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Reflections whilst brushing my teeth...

Updated: Jan 10, 2019


At each appointment every year or so my dentist tells me I have strong teeth and healthy gums. He is not sure if this is due to genetics, a good diet, or both.


I ruminate on this for a moment. Well I never drink acidic sugary drinks because I dislike the acidic taste nor do I really drink ‘soft’ drinks anymore because they are too sweet.


I reflect further that my year seven maths teacher would be happy to hear this. She felt the need to demonstrate the negative effect of sugary carbonated drinks on tooth enamel by keeping a tooth inside a jar of coca-cola for x-amount of time and showing us what damage it did. She seemed to have been oblivious to the flaw in this carefully crafted plan; this topic was nothing to do with her subject. Her attempt to enlighten us was preaching and patronising. We rolled our eyes. Our vending machine habits did not change.


Besides being an obvious side-step of the curriculum, her lectures on dental hygiene seemed somewhat hypocritical. Suffice and sadly to say that like many a teacher before and since she had an overwhelming case of staff-room-at-break-time-milky-instant-coffee-breath. This also impeded our progress in the allocated subject as whenever she bent down to correct our algebra we did not take on board any of what was said, preoccupied as we were with edging ourselves away from her invasion of our personal space and desperately wishing the entire encounter to be over with whatever the algebra had to say.


Continuing on the memory trail of year seven maths - would said teacher have found it offensive (probably) or amusing (unexpectedly) that, in the few moments before the start of every class, some of the girls would dare each other to run to the front of the room and draw penises on the chalkboard before hastily rubbing them off.


It was in the days of dial-up so I have no idea where they got their anatomical knowledge from - certainly not a quick google - biology? Surely not. Brothers who regularly drew penises on their books/bags/walls/any surface? More likely I think.


Quick reflection on Brexit. After a few days of renewed interest and debate my emotional response to the subject is as grey and damp as the day is outside the window.


Return to dental daydreams. My toothache is not related to the health of my teeth. X-rays have confirmed. It seems to be anxiety. My internal turmoil seems to have found a new physical release in the form of a clenched jaw (particularly when asleep). I would rather have this unbearable searing pain that the daily exhaustion that came before it.


On further reflection maybe it depends on how long the toothache persists. I suppose there would be a time limit to this wish. x number of minutes of excruciating pain too long and then, perhaps, I would take the tiredness. One is the x axis the other the y.


Final reflection. In life there are two sides to every story - there is always an x axis and there is always a y, and we mere mortals slide up and down the continuum in between, our fallible humanity throwing in the odd off-curve anomaly but generally averaging out as predictable mico-economic stats. What a depressing start to the day.


Rise and dry toothbrush. Leave.