Thursday, 6 September 2012

Pearly whites


This is how our evenings go at the moment. The Boy has a couple of teeth coming through. So far, he's not been too bad during his normal sleeping hours, but between 7pm and 9pm is pretty bad. He goes through periods of screaming in complete torment. We've tried teething powders, with mixed results, a gel which was rubbish, and various teething toys, which are of limited use because they're mostly too big for the Boy to fit into his own mouth - he takes them out, can't get them back in, and then gets upset.

The only things that work reliably are parental fingers and paracetamol, although the former is awkward and we are trying to keep the latter for particularly bad teething episodes.

It makes me wonder why we have teeth. I mean, when you think about it, it's a pretty inefficient system. You get some that last for about 5-10 years, at the expense of a great deal of discomfort. Then, they all fall out, and you get the next set of teeth, which are meant to last decades.

And if something happens to one of your adult teeth, you're done. I've got a missing molar because I decided I'd rather do without it than have root canal immediately before and after my wedding. I got it out at 25 and will never get it back.

Hearing the Boy, I wonder if we'd be better without teeth altogether. We'd probably eat far more vegetables, which would be better for the planet. Although I'd miss my steak - maybe toothless humans would cook it and chop it up very finely, like steak tartar, for special occasions?

Or we could regrow teeth every ten or twenty years. This would still leave us stuck with teething pains. And with a lot more extra teeth to dispose of. Too many for the tooth fairy to deal with. You could chuck them, or make them into a necklace, or make them into a model castle or similar.

So, if you had to choose between continually regrowing teeth and no teeth, which would you pick? And, if it was the former, what would you do with all your discarded teeth?

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