Poor Kaki Warner asked me how my teeth are feeling after last week’s root canal. She got an email with far more info than even my dentist would want to know about my teeth (that’s not an exaggeration; my dentist is British and isn’t all that interested in my teeth).
It got me thinking about what teeth can tell you about a person. Growing up in Southern California, I learned early that there’s nothing wrong with cosmetic anything. My first lesson on this was my teeth.
Even though my parents never had much money, I had braces twice, a jaw expander twice, and porcelain fillings. I remember my dad insisting on paying more for white fillings and linking them to me one day getting a boyfriend. I’m not sure if he thought a man would want to check my teeth to make sure I’d make a good brood mare or what, but I was only about eight at the time.
Twenty years later, my British husband couldn’t care less about the color of my fillings. He grew up in a market town in England (which Lonely Planet describes as having its heyday in the 14th century, and going downhill since then). He remembers being a crooked-toothed boy in the dentist’s chair, and the dentist asked him, “Do you want to be a TV news reader when you grow up? No? Then you don’t need braces.”
This is why it always makes me laugh when I read a historical romance where the British hero flashes his straight white teeth.
In the seven years we’ve been together, though, I’ve had three root canals, two fillings, and two crowns. Hubby hasn’t even had a single cavity.
Maybe there is something to British dentistry after all.