Tiger Woods and I finally have something in common. We are both missing a tooth. The difference is that mine was taken out by a licensed dental professional and not a photographer.
In case you missed the news, I am getting braces. It seems that I have spent the majority of my 52 years with teeth that were really unsuited for chewing food, at least on one side. I’m not sure why it took me this long to figure it out, perhaps because no dentist understood how wacky my teeth were until I said something. Here’s the thing. Dentists are good but they can’t possibly know what is going on in your mouth when you are eating.
So I finally spoke up and told my dentist that I had trouble eating small things like rice and pasta on the right side of my mouth. He took impressions of my teeth to see what I was talking about. (How weird to see your teeth on the outside of your mouth.) Yes indeedy, the teeth on my right side don’t even come close to touching. So off I went to an orthodontist who assured me that he could fix the problem. The only catch was that I would have to have a tooth taken out in order for the rest of my teeth to easily move into a better alignment. That stopped me in my tracks for a while but the thought of chewing normally was too strong an incentive.
I’m sure you are dying to know all the gory details but we are going to fast forward to today. I am recovering from the tooth extraction that I had done yesterday. Getting a tooth out is not that big a deal, physically. For me the harder part was the sense of emotional loss that I went through. It felt weird removing perfectly good tooth. I didn’t realize how attached I was to my teeth. I am feeling very sad to see that hole…perhaps it is a sign of much larger losses that I have been through in my life. I don’t know.
I am not going to show you a picture of me with a missing tooth…I am too vain for that. Fortunately, I have an Invisalign plate with a tooth painted in to wear when I am out in public. That way I don’t have to keep my mouth closed the whole time.
Instead, I will post a picture of my grand niece who (blessedly) has all her teeth and a whole bunch of chocolate sauce on her face…someday my smile will be this big and beautiful…