By Tim Cerantola
I recently took my (twin) daughters to the dentist for their regular check-up.
After asking Doctor Bob about my girl’s soon to arrive adult teeth, he just shook his head sadly and then, with a sympathetic look said…
“Well Tim, due to some over-crowding, their teeth are coming in a little on the crooked side and, there are a few other problems.”
He went on to add that he would not rule out the need for braces for both of them. Oh boy, I thought to myself. This could get expensive – especially with identical twin sets of wandering teeth.
For those of you unfamiliar with the trials of identical twins, as you might imagine, everything always happens in twos – not to mention we usually have to buy two of everything. For us, there is no such thing as hand-me-downs.
Of course with braces, there can’t be hand-me-downs, although, I once saw a 20/20 news program where this orthodontist – in an effort to increase his profits, recycled parts of used braces into the mouths of his unsuspecting patients.
“Bob, please,” I begged, holding back my tears. “Tell me it’s possible, that if I hope and pray and believe in fairies, my daughters’ teeth will find a way to work themselves in a straight and orderly fashion.”
It was then that Bob smiled.
“Tim, it’s hard to say. I guess you can give that fairy thing a shot but, as far as I know, fairies only work with baby teeth. They don’t do orthodontic work.”
Then, Bob just stood there with a distant look in his eyes. Bob’s quite a fishing enthusiast. He was probably dreaming of all the great fishing gear he could buy with the money he’d make straightening the two sets of wayward teeth I just presented him with.
“Tim, I’ll tell you straight.” Bob continued as he handed me a tissue to dry my tears.
“The truth is, in my opinion, some extensive orthodontic work and two kids with braces are in your future.”
I like Dr. Bob. He’s a straight shooter and truly a first-rate tooth-yanker. Over the years, we’ve developed a mutual trust. I trust his dental expertise completely and he puts his fingers in my mouth. Hey, if that’s not trust?
In my fantasy world, I had always dreamed that my daughters would be as brilliant as Albert Einstein; as gentle and as giving as Mother Theresa; as beautiful as Angelina Jolie and, have lovely straight teeth - just like Beyonce. But that was my fantasy world.
Here in the real world, every day millions of parents spend thousands of their hard earned dollars realigning their children’s migratory molars into neat little rows.
“Tell me Bob, why is this happening to so many people?” I whined, er… inquired.
Bob looked thoughtful for a minute and then replied.
“Well Tim, you see in these modern evolutionary times, people generally don’t have wide enough jaws for the 32 teeth nature assigned them. Today, many of us can only handle a deck of 28. Anymore than that and we all start to look like the nutty professor.”
“Now, way back in the olden days of Neanderthal man, humans had enormous jaws and could handle all the teeth that Mother Nature could throw at them. But as we evolved, for some reason our jaws became smaller – well except for Jay Leno’s of course, and now, overcrowding of teeth is very common. In a nutshell, I guess Neanderthal women just didn’t dig the guys with the big jaws any more.”
So there it was, those damned Neanderthals! I should have become an orthodontist. If I had, right now I’d probably be out fishing with Bob as visions of crooked teeth danced in our heads – each fugitive set representing a large appliance or small automobile.
When I finally got home and told my wife, she didn’t seem surprised at the news – although I thought I heard her mutter under her breath, “I should have married Jay Leno.”