Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Don't be afraid to use your teeth

My overall mouth health -- which has been pretty healthy, you'll understand -- doesn't jibe with how I've sometimes been afraid my mouth was about to get really unhealthy. My fear of teeth breaking outstrips my actual chances of it.

Years ago, when I was still in grade school, I'd gotten one particular tooth sealed. For a while, I shifted where I chewed food to favor another part of my mouth, away from that tooth. I did this unconsciously. When I became aware of it, I took a while to get over that and chew in a more general way. It was a tiny but completely unnecessary habit, and it took an effort to stop.

When I booked today's appointment to pre-emptively cap a tooth's problem spot, I asked when I'd be cleared to eat again. I really meant how long I'd need to wait to start using that part of my mouth again. The assistants assured me that it was best to just wait until the anesthetic had worn off. By lunch I'd be fine.

I had to remind myself that, by lunch, I would be fine. I cooked up some pasta and (canned) sun-dried tomato alfredo, and made sure i used all of my mouth. Also, by lunch, I let myself feel my tongue run across the tooth that's now capped. Time to get used to it feeling a little different. And to get used to using it again without thinking about it. As opposed to not using it without thinking about it.

Sometimes I think too much about what I shouldn't have to think about. Thank you, worrying mind.

My teeth ain't perfect. They're a little unaligned, oddly shaped and with an overbite; I never had braces. My overbite isn't as sexy as Gina Gershon's, either, but how many overbites are? The teeth have some odd coloring, still untouched and likely untouchable by cleaning procedures, but that's never really bothered me. So they're askew. Most people who see me up-close enough to see my crooked teeth still don't mind the view. I don't break mirrors (unless I bit them, I guess). I'll keep living with them. Beats the alternative.

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