Now rinse.

This week, my tooth broke.

Or to be more precise, a week or so ago, I was chewing on something (what, I can't remember, despite being politely grilled by my wonderful dentist on the subject), and I felt a sharp pain in my jaw. My face hurt for the next couple of days, and off and on for the following week. I was beginning to be worried that I was developing a cavity when I got on a plane for a brief visit to San Francisco.

The next day, I was sitting in a 7am meeting in California (which has taken the all of the nice weather you've been missing. It was in the 70's, with bright clear skies, which was enough to make me remember that as happy as I was to move away from the state, there were a couple of things about it which could make me understand why others chose to live there and put up with The Crazy). While I was sitting there, tongue-poking that sore spot in my mouth, I felt a little wobble, and then *ptui*, about a quarter of one of my molars popped out. Which I'm pretty sure isn't supposed to happen.

On the other hand, if it was going to happen, there couldn't have been a better place for it. We had always kept our relationship with our San Francisco dentist, rather than finding a British one. I mean, seriously, wouldn't you? So I called her up about a minute after her office opened, and she asked me a thousand questions about what happened, and was I in any pain (surprisingly, no), and was there any blood (no), and was I sensitive to temperature (again, no), and was there a sharp throbbing if I tilted my head back (still no).

Reassured that my head was not about to split in two, she scheduled me to come in the next day. I normally look forward to dentist visits like.. well, you look forward to a dentist visit. Even though there wasn't any more pain, I was dreadfully afraid to actually what I feared were the precarious remains of my tooth in the back mouth, and ate only soft foods on the other side of my head that evening. I kept up a dialogue with the tooth to reassure it that I was going to avoid anything untowards in its direction, to make the remains stayed intact. "Ok, tooth. I'm going to eat this soup now. But I'm going to slosh it on the other side of my mouth. I know that you haven't expressed any sensitivity to hot things, but I don't want to press our luck." I wrapped up the bit of tooth that fell out in a large napkin, just in case the dentist wanted to examine it for clues.

When I got to the dentist's office, the dental assistant hurried me back into the chair, put a bib on me and put the xray tube around my face and into my nostril and about thirty other angles to get an indepth look at the damage. While she was waiting, the dentist came in and spread out an array of instruments on my chest.

"Have you had any pain since yesterday?"

"No. Actually it's been fine."

"Ok. Open wide."






"Oh my."


"Are you sure this didn't hurt?'

"Aaaaghh-huuaahghh. Waaggghee?"

"This looks like it should have hurt."


"Catherine. Please get me the extractor."


"Hehee.. Sorry. It's just a small, shallow spoon-shaped scraper."

"Aaagh. Aaghh-kaeag."

"Next time, maybe I should ask for the small, shallow spoon-shaped scraper."

"Aagh-huuaggh. Ggaadfenagtly."

About an hour later, she had filled in the gap, and still no pain. Apparently, the whole thing didn't expose the never ending, and a day later, my tooth is as good as new. I've always known it, but this is one seriously good dentist. And I have a whole lot of literature on flossing. Which I fully intend to follow. Just so I never come so close to soiling myself because of a small, shallow spoon-shaped scraper again.

The Critter wants me to bring the bit of tooth home with me, to put under my pillow. She's growing more disappointed that she hasn't had any wobbly teeth yet, and wants to see if the tooth fairy will show up for grown-ups. I'm hoping that she does, and that she has upped the pay-out since my last visit. I'm thinking that kind of scare deserves more than a fifty cents.