food, and my tooth then ran to the bathroom. The second time it happened over an Americano in mid-conversation with a friend at a coffee shop. Without the veneer my front tooth looked like a Halloween pumpkin fang. Needless to say, last week was a toughie. Today they put on the real thing, to the tune of $1400. Isn't strange that health insurance doesn't cover dental? I mean, teeth are kinda essential to your general health.

My problems with this ornery central incisor began about 3 years ago, when Chef and I were still in the relatively early stages of dating. He had me over for dinner, and was really excited about the beautiful crackling bread he had just pulled out of the oven.  It was a proper boule, which is a big round loaf of French bread.  It is supposed to have a nice crisp crust, which you achieve by cooking it in an oven with steam. 

Well, Chef's oven must have had a geyser in it.  The crust was like armor.  You could have used it to reinforce tanks in Iraq.  I took one bite into the crust and the veneer on my front tooth popped off. I reached into my mouth thinking it was something gross in the bread, pulled out the little piece of porcelain and flicked it off his second story balcony onto the courtyard below.

As it flew through the air, I realized what I had done. My hand went to my mouth and I ran to the bathroom. I smiled in the mirror and to my horror my front tooth was half the width of the other, and a ghastly yellow. Imagine if someone took a razor and shaved the front layer off your tooth. That is what had happened. I then ran downstairs and searched in the courtyard until I found the veneer. The thing was the size of a pinkie press on nail and cost about $800, but there was no salvaging it.

For the past three years I have been living with a half tooth. Chef wasn't bothered by it, he loved me even with my half tooth, so I figured why should I be bothered by it? The first few months I smiled a little less, but then forgot all about my fakakta tooth. In reality you could barely even notice that there was something wrong with it...but I always knew. Today, amongst sniffles, I got my smile back.

Teeth are pretty important. I mean if you were to die in a fire the only way they would identify your body is by your teeth. From now on in, I am going to take better care of my chompers. Watching Lil' Bit gum her food every meal reminds me how lucky I am to have them.  Although, Chef told me once he was looking forward to loosing his teeth so he would have a reason to eat braised meat seven days a week.  Personally , I wouldn't mind slurping risotto, but I think I will wait until my twilight years.

ps. Thank you to everyone who made this first week of this blog a grand success. Come back Monday for a fresh taste of EcoCulinaire!


Unknown said...

Pobre cita! Dental nightmares are my least fave. A tip fom Tio Roberto: Enjoy your dental experience by having it done in a beautiful and exotic locale! Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, you name it, the world of Mexican dentistry is wide open.

Contrary to Pop American belief, quality dentistry does not begin and end at the US border.

The best part is that the money you will save on the dental work, will pay for a delightful 3 night/4 day visit to the lush tropical paradise of your choice. Simply Google: "mexican dentists" for more info.

Just be be sure to take your laptop with you so we won't miss a single entry of EcoCulinaire!
Tio Roberto

Tara Meyer-Robson said...

Terrific blog, Nan -

And no, all this time that I have known you, I have never noticed a missing tooth or half-tooth! You always look lovely to me!

Hope you are having a wonderful day - I am going to go link this article on my facebook account...

Much love,
Tara :o)

Anonymous said...

Love the reading...keep it comin'! - Randy

emily said...

I didn't even notice a sad tooth...