Aging, Gratitude, Menopause, Teeth

A Toast to the Tooth Fairy and My Dentist

A hearty toast to our old friend the Tooth Fairy:

                       Here’s to the old tooth under the pillow,

                        Here’s to the space that it left behind,

                        Here’s to the new tooth soon to follow,

                        Here’s to the Tooth Fairy, generous and kind.

It seems only yesterday that I was leaving my teeth under pillows. Now they crumble away in my mouth.

Well not all of them, at least not yet, but those molars fat with fillings do tend to give way.  But in all, we’re told:  “Practice gratitude.”

And I am grateful.  I’m grateful for a dentist who can fix up my failing teeth.  Thank you, Dr. Cheek (his real name, I promise), and to your assistants.  I’m grateful for fast drills, Novocain, magic moldly stuff that turns into a fine fake tooth, and the glue that holds it in.

Recently, I toured the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore.  If you’re grumpy about going to the dentist, you need to check out the old instruments in this museum.  OUCH, OUCH, and OUCH.  You’ll never complain about a visit to your 21st Century dentist again.  Better yet, bring him or her a present!  I’m giving mine a Tooth Fairy necklace.

Happy Birthday on Wednesday, to my daughter Katherine, who left notes to the Tooth Fairy asking her to please leave the money but let Kath keep the tooth!  You encourage me every day with your boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Photo:  The glow-in-the-dark Tooth Fairy necklaces and flavored dental floss are souvenirs I purchased in the museum’s funky gift shop.  My poem “A Toast to the Tooth Fairy” (© Barbara Younger, 1998) was first printed in June Cotner’s Family Celebrations:  Prayers, Poems, and Toasts for Every Occasion.  Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1999.

18 thoughts on “A Toast to the Tooth Fairy and My Dentist”

  1. Lettuce floss!?!? Even I, lover of kale chips, find that unappealing! I’ll take cool mint please.

    I believe many of my teeth are still in my memory box in your house!


  2. Love the idea of frosting flavored dental floss but I’d probably gain weight if I used it! Cool about the dentistry museum. I’ve seen some of those old time instruments; bet they would quality as instruments of torture. Cheers to modern dentistry!


  3. I have a love/hate relationship with dentists and with my teeth! As many of my friends know, I have had terrible teeth problems–I have 3 bothering me right now! And this is where major procrastination comes in–don’t think any of the good suggestions made earlier about procrastination will apply to my making an appointment with the dentist. I know what to expect if I don’t call the dentist soon–excruciating pain! But often it takes that to get me to go. Sad, but logic just doesn’t work in this case for me. Too many bad memories at the dentist. But once they make the pain go away, I am very thankful for them and especially for all the modern equipment they have. And for Novocain or whatever numbing agent they use now. My very first experience at the dentist as a young child was horrible as he didn’t use any numbing medicine. Ouch! So every day I get up and say call the dentist today, you fool. And then conveniently time goes by and it is too late to call. The only good thing to come out of my horrible teeth problems is that my children have watched me suffer through alot of it and they try really hard to take good care of their teeth so they don’t have to go through what I have.


    1. Oh gosh, I’m sorry you are having such troubles. I had the same childhood dental trauma–all the way to age 14. Those dentists (who could have given us pain medicine) are NOT on my fondly remembered list.


  4. Thanks for helping me remember how grateful I am to modern dentistry. We do take these virtually pain-free experiences for granted.

    Thanks also for dropping by feisty. It’s great to have a new cyber friend. And a huge happy birthday to Kathy!


  5. My tooth broke last week for the first time and when I called my Dentist office.. I was told.. “its the age”.. The next morning I was in the chair for 2 1/2 hours. The first time in 21 years that I had ever needed work done!! My Dentist was so amazing!! He took his time, explained my options to me and really listened. I walked away with a really big filling , instead of a crown and he said he bought me 10 years(until a crown). Yahoo. I am 47 and I am on a pilgrimage to Menopause and I relate to each entry you write and I love your blog.. Thank You.


    1. Laura,

      “It’s the age!” Fun (sort of)–at least a lot of us are in this tooth breaking together. The good news for you if that tooth gives way someday around the filling is that the crown is a piece of cake, as most of the tooth is already gone. (I just had one of those done–the inspiration for the post.)

      Thank you so much for you kind words about the blog. Please help me spread the word by sending the link to your friends.



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