On being smug, blaming Pepper Pig for cavities in teeth, and three solutions to all the world’s problems

I was planning to be all smug in this post and write about how vegans can make their own milk from a packet of soy beans while non-vegans have to find a cow to milk. Unfortunately my first attempt at making soy milk created a watery and slightly gritty mess. I tipped it down the sink. I milked a cow once and it was easier. I’ll go back to buying soy milk from the supermarket.

Elizabeth told me recently that Pepper Pig is to blame for her cavities. A few years ago the dentist found three cavities in Elizabeth’s mouth. This was a shock to all the rest of us who have near perfect teeth. She now has three stainless steel caps on her back baby teeth – they’ll fall out when she’s about 10. Since that episode both children floss their teeth everyday. What has this got to do with Pepper Pig? Apparently when Pepper Pig brushes her teeth she just goes back and forth across the front and doesn’t clean the back teeth and Elizabeth says she was copying Pepper Pig and not cleaning the back teeth. I was all prepared to take the blame myself but if Pepper Pig is a willing scapegoat I’m not going to stand in her way.

I went to the allotment last Saturday after a two-week hiatus and I was expecting to see it completely overgrown with weeds. Much to my delight and gratitude a whole section was freshly dug and ready for me to plant some seedlings. There are volunteers who work at the allotments doing things like digging, painting, and various other jobs and someone had cleared a patch of weeds in our plot. Isn’t that amazing! I think some of the volunteers might be on a waiting list for their own plot while others like the work but don’t want the responsibility and maybe some are looking for a place to bury a body. Whatever the reason I feel very fortunate to be a part of this community. Every country should have allotments for its citizens. Imagine if impoverished countries had something like this? It could go a long way to solving the problems of hunger and malnutrition. I have a three solutions for most of the world’s problems: cycling, veganism, and allotments.


5 thoughts on “On being smug, blaming Pepper Pig for cavities in teeth, and three solutions to all the world’s problems”

  1. I was somewhat cavity-prone as a kid (although not baby teeth IIRC, so perhaps not so much so as Elizabeth). My somewhat subjective conclusion based on my dental history and some fairly detailed discussions with dentists is that while any added sugar can be an issue, the absolute worst is sugary candies, in particular the hard ones that spend a lot of time in contact with one’s back teeth. One dentist of many decades experience pointed out that over time such candies spend many hours in contact with teeth, and brushing comes too late to interfere with their effect (if it even would very much). Indeed, it’s my lower molars that took it in the neck, the upper ones much less so and the more forward teeth hardly at all. In any case the cavities seem to have stopped entirely since I stopped eating much added sugar and in particular those nasty hard candies. (I suppose the sticky ones might be nearly as bad, but I never liked those as much.)

    1. We don’t buy lollies (candies) unless it’s someone’s birthday or Christmas. However the kids get them at other places like birthday parties and even just a visit to the hairdresser will get them a lollipop. My uncle is a dentist and he says flossing is the single, most effective thing you can do to prevent cavities and since we started flossing their teeth everyday we haven’t had any other trouble. Both kids can now floss themselves and do it everyday before bed. But yes, I don’t doubt that completely cutting out sugar is also effective.

  2. I enjoyed that. My Chinese wife makes soy milk regularly and it is much easier for her than milking a cow. Regarding teeth, I would say as an older person, cavities are the bane of youth and clenching the teeth over a long lifetime results in root canals, crowns, and implants. Many people unconsciously grit their teeth and in time, the teeth crack. A teeth guard, like the basketball players wear can minimize that issue. I wear one to sleep. During the day I learned to not grit the teeth.

    1. Interesting. I have had a dentist tell me before that I grind my teeth, probably in my sleep. Is it hard to get used to a mouth guard when you sleep? It sounds uncomfortable.

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