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Something The Tooth Fairy Never Mentioned

Sometimes conversations don’t at all go in the direction you were expecting.

One moment you’re talking about balloons as cat toys and the fact that your wisdom tooth is digging into your cheek, and the next the conversation has taken a sharp left turn and you are hearing a sentence that doesn’t seem relevant in the slightest.

“Before you get pregnant, it’s vital you get any dental issues out of the way.”

“Excuse me?”

This conversational clanger had been dropped in – apropos of nothing – by my mother. Just to be very clear, I have no plans to get pregnant. None at all. I am not a broody person. When I see babies* on the street I smile politely, that is all. As a general rule, babies hate me. They tend to respond to my touch with shrieking cries of instant unhappiness; I think they can sense my fear.

“Yes, teeth before you get married. It’s very important.”

I narrowed my eyes and squinted at the wall, hoping the paint markings might provide some insight regarding this sudden non sequitur.

“What- I mean, why- “

In my mind, question marks popped like bubbles. I stumbled over my words before deciding that ultimately, wherever this road was leading wasn’t worth it. The journey would be too painfully infuriating. I massaged my forehead with my fingertips.

“… Never mind…”

I needn’t have bothered. My mother simply continued as if I hadn’t interjected at all.

“You know, before my sisters and I got married, my father took us each to the dentist in turn to get our mouths fixed up.”

“… What now?”

“Yes, each of us in turn. Right before our weddings. It’s crucial to get it all done before you get pregnant.”

My head fell back and I eyed the ceiling as I imagined some faceless man pulling at lips and examining gums and checking teeth before slapping my mother and my aunts on the back and calling them “Fine fillies!”

… Or whatever the Spanish term is for good broodmares.

There was a long, yawning silence as I debated whether or not I wanted to continue this bizarre and mildly disturbing line of conversation.

Anyway-” I started over in an attempt to change the subject.

“I’m serious. Teeth are very important to get fixed before you get married.”

“Okay, but I mean-“

“It has to be before you get pregnant.”

“Okay but I never said-“

“So you should do it quickly now.”

“Well I mean there’s definitely no rush-“

“You should definitely do it next month.”

As somebody who has no plans, somebody please explain this logic to me. Is this some sort of strange common-but-unspoken thing that I have never heard of? Do people go to the dentist to get “their mouths fixed” before they marry? Is there any reason you wouldn’t get your mouth fixed before then?

There is nothing wrong with my wisdom teeth; they’re good teeth, Brent. They are, however, growing into a mouth where all the space is currently occupied, so I just feel like they may have to vacate the premises. It’s on the long list, you know? Riiiiiiiiight below growing my hair out and finding a dress to wear at Christmas and going to Dubai and getting a job that will pay for both the dentist and the dress.

So you know, on the list, but down a bit.

No, down further.

Further. Keep going. Yep, next page.

There it is!

*In comparison, when I see a dog on the street my eyes turn into lovehearts and I make a beeline for them so I can pet them and tell them they’re beautiful. Can you be dog broody?




    β€œFine fillies!” hahahaha! You crack me up!!!!! Ok, so yea, my mother in law was like ” It could happen soon!” And I held back from saying ” Your son has a vasectemmmyyyy” lol

  • nerdywordybirdy

    Girl yes! I’ve been reading things lately about how pregnancy can do weird things to your teeth…who knew?! I’m already with you on the “no thanks” to babies, and this doesn’t make that any better.

  • josypheen

    Yes. Yes you can be dog broody, or kitten broody!

    I have honestly never heard of getting your teeth fixed before you get pregnant. I think in the UK you get free dental treatment while you’re preggers…so isn’t it better to wait!?

  • Anthony

    I have no idea what your mother is talking about. Of course I have no idea what my mother is talking about most of the time. I’ve given up saying I don’t know and making up complete lies–usually really large ones.
    For example, she asks (out of the blue obviously) “Who is that guy on the TV show I like?”
    I answer “Ernest Borgnine.” because it is easier than asking the ten or so questions it will take to figure out what TV she is talking about and the five or six questions to find out who she is referring to.”
    I have explained how Google works, but so far she hasn’t caught on.

  • Soul Gifts

    Lol – I wonder if this is the kind of conversation my kids have about me. Sans teeth and babies – ‘cos they aren’t in the big picture for them either. Babies that is.

  • Angela

    Hmmmm maybe she is making reference to the fact that you won’t have time to look after yourself (or your teeth) once you have a husband/children to look after, I mean who has time for appointments when there are houses to be cleaned and cakes to be baked, haha. Really though I think she is hinting at grandchildren it’s a test, if you get your teeth fixed soon she’ll be delighted because it means there’s a chance!

  • Angela

    Ok, my iphone stalks me and has just brought up a cosmetic dentistry AD that says gum disease affects your fertility!!!!! ‘Getting a professional clean can get you pregnant 2 months quicker’ πŸ˜‚

  • endardoo

    You could just get your wisdom tooth sorted and then not get pregnant β€” that might throw her … or you could buy a pregnant dog with great teeth and blow mom’s mind altogether.

  • calijones

    I’m currently experiencing some severe tooth pain while waiting for a root canal, so ofc I’ve read all about it. Apparently if you have a tooth infection that goes too long without being treated, it can cause blood infections, which are more dangerous for a pregnant person. And, I’d guess (because I don’t *know”), harder to put the pregnant person under anaesthetic or antibiotics while pregnant. So… now you know!

    Moms expecting you to have a baby right away though, a very common occurrence, if not equally as annoying! πŸ˜‰

  • Eunice

    When I was pregnant back in the mid 1970s I was told to take care of my teeth or I could have problems, ie worst case scenario they could all fall out! Although that’s not strictly true, and pregnancy doesn’t automatically damage your teeth, the increased hormones can, in some women, lead to gum disease and increased risk of tooth decay – so your mum is right in a way but it isn’t as bad as she makes it sound πŸ™‚

    Oh, and I’d rather have dogs than babies any day πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Annie Rosenbush

    Judging by my awesome and incredibly supportive friends, I must have done something right in my life. πŸ€—

  • The Wayfarer

    I would say get your wisdom teeth pulled as soon as you can, because the longer you wait the more likely they are to cause complications. I got mine pulled at 23. But like, don’t get them pulled for the sake of the future children you don’t want to have. That’s silly.

  • Awkwardly Alive

    What a bizarre line of logic…. I mean, you should definitely probably get those teeth pulled (I say hypocritically as I have mine coming in and causing great discomfort, and yet I sit here doing nothing about them….), but… Wait… are your teeth in your uterus? Did I miss something here?

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