Mule Polly and I go to the Dentist
Mule Polly and I both went to the dentist this week. Separately.
We took different approaches to visiting the tooth doc. I brushed and flossed my teeth bleed ’til they damn near bled. Polly just got on the horse trailer.
We drove her over to Dr Hay at Tryon Equine Associates in Tryon.
I’ve been going to the dentist since the tooth fairy shook down my parents for a dollar. This was Polly’s first visit.
That’s the equivalent of a 50 year old woman plopping down in the dental chair and hoping for the best.
In Polly’s case, that’s just how it panned out.
No cavities. No broken crowns. No holes that had to be plugged with a $5,000 implant. Instead, Dr Hay just found a few sharp edges on her upper teeth. He noted that her lower teeth where getting very short. Short but useable. A bucket of water and 20 minutes of rasping later, the sharp edges were gone, leaving Polly with level, if not new, choppers.
All in all Dr Hay said her teeth weren’t too bad for a mule nearing the quarter century mark. He explained that at her age, she’s firmly in middle age. Like me at 51.
It got me to wondering.
So how do my teeth, at an equivalent age, stack up to my mule’s?
At the half-century mark, I’m up to 9 fillings, 5 crowns and a piece of metal stuck in my jaw bone.
I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere. Something about how a life of eating hay and drinking water and pulling heavy objects up the road leads to better teeth than daily flossing, brushing and Friday night burgers.
Right, the logic’s skewed. But briefly, it had me pondering switching to mule Polly’s dentist.
If you haven’t already, you can stream the “Lost Sea Expedition”, the public TV series about mule Polly’s walk across America, right here on Amazon
(Post scrip: I’m actually very happy with my dentist Dr Grimes. I’d sign Polly up for his annual dental program but I don’t think his dental chairs and tools are large enough).
(Post Post script: another piece on how Polly’s teeth relate to an ancient marine creature is here).