Today I will lay in a dentist chair and envision the canals of Venice. It’ll take plenty of imagination. Maybe I’ll pretend I’m on a cruise and fording the Panama Canal level-by-level. That would definitely be cheaper than the canal I’ll be exploring.
The ear ache, jaw ache, and infection have all added up to this vacation buster. They THINK (operative word here) that I may have an infection under an old root canal due to a crack in a root. This is when you curse your British roots – literally. We just don’t have the best teeth. Every time the family is watching a program and someone appears with crooked, widely spaced, or browning teeth, Grizzly looks at me, laughs, and says, “Must be British!” Mind you, he isn’t exactly a perfect-toothed Osmond brother himself. I could throw a rock at Ireland from my British shore and hit him squarely between the eyes. I’m quite sure the DNA tests would show that we’re actually related. Too many similarities.
By God’s good grace our children will not have to bear the brunt of our inbreeding. Thousands of dollars and a miracle working orthodontist have spared Bo from bearing the family crest. The Wild Man is fast on her heels. Fortunately, his adult teeth were on a world tour and have shown up VERY late to the party. This has allowed us a small respite between orthodontia mortgages.
But Grizzly and I were born in the era of braces being only for the rich and privileged. In fact, only a few of my friends sport those expensive pearly whites that are as straight and even as piano keys. It just wasn’t done. Unless you could look down your nose and see your two front teeth sticking straight out, you were required to get over yourself and move on. I never went to the dentist until I was 13 and my mother got dental insurance through her job. By then I had eight cavities, not counting the vast one between my ears. I took the bus downtown to the dentist by myself. My mother was working. Eight shots and eight fillings later, I rode the bus home and decided this was one luxury I wanted to live without. Had I known to brush my teeth more than once a week I might have avoided the whole affair. Nutrition could have helped, too, but nutrition was expensive and would have required food knowledge. We lived on canned vegetables, Green Goddess and Thousand Island dressing, iceberg lettuce, Wonder Bread, and Velveeta. Honest-to-goodness I never knew there was any other kind of veggies or cheese until I left home.
I decided to do things differently with my kids. Don’t most new mothers? I nursed them endlessly and started brushing their teeth before they HAD teeth. I was determined to overcome nature with nurture. It has been largely effective as they’ve only had one tiny cavity between them in 18 years. But I was unable to influence tooth placement and jaw structure. Fortunately, our orthodontist is not so constrained. Unfortunately, our budget is horribly constrained. Parents get in line behind children and a root canal for the mother does not factor in. My endodontist says if the root is too badly cracked he will not redo it but will pull it instead at a greatly reduced cost.
Come on British roots, don’t fail me now. Crack wide open and make your cheap escape!