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Why do we have to have teeth?? I've got toothache!

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

I woke up the other morning in terrible pain! My gum was swollen and my tooth was hurting!

I have terrible teeth....or maybe I don't care enough about my teeth. I didn't go to the dentist for a few years, while I was travelling, and now I am suffering for it...literally.

My dentist is in the Czech Republic, as that is where I have health insurance. I am currently spending most of my time in the UK and it's a pain (literally) to have to keep flying back to the Czech Republic to visit my dentist. However, it's necessary as there seems to be a worldwide shortage of dentists at the moment. None of them are taking on new patients and many dentists are retiring altogether.

A lot of people are scared of the dentist. They don't like the sounds of the drill and they fear pain and discomfort. They have early memories of fillings and braces. Nowadays dental surgeries are very modern and mostly pain free. There are dental hygienists who can help us prevent cavities and fillings, as long as we follow their advice regularly.

Dental Vocabulary Overview

Read this section and check to see how many words you know. Below is a link to Quizlet, where you can practice these and more words you might need for a trip to the dentist.

We are born without any teeth at all. When our first set come through. Our BABY TEETH. It can be painful a painful process for us. This time is called TEETHING. Once we have a tooth or two our parents teach us how to BRUSH them and how to take care of them. However, our baby teeth will soon fall out and will be replaced with our larger, adult teeth. Once we reach teenage years we might need a BRACE to STRAIGHTEN our teeth. In the past they were metal and very obvious. I see that new braces can be clear. Nobody needs to know that you are wearing them. If you eat too much sugar you can get CAVITIES, or holes in your teeth. These holes need to be filled. You can choose between METAL or WHITE FILLINGS, depending on how much you want to spend on your looks. Some people even buy GOLD FILLINGS. If the tooth cannot be repaired then it could be TAKEN OUT or EXTRACTED. If you have enough teeth taken out you could have FALSE TEETH, which you can take out and clean. Many older people have false teeth. It was very popular with the NHS in the UK. These days we have more options. We could have false teeth connected to a metal plate, called a BRIDGE, and you could wear that, or you could have single teeth screwed into your jaw and have IMPLANTS. We have many more options than before.

Further study

Here is a worksheet to help you with your visit to the dentist, which is very helpful when you are in a different country. If you can go into the appointment fully armed with the relevant vocabulary then it makes the whole visit a lot less stressful.

Healthcare can be one of the largest problems we have when travelling. Do we get help in the country we are travelling to, or do we wait until we get home? Tell me your travel stories.

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