Sink your teeth in

My bête noire is the dentist’s assistant, now hygienist, and what they call teeth-cleaning. “Our gums still don’t look good, do they, Mr. Roe?”

I’ve been doing this leeching for over 50 years and the only thing to change in that time is my having to do more and more. What, they say, surely you brush at least twice a day? You don’t floss? You’re shoving wood and plastic splinters between every one of your teeth, right? Speaking of which, you are using a water pick?

Where—I ask them when able—is that amazing tooth paste with a quantum jump in plaque/tartar reduction? That truly restorative mouthwash and its dramatic improvements? Those easy teeth caps or permanent enamelization or something to stop the need for further blood-letting?

One. Half. Century of zero, nada, zilch. “We’d have to sterilize mouths, Mr. Roe, and we can’t do, can we?” I suppose I’ve not helped matters by calling them Butcher Bob and such.

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