Toothless in Seattle

This is a story about how my husband is willing to risk his sanity for my vanity.  There is quite a bit of preamble, but I haven’t blogged in awhile, so I figure I’m due for a long post.

When I was a little kid, I adored my dentist, Dr. Turk.  I named various toys after him, including a lion with wings and a crown.

May I present: Dr. Turk.
(Also, I CANNOT believe I actually found a photo of this toy.
Hot DAMN I love the internet.)

Dr. Turk’s office waiting room was literally a playground. (I am literally not misusing this word *snort*)  There were towers and slides and hidey holes, all encased in brown shag carpet.  His office was bright and open and you got to pick the flavor of floride, floss, and mouthwash used.  There were at least three flavor options for each.  On your way out, there was a gigantic white furniture wheel with dozens of compartments and drawers filled with stickers and little toys that you could choose as a parting gift.  Going to the dentist was AWESOME, plus, on the way home, we usually stopped by Nathan’s for hotdogs and sometimes we were lucky enough for Mom to drive us through the carwash (the height of little kid entertainment).  As you can imagine, while I have had some very nice dentists since then, none have really compared to Dr. Turk.

I remember one such appointment, in between obediently spitting out my apple candy-flavored toothpaste in a much-congratulated show of how well I knew how to brush my teeth, and skipping to the prize wheel to claim my door prize, when Dr. Turk mentioned to my mother how I had perfect teeth.  Of course, thought I, digging through the stickers, of course I should have perfect teeth.  I am the perfect child.


But,” said the kind, wise, and generous dentist, “because she has perfect teeth now, it means she may have some trouble when her adult teeth grow in.”

Fiddle dee dee!  Cobbswoggle!  Perposterosity!  I gave it barely a thought and we went on our way to Nathan’s to ride the ascending rocketship 300 times while my poor mother counted the holes in the ceiling (this was before smartphones, remember).  One cross-continental move, the rest of childhood, a harrowing teenage wasteland (as I watched others succumb to metal braces), and a rapidly disintegrating decade of being 20-something and useless, the chickens have come home to roost.

Dr. Turk, dear, dear Dr. Turk.  Your counsel holds true to this day.

In the past few years, my bottom teeth have revolted. I have had all four wisdom teeth removed and still there is not enough fricken room in my mouth for all my teeth.  I am sure there are several “big mouth” jokes in there somewhere, I’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to quibble over the best one.  Basically one of my lower canines has decided to push itself in front of my top teeth.  And another molar has rotated 45 degrees sideways.  I think the medical term for this is “shit show.”

In order to avoid my mouth turning into this:

and potentially losing teeth as they fight for higher ground, I have had to undergo orthodontia work. Yes.  I am an adult and I have an orthodontist.

He is a very nice man and his staff is lovely, even if his logo has a bee on it.  I hear he’s thinking about adding an Xbox to his waiting room.  Not quite the same as a shag carpet playground, but I suppose kids have evolved.

So I am currently using Invisilign.  It’s actually pretty amazing how much orthodontia has advanced, especially since I knew kids in school who had to wear headgear (yikes).  They took a 3D scan of my teeth and in 42 weeks, switching out the trays every two weeks, the Invisilign will move my teeth to where Man intended them to be.

I don’t have a blue gem in mine. But God do I wish I did.

Well, it’s actually not that simple in my particular case.  In order for this to work, I had to have a tooth removed.  I will not go into that harrowing experience, but know that I am a medical coward and needles frighten me.  Also that they wouldn’t put me out for this procedure.  So I was conscious during the 15 needle pokes and the extraction.  It was supposed to take 20 minutes because it was “so easy.”  It took an hour and a half.


Anyway, readers, right now, I am writing this with a fake tooth in my head.  It’s one of those little front ones on the bottom jaw. Theoretically, the Invisilign will push my teeth together using the newfound space and the fake tooth will get smaller and eventually disappear as the weeks go on.

This has all been a preamble to the story I really wanted to blog about, and the story has to do with how I am the luckiest woman in the world and I have a husband who will go to any lengths to make me happy.

Or at least to keep me from having a breakdown in a Ramada Inn.

The day I had a tooth wrenched from my skull, we drove halfway to Montana. We stayed the night in Spokane and then planned to complete the journey on the morrow.  So the next morning, having doped myself with ibuprofen, I gingerly took out my Invisilign trays in order to wash my gaping blood wound with salt water and do a little post-operative cleansing.  Super sexy.

Did I mention that Mike and I hadn’t seen each other in 10 days because he had been on an extraordinarily rain-sodden backpacking trip and the first night we spent together was on a SERIOUSLY firm hotel bed with me moaning not from pleasure but from the pulsing pain of having a dentist practically plant his foot on my chest and yank out a tooth with pliers* a mere 6 hours previous?

Yeah.  Marital bliss was not to be had.

So anyway, I’m washing out my bloody tooth hole and my trays and pop! Ole Chomper dislodges from the tray and goes down the drain.




I felt like Chuckie in that one Rugrats episode.  As I’m trying to decide which strong emotion I want to explore first, M Fox says with an uncertain grin, “Is this funny yet?”

I left the room to gather my wits.  I needed a moment to adjust to the fact that we were about to spend Labor Day weekend at a friend’s lake house with her parents and I was going to be missing a tooth in the middle of my face.  Before I had much time to whip myself into a full-blown meltdown, I hear squeaking and water running.

M Fox was underneath the hotel sink and, using a trash can for water-catching, spelunking for my fake tooth.  An act that I am sure he didn’t think he would have to perform for another 60 years.

What’s remarkable is that he found my fake tooth.

What’s even more remarkable is that he found someone else’s too.

I had been ordered out of the room so I didn’t see it and M Fox refuses to discuss it, even when I pelt him with questions about whether or not it was gold-plated or obsidian or encrusted with diamonds.  Or whether it was real.  No dice.

And that is why my husband is better than everyone else’s spouse.

In other news, I am planning to do a photo shoot without my trays in, while holding my banjo and some whiskey.  I have not decided whether or not I will make the photos public.

*Actually, I have a very nice dentist who was very patient and reassuring and acted with the utmost professionalism even while I wept silently during the entire length of the procedure.

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3 thoughts on “Toothless in Seattle

  1. Heather September 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm Reply

    You’re brilliant and this is hilarious.

  2. Alex September 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm Reply

    Welcome to the missing lower incisor club! I had mine removed for the same reason when I was having my braces done back in Middle School.

  3. Lisa nilsen November 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm Reply

    Oh dear lord , please make the pictures public!!!!!

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