ZELLA COMPTON: Our dodgy teeth are what make us British

If I was going to have my time again, and I had smaller hands and thinner fingers, I might consider becoming a dental specialist.

Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 8:00 pm
Zella isn't sure whether she actually wants perfect teeth

To repair and replace, and give people the perfect smile.

And, if I was going down that route, I certainly wouldn’t be asking questions while I had a hand, mirror and prodding implement stuffed in a patient’s mouth.

Not that any of that happens at my children’s orthodontic surgery where my third child is entering into the wonderful world of fixing.

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Seriously, they’re great there, especially in comparison to my painful experiences of being cemented-up and having to wear a metal head brace at night.

That was an extended piece of wire around the back of my head. I was left with wire marks deeply indented in my cheeks every morning.

Now patients not only have dentists with much smaller fingers – this is true – they also have their choice of colourings to decorate their braces, though why anyone would choose to go for green blobs stuck all over their mouths is quite beyond me.

Surely that would look like bits of lettuce stuck in your mouth?

Watching a brace being fitted is compelling, especially the team-work between installer and assistant, the ballet of instruments and hand-overs. It’s amazing to see those partnerships in action and hear insider snippets, like some of the products that are used in dental orthodontics are made to taste vile in order to cut down on the amount of saliva produced during the process. We humans drool as dogs.

I’m thinking it might be time for me to visit a specialist as my once almost-perfect teeth (three years with train tracks still left me with a gap – nightly retainers? Ha. Not invented then) are on the move again, prowling around with my mouth with a pile-up in mind.

Seemingly this is quite normal as we get older, but I’m not too keen on the crone look yet. I’ve only just about accepted my move into mother life stage (from maiden) and to now move to wicked witch feels premature.

But can I bring myself to face it again, and also the cost, as it’s not cheap? Will I be able to recognise the line I want to stop at, the one which is about when my teeth still look like my teeth, and the jaggedly bits along the bottom aren’t all shaved off, and they’re not died white and in fact look like they’ve stepped out of an American toothpaste commercial?

I find a sense of identity of being British with my teeth. A little way away from being perfect will suit me just fine thank you very much.


There was an interesting article in the paper last week about the people who live in the strip of land between Baton Rouge and New Orleans along the banks of the Mississippi River.

There’s been a study done about quite how polluting the oil ‘refineries’ are that line the banks – very.

Until now it’s not been proof enough that there’s a 700 per cent increase in the number of people suffering from cancer there.

But new data shows, yet again big oil-based business, is bad for the environment and the people within it. My heart goes out to these campaigners who are trying to take down the company responsible, it’s a David and Goliath moment.

After spending time there last Christmas, I hope they manage to salvage their lands.


Have we finished with the snow now this year? I hope so.

I’m a humbug about it all as it interferes with my driving. We live near the only hill in the locale, and it’s more of a slope, but still I worry every time that I go down it on ice.

One year it was snowing and I was on my way to drop my children at breakfast club. ‘Brace, brace, brace’ I yelled as we glided in a direction which I was not intending, with a metal fence looming large.

Luckily, as they had no idea what I was yelling about, we didn’t hit the fence, and survived to drive another day.

It never seems to get any better, with roads and drivers and cyclists and pedestrians always unprepared, bring back spring, I say.