“You’d still be in bumble f*ck, only minus 3 teeth.”

This was my girlfriend’s response when I asked rhetorically, ‘where would I be without you?’

When we met I was in agony with my teeth. I battled through a couple of dates, but I remember early on in the relationship going to a friend’s BBQ, I told her I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to have to go to hospital to get some drugs until the dentist open in the morning.

She came with, held my hand. I was in so much pain I was hammering the horn on the steering wheel, just venting wildly. Eventually I got some meds in A&E and was sedated for a few hours.

The next day at the dentist they told me they’d have to extract the tooth.

“This is the year 2016, no one is pulling teeth out,” was Anastasia’s response. She took me to her dentist in London where I got a different prognosis. It wasn’t even the right tooth they’d prescribed for extraction.


They saved the tooth, and another one that was also on the verge of going out of business. She had saved 2 teeth. A year later I needed a further operation with the same dentist, of whom I’m now also indebted. Gavin the root canal expert and everyone else down at Finsbury Dentist in Liverpool Street.

It’s a stereotype for a reason. Us British have f*cked up teeth. My Dad never went to a dentist a day in his life. His teeth must have given him indescribable pain but he never spoke about it.

(The only time I remember it being discussed was when I overheard my Mum ask my Dad in the next room. “What’s the matter John? What’s the matter, is it your teeth?” I heard no response).


Over Xmas my Mum’s tooth broke. We phoned up the emergency dentist and not only did he refuse to come out, he suggested that if it got painful my Mum remove it herself. That’s Spire dentistry by the way, I will name and shame because that’s the reason I built a f*cking pirate ship.

Although the management of Spire phoned the next day to apologise for the lack of support, it’s still a microcosm of how fundamentally poor our attitude is towards our oral health in the UK.

So turning 40, still got all my own teeth. Thanks to my girl, thanks to Finsbury Dental Care. Look after your teeth people. Lay off the fizzy drinks, the milk chocolate, the fruit teas and don’t forget to floss.

If your dentist wants to pull out a tooth, get a second opinion, from another dental care. This is 2019, we’re not pulling teeth anymore.

(I wrote this on the plane, I took the pictures around my family home in Cambridgeshire at Xmas).


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