Teeth, like a weeping father at a wedding, give you away. Like St Peter, they will betray you three times: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Teeth are a memento mori, a sudden glimpse of the naked skull beneath the skin.
John Patrick Higgins has had bad teeth for as long as he can remember and you might expect him, being English, not to notice. But he has noticed, and he’s doing something about it.
This book recounts his journey from a mouthful of moist gravel to a pristine, pacific smile, with the Pole-star wattage of a Hollywood A-lister.
But first comes the horror of “stabilisation”. The trenches dug into his gums. The water-boarding horror of the dentist’s chair. The deforestation of his bank account.
Will he survive the ordeal? And if he does—blinking into that bright new day—will there be anything to smile about?
Teeth: An Oral History is a bitingly funny story, illustrated by the author, and featuring a glossary of useful terms, as most of his references pre-date the discovery of fluoride.