I had a crown installed on a sensitive molar not too long ago. As we were waiting for my anesthetic to kick in and turn me into a slurring monster with only half a face, I asked my dentist about post-apocalyptic dental care.
I’ve discovered when you ask people about the “what if’s” of their own area of expertise they get really excited about it. She responded with a delighted grin, and some amazing insight.
Here’s what I learned:
- If my heroine brushed but didn’t floss, she’d potentially have missing teeth due to gum disease
- If my hero flossed, but didn’t brush, he’d have brown teeth, likely cavities, and possible gum issues to boot
But, she said, thinking about the idea, it would depend upon the diet a great deal. “Everything we eat is overcooked” she said, wheeling over to check the numbness that was spreading up my cheekbone. “If the apocalypse forced them to change diets, they might be okay.” Apparently, diets in fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts – known as “detergent foods” among the healthcare team – are really good for our dental care.
The whole reason I love speculative fiction is because I get to ask people “what if” on a regular basis.