Foul Mouth: A Rant About Teeth
A rant about teeth, dentists, jealous love, and sweet revenge.
“Talking With Your Hands”
Illustration By Samantha DeCarlo
Teeth: What are they? Bones?
No, enamel, I think. But what’s enamel?
There’s enamel in my bathroom; it’s covered in pink mold. And what’s so bad about that? My mold is the color of an angel’s cottonfloss dream! As I used to tell my ex-spouse to tell the help, “Why clean the shower? Pink is the new something-something.” Then I would put on some smooth jazz. And then we danced.
Basically, dental hygiene is the great lie of our time.
In the olden days, nobody had any teeth. Just mouth after mouth of woodchips, as far as the eye could see. Then technology invented dentures. My grandma used to keep hers, delectably, in a glass of water on the nightstand. In the evening she removed a part of her body and in the morning reinserted it with adhesives. Fact: science can fake almost any body part. Along with false teeth, there are glass eyes, prosthetic limbs, bejeweled silver noses, jellied gazongas—even wigs made from dead people’s hair! So why take care of your teeth?
The whole life-cycle of teeth is pointless. We are born toothless and incompetent; then comes teething, that great festival of screaming and drool. Then these itinerant teeth fall out, packing entire schoolyards with lisping youth. More teeth come in, including the perversely misnamed “wisdom” molars, only to be crudely wrenched from the jaw like dead stumps from the earth. We get a few good years in, but in old age all our teeth fall out again. Imagine if the same were to happen to our feet! No one would stand for it, ha ha.
Teeth are only a source of anxiety. Think of the most common nightmare—yes, the one where your teeth fall out. Such is the orthodontic industry’s stranglehold that it’s invaded even our collective subconscious, like a sort of lab-coated, chiding Freddie Kruger who offers nothing to read but Canadian Living and, instead of tearing out your entrails, seduces your spouse.
Why go through this? Why tend to and obsess over something that only causes humiliation? Some people floss. Not me! What is that, sawing into your gums with fishing line? Seems weird. Also, floss is covered in wax, i.e. the orange guck that oozes out of your ears and smears your pillow and hardens into greasy clots in the morning sunlight. So flossing is the same as being a cannibal, in a way.
And dentists—don’t get me started on those savages. After “the incident,” I was forced to find a new dentist, who told me to brush with bleach. “Just a little on your toothbrush.” She had some sort of accent, so I thought she might have confused the English word for пищевая сода. “No,” she said, “bleach, like Javex.” Then she laughed in that smug way immigrants do when they are thinking: stupid Westerner. “Obviously,” she smirked, “you don’t swallow it.”
Sometimes I am pretty sure everyone is coming on to me in subtle, strange ways.
Used to be: “Brush your teeth, round and round.” Turns out, this was the dogma of the confused and lost. Now we are told to brush with the grain, like petting a cat. But for God’s sake don’t overbrush! Which means, when brushing your teeth, don’t think about your ex-dentist and how he is making sweet love to your ex-spouse on the floor of his waiting room.