Thomas walked into Ed’s living room. “Sorry I’m a few minutes late guys. Hope you weren’t waiting. Um, why are you all peering into Penny’s mouth?”
“We’re trying to see if there’s a difference yet,” Betsy said.
“A difference in?”
“I’m sorry, have I missed something? Or is there something different in the coffee this morning?”
Penny pried Ross’s fingers out of her mouth. “I got the tooth paint yesterday. They said it should activate in a day or so. People wanted to take a look to see if they can see a difference today or tomorrow. We’re all going out for lunch tomorrow to take another look.”
“That’s the one where you can’t eat for a couple days? The little buggers eat the plaque and stain off the inside of your mouth, and then die off?”
“Yeah, there’s a couple variations,” Ronnie said. “My hygienist has been giving me hell lately. All that coffee I drink is finally catching up to me, so I’m interested.”
“I’ve never had good teeth, so I’ve been watching this.” Penny said.
“You don’t mind giving up food a couple days? And having something eating the inside of your mouth?” Thomas asked.
“It won’t hurt me to not eat a couple days. There’s still a bit of pudge I’d like to get rid of.” She patted her hip. “I can drink smoothies and such. Just no solid food.”
“Even with the magnifying glass you can’t see anything. We tried,” Ross said.
“Kids. What part of cellular didn’t you understand? So what happens Penny? Is this the one you never brush your teeth again?”
“No, though this could be a first step to that. Think of it as a deep cleaning. What should happen is that I have a day or so of lots of saliva and maybe some odd tastes in my mouth. The hygienist is funny, she told me to channel my inner boy, and feel free to spit my brains out.”
“I have really clean teeth, gums, and other tissue. My dentist wants to take a really close look at my teeth. With them being clean, he can examine if there is a suitable enamel structure to put on a protective coating on my teeth, and a similar one on my gums. Sort of like a clear coat over paint. If the teeth aren’t good, it’s like putting a layer of asphalt on a roadbed that is crumbling away.”
“Your dentist is an optimist,” Hardisty says. “As long as I’ve known you it seems like every time I talked to you, you had a new filling, or something happening to your teeth. Can’t they grow new teeth yet?”
“Well, that’s the thing. They’ve figured out how to trigger that. You start growing new teeth, and your existing ones start loosening and falling out. There doesn’t seem to be any way to speed it up, so it takes just as long as it did when you were a kid. If your wisdom teeth were giving you problems, they will again. If you needed braces, you probably will again. We forget, but you’re likely to be in constant low grade pain. Kids don’t notice because they’ve got so much else going on. They’re pretty sure you’d need to take specific nutritional supplements and you might be restricted on what you can eat in that time. Pretty tough to nibble on a Granny Smith apple when your teeth are loose.”
Hardisty winced. He’d had some loose teeth after a bike crash. He thought it had all healed up, and forgot himself one day. One of the teeth came back out again all covered in blood and apple juice.
“And no Hardisty, you can’t save money and get it second hand by giving me a big wet sloppy kiss. So if we’re all done with my mouth, weren’t we going to go for a run?”