Belfast Telegraph

State of my own mouth testimony to years of sweets

By Matthew McCreary

As my expanding waistline over the years can attest, I do have something of a sweet tooth. While my contemporaries would salivate over the latest football strip or BMX bike, from a young age I was always drawn to the lurid wrappers and eye-popping hit of a garishly-coloured chew bar or oversized gobstopper in our local corner shop.

With that addiction came the attendant teething troubles of endless fillings, root canal surgery and even one or two complete extractions - indeed I have another one due in a fortnight's time.

Over the years it has probably added up to several hundred (if not thousand) pounds' worth of treatment.

I can't blame my parents. They were horrified recently to discover that as a youngster I used to nip round to a kindly elderly neighbour, minutes before my dinner, to ask for a chocolate biscuit.

As a dad myself, though, I am determined that my own children, aged five and one, will never have to go through the excruciating pain of an abscess, thanks to a rotting nerve in their jaw.

To this end, my wife (perfect teeth, no fillings) and I are religious about ensuring our eldest brushes rigorously every night and that my youngest's emerging milk teeth are similarly inspected.

And in this regard at least, there is one definite benefit to a mouth full of dodgy molars - every time my eldest asks for "one more sweetie" all I have to do is tell her to look inside my mouth...

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