Long in the Tooth and Cash Poor

I guess you probably already know that if you're long in the tooth... you are getting on in years. Originally, I believe this term had to do with horses and determining their age by looking at their teeth. The phrase has been in use since the 1800s and I wish I knew just how long the teeth of a really old horse are because I was bitten by one of them several years ago and it wasn't funny. Those were some kind of long teeth.

I don't think human teeth continue to grow but our gums recede so our teeth look bigger. What I am absolutely positive of is that human teeth go rogue and have to be excised, pulled or drilled and blasted when they become a problem. I also know that we old folks have a number of proven methods of dealing with teeth and some of them are downright funny.

My Little Grandma lived to be 92 and didn't believe in spending money on teeth. She did want to look nice so she made sure there were teeth in the front of her mouth for show. Since most of the others fell or were pulled out she chewed like a bunny rabbit but could successfully eat a steak with the best of ‘em. She could have afforded any kind of chompers she wanted but that wasn't the point. She liked her originals. I should add that her knife skills were finely honed after cutting food just the right size for bunny chewing those many years.

We have a similar dental plan here. In the old days when we had jobs and insurance we had a whole lot of dental work done. Nick was the first to bail on going to the dentist because he hated it and the guy in the white coat. He drew a line in the sand that went to China and has only seen two dentists in the past 20 years. Both times were for extractions ONLY and each visit was held to a bare minimum of time. The dentists were not allowed to poke and prod other teeth and certainly not permitted to mention a cleaning or any other such kind of talk.

When the insurance ran out I kept going for cleanings and basic care but let's just say that if you happen to be one of my teeth and aren't visible in the mirror, you will be toast if you cause trouble. We no longer have a budget which supports dental care for anything behind the canine. I know it sounds heartless if you happen to like teeth but around here it's the law. I'm not saying it's a perfect scenario. The year a doctor told me my untimely demise was near I began having defective teeth pulled. I'm happy to say I kept living but ended up with a chewing side and a not chewing side. As of yesterday the chewing side took a huge hit.

So long biggest tooth left in my mouth. I have spent thousands of dollars on you and now you decide to mess with me? HA! Here's the deal. I can pay to have teeth taken OUT! Fooled you, didn't I?

I need to say that I am happy for all of you who have teeth and I don't care how you got them. I am fascinated by implants and all the new technology out there to help people keep their smile and their ability to chew. I used to chew gum but that habit went by the wayside when I kept chewing my sunken cheeks. Horses may get long in the tooth but people get long in the face.

Aside from chewing, you need teeth to smile. Smiling is the one sure cure for any sort of disease, disorder or malady in humankind. Smiling is essential to a good day. Experience has taught me that you don't need teeth to smile. You just need a happy heart and the strength to know that how you look to others just doesn't matter. Teeth are just a colorful addition to beautiful smiles but faces tell the whole story. They represent the message of happiness you send to the world.

If you have teeth next to your bed in a glass at night, I'm happy for you because you don't have to get toothpaste all over your clothes and toothbrush spit all over the bathroom like I do. If you have a bridge or some other device I am proud of the fact that you can put it in correctly. After three months, I still put my CPAP mask on wrong more than 30% of nights.

Finally, if you have any teeth at all, it means you are still an original. What more can a Geezer ask for? No laughing. OK, laugh.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.