Stress dreams for me generally feature my teeth falling out. Sometimes I pull them out, their dream-roots emerging as long yellowed spirals. Sometimes I spit them out like unpopped corn kernels. Sometimes I grind them into ivory shards that stick into my tongue and cheeks so I choke trying to spit them out.
Interestingly, though this has been a stressful semester, I haven't had teeth dreams.
Instead, in the real world, I've had dental work. The fissure sealant used by a University of British Columbia dental student to mold my tiny, malformed teeth into something presentable back in 1988 finally wore down on one of my front teeth. (Good job, Joan Chen, that long-ago dentist! Sealant is not supposed to last so very long as a cosmetic fix. Do you still practice dentistry? I hope so. You were mighty fine, and very tolerant of the fact that I would eat cookies during the 10 minute break in the middle of our 3 hour sessions, requiring you to clean my whole mouth from scratch for the second half of our session). Recently, I developed a stain that looked like a small piece of newsprint stuck to my tooth. Last week I had it fixed (and was reminded by my current dentist, not for the first time, that my dental work is older than most of my undergraduate students). My teeth still look too third world for America, but at least they look tea-stained rather than papier-mache.
In other tooth news, Clara complained a few weeks ago that a friend had accidentally head-butted her teeth. There hadn't been blood, so the teachers weren't concerned. One of those teeth is now loose, perhaps as a result of the bonk, perhaps because it is time.
My daughter is old enough to be losing her baby teeth. E-gads.