I looked after my teeth...they were cleaned and polished and scrubbed...and I wore braces and went to a dentist called Mr Rolfe who wore gold rimmed glasses...and was a barbarian. Actually most of the dentists I went to were barbarians...they usually looked grand, but were secret sadists who took enormous pleasure in injecting enormous needles into my gums which always felt as though they were going straight up my nose...and I'd spend hours afterwards talking in a funny voice 'cos my lips didn't work properly...
I had some teeth out to make more room for new ones and others were filled with foul tasting stuff and I can't look at a pink drink without hearing the words...'You can rinse now' ringing in my ears...I spent hours, or so it seemed, in stuffy waiting rooms waiting my turn for the torture while surrounded by miserable people with their jaws wrapped up in scarves or cheerful souls who happily announced they never felt a thing and could have root canal work done without so much as a sniff of anaesthetic ...
Then my carefully tended teeth began to fall out. Some were knocked out actually by Poor Mary...but the rest, slowly began to simply fall out, one by one.
By this time I'd developed a full on phobia...walking past a dentists surgery gave me the jitters...sitting in a waiting room for my turn made me have a full scale panic attack...then I heard from a friend of a friend about a lovely dentist who specialised in people with a phobia...so I plucked up the courage to go to him and he really was lovely and so awfully kind and his waiting room had decent magazines and a tank of tropical fish and he cost an absolute fortune...
Then I had a bit of a dither for a while...quite a long while actually...but my teeth hurt you see...I'd rinse my mouth out with aspirin and gargle with clove oil and soak cotton wool in Whiskey and still they hurt.
In the end I made an appointment with the nice dentist and his tropical fish and another very nice man stuck a needle in my arm and I woke up half an hour later with no teeth at all...
And he said so many nerves were exposed it was no wonder they hurt and so he'd cauterised them just to be sure. I went back the next week and had my new shiny teeth that didn't hurt...he even made them so one at the front was discoloured just like my real teeth...
That was twenty-five years ago...I've never had so much as a slight twinge...I can eat ice-cream and bite into apples without a bother. Oddly enough I still have a phobia...my teeth need replacing but I can't bring myself to actually go into a surgery and make an appointment...
It made me giggle though when I was in hospital earlier this year and had finally emerged from my drug induced stupor...one of the nurses gave me a bowl of Cornflakes and I wailed...but where are my teeth? She went down on her knees in front of my locker and said...I've seen them in here somewhere...then she had a fit of the giggles and so did I as she produced my teeth with an air of triumph...Here they are! I've found your teeths and we laughed so much I felt quite sick...