Sunday, 31 May 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 20- Give thanks for Teeth!

I GIVE THANKS FOR MY TEETH

What a strange topic to take seriously and why is it necessary to give thanks for our teeth- natural or false? When you think about it, teeth are majorly important both throughout human evolution and on a personal level. Cutting teeth is often an horrendous experience for a child and in some cases represents the closet a child comes to ultimate pain-(no I haven’t forgotten about colic- some poor infants have a really tough induction into the world!) The first comparison that comes to mind is the pain experienced by millions of women the world over during childbirth. I have chosen to be extreme but think about it for a minute; when we give birth we do have a pre-conceived idea that it’s going to ‘hurt like hell,’ and for the majority of women it does- but what of a tiny baby? How do you explain to a baby that its pain and misery is simply the result of a few teeth cutting their way through their gums?

Once those teeth are actually cut our work begins. We must look after our teeth and our children’s teeth. If your child is on a fantastic natural diet then use natural toothpaste and spring water by all means, however if they love the sweet stuff, give thanks for fluoride in tap water because it really makes a difference to the strength of teeth. Recent generations have far fewer filings and healthier teeth than me and my peers!

We have teeth; we look after them or maybe even lose them through gum disease, accidents or general neglect. We can have replacements, but why are teeth so important? Let’s skip past the hunter/gatherer stage and look at this from a ‘today’ perspective. Beautiful teeth are attractive. Both magazines and TV are full of beautiful people baring beautiful smiles with a row of bright white, immaculate teeth. Wonderful! Nature however isn’t always so accommodating. Some people have huge gaps and others, small jaws- their teeth are too cramped often resulting in the removal of wisdom teeth- daaaam the pain of cutting wisdom teeth shall never be forgotten! I guess they are called wisdom teeth because they erupt in our teens when we are older and wiser and know exactly what they’re doing to us! Dentistry is a science in itself and if you take your children to see a dentist from a young age you will be offered the necessary treatments to maximize the functionality of your child’s teeth.

But what is the functionality of teeth?
Yes we use our teeth to bite- preferably our food! Unfortunately teeth are a tool some children use for communication when they do not possess verbal skills or want attention- can’t talk-BITE! Usually it’s a phase and is short lived however children with specific needs might develop this into a habit and need a little behavioural assistance. As an adult, we may well clench our teeth when mad or frightened and the urge to bite often exists!

The main purpose of teeth is to chew our food. The more time you spend chewing, the more you appreciate the flavours and textures in each mouthful. Without teeth we have a job eating and will be on a far ‘slushier’ diet of blended or soft food. If you have very strong teeth you can find numerous additional uses for them including opening beer bottles! The other pertinent use of teeth is to assist with clear speech and making ourselves easily understood.

I am so thankful for my teeth and one of my biggest nightmares, which apparently is quite common, is losing them all- so these teeth are appreciated subconsciously as well as consciously! Time for a trip to the dentist...

Jaz McKenzie

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