Let’s talk about teeth.  Forget I Should Have Married a Vet, what about a dentist?  Nope.  Not for me.  Put it this way, with the odd exception, vets are good-looking …  Used to be predominantly male, too.  Of course, I am referring to the earnings of a dentist, reflected in the cost of a dentist!

I was there yesterday – at my dentist, that is.  Still following?  Talking of whom, he’s famous, be it that he’s the face of the Colgate Sensodyne advert on TV.  Bless him.  At least he’s able to boost his meagre income!  Anyway, a sucker for punishment, I had an appointment with the hygienist first.  Like Dr Who, the hygienist has had numerous re-incarnations over the years but the latest is the embodiment of a schoolgirl – with a penchant for water, I might add.  Never a fan of the process, I must remember to bring my own towel in future.  Who knew the impromptu facial shower was an added extra …  Next stop, the dentist who, having verbalised the results of his observations to his assistant, tasked with adding to my file, asked me if I knew what he was going to tell me, in conclusion?   Groundhog Day.  For years, he has been trying to convince me of my need for aligners – and, finally, I concede.  My teeth are moving, and my smile, shrinking – no metaphor intended – but, whilst I used to consider any such treatment narcissistic, now I merely remind him that I haven’t, yet, won the lottery – or married a dentist!  Eight thousand pounds is the estimate, apparently.  Small change.  He loves nothing more than to show me his before and after portfolio but it beggars belief how the ordinary person can afford such figures?  Am I missing something?

Teeth.  The importance of … one’s own.  In an egotistical world obsessed by the shallow and materialistic, looks are paramount and, moreover, the quest for eternal youth.  Botox, collagen, fillers … everywhere, to many as natural as oxygen.  I do relish the endless entertainment in guessing who’s had what – Becca being the expert – or just the humour gleaned from the passerby with ‘sucker’ tattooed on her forehead!  For, a multi-million-pound industry, it is built on the egos of fools.  Hang on, though, nobody could call Jane Fonda a fool but have you seen her lately?!  Then, there’s Marie Osmond … once, such a beautiful girl.  How I yearned to – did my best to – look like her in the Seventies.  Her long dark hair, brown eyes and big smile – I said I did my best to – she could so easily have aged gracefully.  Sadly, however, she succumbed.  Barely recognisable as herself, her cheeks have ballooned – turning her once big brown eyes into slits – and her face has lost all definition, devoid of character.  She, of all people, has even had her teeth done!  Cloned.  Conned.  A victim of her own insecurities.

The sheep syndrome.  The desire to be like everyone else.  A concept beyond my comprehension.  In fact, to myself – and Mark-Francis – the thought is positively abhorrent.  However, so much in today’s world depends upon it.  Covid was the exposé and, scarily, the ripples continue to resonate.  Look, act and do as everyone else.  Security in numbers, the individual is no more.  Weirdly, teeth have their part to play.  Big, white and perfect, so the memo demands.  No matter that they are too big for one’s mouth, prohibitive to normal speech.  No matter that they cost thousands and the dentist saw you coming.  No matter that they look ridiculous.  Simon Cowell.  Overgrown trousers up to his armpits, stacked heels, botoxed to within an inch of his life and a big, white uniform smile!  Some dentists have been known to emulate the look, regardless.  For, ultimately – like everything else – it’s all about money.

My teeth are my own.  Nobody else would want them?  Very funny – and wholly irrelevant.  My point is, they have certain features unique to me.  Of the four at the front, the one on the far left – its name escapes me – overlaps, slightly, its neighbour.   Thus, since the beginning of time  – or, at least, since my second teeth grew in – that has been a feature identifiable to only me.  Every photo taken from the left, there it is – and I like it!  So, even if I do win the lottery – or write a future bestseller which, in turn, becomes a cinema blockbuster starring Sandra Bullock, thus ensuring the likes of £8,000 be mere spare cash (phew!) – I have instructed my dentist that I will not have that rectified.  That tooth, to the left, must forever overlap the front one …  He just smiles, clearly thinking who is this nutcase?!  Will he add me to his portfolio of before and afters?  Somehow, I suspect there is more likelihood of him suggesting I annoy another dentist!

Remember, aged four, I picked up my chair and moved it beside a person of my choosing – and that was before I grew the overlapping tooth of which I have become so fond?  No cloning for me, then.  Actually, glancing at my notes, I see the name David Cassidy.  Heartthrob of the Seventies – along with Donny – he had the most amazing smile.  Paul Nicholas was another one.  Neither had perfect teeth but their smiles were recognisable instantly.  Back in the day – halcyon days – when the individual ruled the world; when uniform was the antithesis of perfect.

Don’t worry, next week I’ve got an appointment with the chiropodist!

The things that make me different are the things that make me.’

Winnie the Pooh

This is Trish, signing off.