I went to the dentist today.
Nothing special about that except for the inevitable feeling of creeping dread as I try to shake off the feeling that I might get a cavity even though I’ve been good about brushing my teeth.
Going to the dentist is so stressful. You don’t really think about your teeth (of course unless they’ve been hurting) except for when that terrible dentist appointment appears on your calendar. And then, at least I, start feeling nervous.
Why do we, as the most intelligent beings (supposedly) on this planet, have to spend minutes every day to stick a plastic rod full of strands of nylon in our mouths to clean our teeth off? Why is it that we are the only ones who need to do this? Why are we the only ones who willingly have pieces of metal stuck on our mouth just to straighten our teeth, which never seem to grow straight? Why do we all need our very last teeth pulled?
While I was strolling in a park a while back, I stumbled upon a skull of some sorts (rat, squirrel, something like that). It had very obviously been there for a long time and while some of the face was crushed, the mouth was still intact. And there, gleaming in the bright sun, was a row of lovely straight teeth. Oh, and did I mention how wonderfully white they were?
I don’t know if modernization is helping us in terms of evolution. Our jaws are getting smaller, so our teeth don’t fit in our mouths properly. Our diets are different, so our teeth get dirty easier. We live longer, so we’ll need our teeth to last longer. But instead of letting our bodies figure out a solution, we’ve been fixing it ourselves. And so evolution has stopped being able to do its work.
Evolving isn’t just that suddenly the next generation of people will have a certain trait. I wish it were. But evolution requires gene mutations, a realization that a certain mutation works better in a certain environment, and the death of everyone else. Evolution is harsh. Maybe too harsh for the human race to allow for it to work.
Now, I’m not saying that dentists are bad. I mean look, everyone now had beautiful smiles, no more nagging back teeth, no cavities. But do we really need to pay to have good teeth? Can’t we make that sacrifice to evolution? Or change our diets back to the old ways.
I don’t know where I’m going with this.
Just… You know. Teeth.