FAMILY TEETH

 

teds-view

Copyright–Ted Strutz

It’s time again for the new Friday Fictioneers’ weekly story challenge. This challenge is to write a story with no more than 100 words. It’s supposed to have a beginning, middle, end, and follow the picture prompt supplied for that week. The hostess for Friday Fictioneers is the  gracious, talented, and dedicated author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week the prompt is a photo supplied by Ted Strutz. Thanks Ted.

http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/13-june-2014/

Genre: Non Fiction

100 Words

FAMILY TEETH by P.S. Joshi

Each member of our family had a different dental history.

My brother, twenty years older, had a bridge. When I was little, he’d take it out to hear me laugh. He was missing every other tooth in one part of his mouth.

Dad went to the dentist once in his life, as a child. In middle age that tooth came out, but the filling remained.  Years later, Mom pressure cooked his food.

Mom was overjoyed to finally get upper and lower dentures.

Almost every tooth in my mouth was filled before age twelve by a dentist who didn’t use Novocaine; fun.

friday-fictioneers

Advertisements

60 thoughts on “FAMILY TEETH

  1. I read in a novel that some dentists in last century used to charge extra for the local and many who could not afford it got their dental fillings and extractions sans novocaine.
    I hope you made it up and it is not true.

    Great write. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks,Yarnspinner. It was true, but he didn’t extract any of my teeth, just filled them. Some dentists don’t like to take a chance with Novocaine unless absolutely necessary because some people have a problem with it. I suppose he was especially concerned because he only treated children and I was a child. He didn’t want to take a chance. He was the only dentist I went to at that age (until I was 12) so I don’t know what other dentists were doing. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

    • Thanks Sandra. My mother used to say that we had “soft teeth”, but the dentist told my son that he had an acid in his saliva that ate into the enamel. I think we inherited that from my mother. I had my children’s teeth coated by a protective coating the dentist recommended when they were small. It eventually wore off but helped them through part of their childhood. My dad just had gum disease. He’d never go to the dentist. —Susan

      Like

    • Thanks so much for all the encouragement Mr. Binks. I’m getting a lot of advice on writing from the members of Friday Fictioneers. I also try to read info on writing and I guess I must be absorbing some of it. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

    • Thanks Alicia. I’m glad you liked the story. From what Nan wrote, I guess there was more than one dentist who disliked using Novocaine, especially on children. When I was young, there was no floride in the toothpaste or added to the water and flossing wasn’t as well advertised. There are still dentists who only use Novocaine if the patient thinks it’ll be necessary. In some places I understand that floride occurs naturally in the water. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

    • Thanks Siobhan. My kids have never minded going to the dentist either. I think if the pain is removed the fear goes with it. I had to laugh about the first time my daughter went at about the age of 3. Unknown to me, the neighbor had given her an Oreo cookie to eat just before we went. The dentist didn’t know what to think when he looked at her teeth and saw “black.” 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  2. I’ve never enjoyed the dentist (does anybody?) but didn’t have any of the problems you and your family had. I hope you found a dentist who dealt in pain relief in the end.

    Like

    • Thanks El. I did later go to dentists who gave Novocaine. I now have a dentist in India who’s trained and equipped to use a laser. When we moved to our last location in the U.S., I found a family dentist who believed in pain relief and my children were never afraid to go for check-ups and treatment. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  3. Oooh, that family doesn’t have very lucky dental history, huh? I’m so sorry to hear that they filled your teeth without Novocaine! 😦 I had my four molars filled when I was seven-ish, and I don’t remember excruciating pain- so I’m assuming they gave me sooomething. So apparently they had a solution for the pain, but I still have the ugly silver fillings instead of the ceramic ones that came later.
    Very interesting story that has clearly evoked everyone’s dental memories! 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks Adelie. Over the years I’ve collected silver, gold, and ceramic. Almost all my molars are capped. The dentist I go to now uses a laser and Novocaine. My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed at the dentist’s suggestion because her teeth are close together like mine. They have much better methods and materials these days. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  4. When I was a kid many dentists didn’t use novocaine unless absolutely necessary. Hopefully they didn’t get off on this. My dentist did not use it and I remember the pain back then of having teeth drilled. But haven’t had that experience since I was a kid. The poor family in this story! Probably not a one of them ever had corn on the cob.

    Like

    • Thanks Perry. This was a true story and that was my family. We did eat corn on the cob. My dad did somehow and my mom had good dentures. I guess my brother did also. He’d married and left home by the time I was growing up. There are probably still those dentists who don’t like to use Nonocaine but we don’t go to them any more. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  5. My dad had gum disease, pyorrhea I believe. He didn’t have any cavities, but had to have all this teeth pulled since they didn’t know how to treat the disease in those days. I’ve got a bridge, which is fascinating to my grandkids.

    Like

    • Thanks Russell. My dad had pyorrhea also. Since he’d never go to the dentist, his teeth just fell out. He ended up with two teeth at the age of almost 83 when he died. He didn’t understand the disease and was just pleased he didn’t have pain. Mom used to pressure cook the food to make it easier for him to eat. She had upper and lower dentures and was pleased they fit well. She used to say that some people’s dentures weren’t a good fit. She was happy to get all of what remained of her natural teeth pulled because she said they’d caused her so much trouble. Actually, dentures are less expensive than dental care if you want to look at it that way. I chose not to look at it that way and have spent a lot of money going to dentists. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  6. Dear Susan, I’m right there with you. I have a couple of friends and a husband that really don’t know what it feels like to have a tooth/nerve drilled on. Lucky them. Stay in there! Have a good week! Nan 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks Nan. When I read your story, I thought, “Well, there was more than one dentist who thought that way and didn’t like using Novocaine.” Not only that, but the drills were slower then than now. I wonder if those same dentists requested Novocaine when they had their teeth worked on. That dentist even told me I could stand a lot of pain. That didn’t help a bit. 😦 You have a good week too. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

    • Thanks Rochelle. You could call it dark comedy. At times humor pulls you through. It’s one of those situations where you can look back and laugh, or kid about it, but not at the time. People call those the “good old days.” That’s only because they tend to forget the pain that went along with them. I guess that’s a good thing. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

    • Thanks Amy. I guess when you’re a child you accept what comes. My dad got the name of that dentist from his cousin who lived across the street from the dentist’s office. That cousin’s kids went there also. My dad’s cousin didn’t go there himself as the guy was a children’s dentist. In those days I guess the older people just accepted pain as part of tooth care. I’m glad you liked my piece. I decided to go with Non Fiction on this one.

      Like

    • Thanks Maree. I’m glad you liked the story. I decided to go with Non Fiction this time. My family had trials with their teeth. I bet that backdrop of my blog does look familiar. I think it’s really beautiful. I like the simple, clean, and uncluttered look of it. I’m not especially interested in collecting and displaying awards. There’s nothing wrong with awards and displaying them, but I’m not all that competitive. I’m interested in finding out what other, more experienced writers think of my work and using their advise to improve. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  7. You’ve just exhibited how every tooth is a visual story of the owner of the mouth it’s rooted in! When I was a little schoolgirl we were forced to have dental treatment in a dental ‘caravan’ which toured the schools. Anaesthetic was never an option. I was terrified of the dentist and have never forgotten his name. On one occasion he sent me to the local shop to buy him a banana. I forgot what he wanted on the way and inventively brought him back a packet of 5 Woodbines (cigarettes my mother used to smoke). It was the first and only time I saw the man smile! Ann

    Like

    • Thanks Ann. That was inventive. You were a smart little girl. They did have a dentist come to the school where I taught once, but I don’t remember one coming to the school I attended. There was a doctor who came and checked all the kids when I was in 4th Grade. My dad took me to my school when I was older to get the oral polio vaccine.
      The kids today don’t know what we went through. Going to the dentist starting when you’re young doesn’t seem to be as important in India. You find young adults here from even middle class families saying they’ve never been to the dentist and don’t intend to go. Bleeding gums are common. I don’t think they even understand what’s happening to them. Thanks for sharing that story. Hearing from others who went through those times lets me know I wasn’t alone. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  8. Interesting format. I’ve always thought dentists have a torturer gene hidden somewhere in their dna. My family history is similar to yours, except that my Dad had his teeth cleaned while in the military in the 1930s and the guy “cleaned” off most of the enamel. Needless to say, he had tooth problems for the rest of his life. Even after he got full dentures, they didn’t fit well and He only wore them for special occasions.

    Like

    • Thanks Melody. Over the years I’ve been to a number of dentists, mostly good but one that wasn’t. He didn’t know how to properly put on a cap and I had to have it replaced by a better dentist.That dentist called his assistant over and asked her if she wanted to see a bad cap. That was a shame about your dad. I had an uncle who had all his teeth pulled because a doctor told him they were causing him to have arthritis. He then had to get dentures and they didn’t fit well. My mom said his teeth had looked beautiful to her.He had really needed a second opinion.My mom was fortunate that her dentures fit perfectly. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  9. There are some things it’s sometimes better not to have inherited. I’m not sure waht to say about your story, I’m still seeing your dad’s toothless mouth and the remaining filling 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks Sarah Ann. My dad actually was a good-looking man and he didn’t look as bad without his teeth as some. I remember there was an old actor, Walter Brennan, who lost his teeth in WWI when he was younger. When he wanted to play an older man, he’d take out his dentures. The only way you could tell Dad didn’t have teeth was that his cheekbones were more prominent since he didn’t have teeth to fill out his face. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  10. I have bad teeth and it’s no fun! I inherited it on my father’s side. Darn those genetics. I thought it was cute of your brother taking his bridge out to hear you laugh. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks Lily. I’ve had to spend a lot of money on my teeth. I could hardly believe it one time when a friend told me she’d never had to have a filling. There are people who inherit excellent teeth and then there are the rest of us. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

  11. it may have been painful to have the dental work done with the Novocaine, but maybe saved you from getting unnecessary toxins at an early age. i like the flow of your story, how you relate the different dental history of this family. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks Sun. I can understand about the Novocaine as I read about it later. Some people have trouble with it. I’m glad you liked the story. It was completely factual. I decided to go Non Fiction with this one. 🙂 —Susan

      Like

      • This story reminded me of my first experience with a dentist. I’m sure my fingerprints are still pressed into the dentist chair arms–No Novocaine, smoke from drilling and bits of tooth flying from my mouth. This story really touched a nerve with me. 🙂 Thanks for the story.

        Like

      • Thanks Barry. From the comments I’ve received, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of dentists didn’t use Novocaine then. I don’t know how many don’t now. Those old slower drills they had when I was a child were no fun either. 😦 And they call them the “good old days.” 🙂 —Susan

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s