I had wondered why the television and papers are currently full of horror stories of people who have repaired their own teeth with super glue, or pulled rotten molars with the help of a husky and sleigh; then I realised it is National Smile Month.
I should have guessed this fact sooner, Gary and Harry have had a poster on the wall of a woman’s gleaming smile for a week or so now, although neither of them are particularly good adverts for pearly whites. Harry has long since had yellow teeth after years of smoking and Gary had all of his removed, after most of them were knocked out in a particularly nasty scrap when he was a youngster.
‘You can’t beat a good set of falsies, have kept mine in a glass by the bed for years now’, he pushed them forward with his tongue as if to illustrate the fact. I had to leave the Spar at this point as this particular trick turns my stomach. I have grown up in a family where a host of aunts and grandparents would pop out their dentures at the drop of a hat, when was this ever considered entertainment? I can only be grateful that Simon Cowell is not a fan of false teeth.
Tom, a frequent visitor and stool sitter in the Spar also has very bad teeth, mainly due to a lackadaisical cleaning routine and meanness.
‘I don’t believe in wasting money on expensive toothpaste, I just pop the brush into the sink after I’ve had a wash and a quick scrub round my mouth does the trick...when I remember.’
At this point I would have considered inviting the BBC to come and continue with the ‘Great British Floss Off’ in Pavers Place, but I was too busy retching to follow that particular train of thought.
In celebration of National Smile Month, Gary and Harry have been encouraging the local children to bring in pictures of themselves smiling, to be exhibited on the community board that they have in the shop. Those children who could manage an image of themselves smiling and holding a toothbrush were entered into a prize draw, being inclusive as ever they would accept pictures that the children had drawn themselves.There was some debate over the prize, Harry favoured a box of sweets and a colouring book, Gary felt it should be teeth related. They were already courting controversy as every entrant was given the choice of a brightly coloured and no doubt sugar enhanced lollipop, a deterrent to positive tooth care that Jacinta was quick to point out.
In the end they settled on a toothbrush with a novelty face, some toothpaste and a bag of candy false teeth, a prize to cover all bases.
After Jacinta banging her drum loudly and widely about the thoughtlessness of the lollipops as a prize, the take up had been somewhat minimal by the children, although both Ken and Garth have had one sticking from their mouth every time I have seen them this week. In a desperate measure to get rid of the lollies they had even been offered to Tom, who has never been known to turn down food. However, Jacinta’s message had clearly also reached him and he declined, opting instead to help himself to an apple that was on the cusp of its sell by date.
The next time Tom was seen he had a hot water bottle welded to the side of his face with a thick scarf and a look that screamed lack of sleep, he was also seeking the phone number for the local dentist. Apparently the healthy option had tipped his decaying molar over the edge and it had broken clean in two, leaving exposed nerves and a lot of pain.
A week later Tom was still blaming Jacinta, Harry and Gary for both the physical and mental anguish and the dentists bill, but every time I heard the story it always ended with the words, ;…and you should have seen the size of his drill!’