Besides voting, one of the most beloved traditions in the U.S. is paying a visit to the dentist. Today I observed that tradition, and am thankful to report no cavities.
But, while the dentist was billing my insurance company a fortune to shove a pick and a vacuum cleaner in my mouth at the same time, I thought it’d be interesting to peek at the teeth we’re considering putting in the Oval Office…
Election 2008: Presidential Teeth
Meet Hillary Clinton’s teeth. I’m no dentist, but there appear to be about 32 of them, framed by some pinkish reddish lip coloring that’s starting to bleed late in the day. The upper right central and lateral incisors look like they’ve been capped to me.
Continuing on our tour, we arrive at the mouth of Barack Obama. Youth or bleach? Either way, his teeth are whiter, but the gums aren’t as rock-hard as Hillary’s, so I’m guessing Hillary’s a better flosser.
This one’s multiple choice: Who do these teeth belong to?
- A) Godzilla
- B) John McCain?
I’ll give you a clue: Godzilla ain’t running for president.
Last, but definitely not least, let’s take a look at the teeth from an elected president.
Have you ever had a dream where your teeth are all starting to fall out? Well, that happened to George Washington when he was in his twenties. Only he wasn’t dreaming. And contrary to popular belief, his dentures weren’t made from wood. Nope, George Washington’s teeth were composed of gold, ivory, lead, and both human and animal teeth. Try sticking all that in your mouth!
Starbucks and Sonicare
So, anyway, the dental hygienist told me I had a lot of coffee stains on my teeth. I admit, I drink a lot of coffee. It’s a Saturday and Sunday tradition in my family to hit the local coffee shop twice on the weekend for some white chocolate mocha or hot chai tea or anything else that’s really more milk than coffee and comes with a lot of whipped cream on top and costs about $5 a cup.
Then, during the weekdays, I drink whatever the hell’s in the community pot at work, and I get there early, so I’m often not sure if it’s yesterday’s batch that’s been sitting on the burner all night, or something a few minutes old, which just tells you how bad even the fresh stuff is.
But, the hygienist says if I want to keep drinking the coffee, I need a Sonicare Elite electric toothbrush, or my teeth will turn brown. So, now in addition to paying for a coffee habit, I’m faced with blowing a chunk of Bush’s tax rebate on a toothbrush.
What’s Wrong with Bad Teeth
Why are we Americans so obsessed with perfect white teeth, anyway? How did we get here? Was it President Jimmy Carter? Was it the Osmonds?
Used to be, everybody in the world had teeth like Austin Powers. Now you have to spend five grand per child so they can get braces and not stick out like a sore toothy mutation in their high school yearbook.
And why do the British still have such lousy teeth? Here’s a clue: Last summer Americans spent over $80 billion a year at the dentist, but only had to spend $2.50 for a gallon of gas. At that same time, the British were spending over $6.50 per gallon.
Now that gas is headed toward $6.50 in America, I think we’re going to be seeing some pretty ugly teeth in the USA.
Besides braces, Americans spend a load of money on tooth bleaching to keep their pearly whites unnaturally gazillion-candlepower white.
Tooth bleaching isn’t a new thing. It probably started when first century Romans noticed brushing their teeth with their own urine (just how did they figure this out?) made their teeth whiter. Later, barbers (who doubled as dentists before the twentieth century) used nitric acid to whiten teeth.
Sure, acid eroded tooth enamel, and eventually eroded a person’s teeth to tiny little nubs. But they were very white tiny little nubs, however painful. And, like then as now, many believe it’s better to look good than to feel good.
But not me. I’m having another cup of coffee.
[tags]presidential teeth, George Washington’s teeth, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Barack Obama, election 2008, white chocolate mocha, chai tea, coffee stains, tooth bleaching[/tags]