Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of the Big Apple School podcast, where the goal of this show is to help improve your English skills through listening. My name is Benjamin and today we have three guests. Our first guest being...
Ken from the Philippines.
And last but not least...
Excellent. And today we're going to talk about the subject of teeth. You may not think of teeth as being a particularly interesting subject, but it really is. There is so much to talk about.
I mean, we're all adults here. We all have stories to tell, you know?
Exactly. Well, let's get started. What things would you say are bad for your teeth?
Yeah, well, examples are, you know, sweets, candies, of course, because they can cause tooth decay.
Mm hmm. And what about the candy causes tooth decay?
And how does the sugar cause?
It breaks down, basically. I mean, it contains some. I don't know.
Yeah. Technical term for that, but the..
Does the decay occur when the sugar is in your mouth or does it occur when it's inside your stomach and it destroys the teeth from your stomach?
I think it's more like a direct contact to your teeth.
Yeah. That's why they say, that's why the dentists always say, like, make sure to brush your teeth, you know, to use the floors, because usually it's the particles of food, not only sugar, I guess that gets stuck to your teeth and that you don't clean well. So they kind of get inside, you know, and then from there, you know, they do the job. Yeah, do the nasty job.
And there must be some foods that are good for your teeth. I would say.
Or can to clean them, so to speak.
Mm hmm. Is it because the apple. You have to bite into the apple.
I think so, I think it is.
And it's strengthing your teeth. Well, you've owned a lot of cats. We've spoken about this before. And the cats, they. Well, they eat meat and the meat cleans their teeth.
Oh, I don't think so. Cats as well as other animals have to have their teeth cleaned.
Yeah, they can just be done naturally. Unfortunately, I wasn't raised like that, so I never knew that myself until after all the cats were gone. I thought, Oh, I should have cleaned their teeth.
Yeah. Well, how would you clean with a toothbrush?
Well, toothbrush or go to the vet, because they do lose their teeth and they and I had cats that lost their little fingers.
Oh, that's not very nice, yeah. Because they, they need the teeth for us, they can't eat soup or drink soup. So yeah. How did people clean their teeth before we had toothpaste?
Charcoal. I think a lot of people use charcoal twigs.
If we throw back in history.
Well, even today a lot of cultures use twigs and they don't use toothbrushes and toothpaste. They..
That's actually another vegan trend as well. Yeah, there are twigs. You don't use them, you know, you don't replace the toothbrushes with them, but you kind of use it as an additional tool to have healthier teeth.
You're calling them twigs. And in my vocabulary, twigs are from the
You're talking about this?
Yeah, literally a part of a tree.
Okay. Well, I think that if you have some kind of dental work being done, like some kind of cavity that was filled, you can't be poking around with a twig because you can loosen it.
You see, that's why while they were discussing this, I was thinking, like, how effective can that be? Like, how can you properly clean your teeth with twigs.
As far as I know, it's not like a very thick twig, so you kind of chew on it fast to make it softer and then you kind of like try to brush your teeth with that.
Cause I think how do you get in between the teeth with a twig? I guess you need...
Yeah, the plastic ones are better. I think that's what has been recommended by my dentist is the plastic, thin ones.
Well, does everyone use dental floss?
The water picks? Yeah, the water picks. I actually bought one of these machines when I lived in America, and it was so difficult to use the water splash everywhere.
Oh, yeah. You know, it takes some time to get used to that, yeah. Although, my dentist recently told me that you don't know that it's not your nature place, the usual floss with, you still have to floss. This literally called
I don't know, I don't know. I think that's just to make some money.
I mean, floss doesn't, doesn't cost much. I mean, the usual floss, he just said, like, please make sure to floss, you know, from time to time.
Yeah, well, I used these plastic toothpicks with the bristles on them. Does anyone use those?
It's like a floss? Like some..
It's, so, bristles. So they for our listeners, they are the little hairs on a toothbrush, so. Yeah, the little hair. So this toothpick is like a plastic stick, which has kind of bristles, like kind of like not hairs, but little things that stick out at the end and it can get between your teeth and you can get all sorts of stuff out of there. Would you, so do you prefer floss to toothpicks?
Yes. Floss to toothpicks.
And why the toothpicks not, I mean...
Yeah, the plastic ones, I think are good, but I couldn't find them here. And so I stopped using them. And so I just floss. But I floss so many times a day.
Like it, before I go out, I always floss, before I go to bed, I always floss. If I stay home, then I, I won't floss except for morning and night.
Would you say that flossing is actually more important than brushing your teeth?
I would say so, because you get all the stuff out between your teeth.
Front? Yeah, they actually too.
I mean the white part of the teeth.
I think in this case, you can see that this is more important than that. Only in combination you can reach the perfect result, you know, healthy teeth and everything.
Yeah. Well, do you think humans were designed to have teeth that would last? I don't know, 90 years or whatever the average life expectancy is. How long?
Actually I have a lot of questions to evolution.
Like, come on, step up your game.
When you dig up somebody, that they still have their teeth and their hair.
Yeah. Yeah, hair lasts for ages.
Yeah. Well, in the older days, let's say pre 1900s. When did people lose their teeth? When did people have problems with the teeth, like we do in our in our modern age of sugar.
Did people in pre 20th century, did people have problems with their teeth like people have today?
Of couese. I mean, come on, teeth are really sensitive, you know, so you eat the wrong thing, you don't brush it well, that's it. You got problems. Easily. So of course, back in the day with the hygiene like that, you know, of course they had the problems.
Of course they had problems. But do you think cavities were as big of a problem as they are today?
They just dealt with them in a different way.
Yeah. Mhm. And how would you deal with tooth pain if you, let's say couldn't afford to go to the dentist.
You have to go to the dentist. There's just no other way.
I'm too scared of the dentist, me personally, yeah, we're going to talk about that. Well, I've had some scary stories at the dentist I once had. You know, lidocaine is. Lidocaine is the anesthesia that is administered to patients. And I had a seizure because I had too much.
So I can't have lidocaine when I go to dentist.
I want to understand, where does the fear come from?
It comes from there. It comes from, yeah.
You have to just contact the clinic beforehand and ask if they have any other type of anesthesia because now...
I don't think there is any other type of anesthesia for that. You just have to. We have this expression.
It can't be. No, it has to be. I mean, think about people who are allergic to, for example, you know, if we talk about anesthesia can be local..
And what is the opposite..?
So, general anesthesia is not lidocaine.
Yeah, I've never heard of that. So there's definitely other kinds.
But nonetheless, I'm still terrified of a dentist. And I haven't been for..
Apart from him, anybody else here who's scared of going to the dentist?
You have to have a really good dentist and put all your faith, which I had in the United States.
We gonna talk, we're going to compare American dentistry to Russian doctors.
If we talk about fear, I have to say that I am afraid of the bill that comes after. I'm not afraid of the process at all because I've had all sorts of, like, dental procedures and surgeries and everything. Didn't feel a single thing. I mean, afterwards, when the anesthesia was wearing off. Oh, God, yeah, that was painful. But the bill...
Yeah, we're also going to discuss various part. Yeah. Mm. But you're not scared of the actual tools themselves.
And here I am in Russia, yes.
Yes. Because I don't completely trust the dentists here because they're not really dentists. They're really young, inexperienced, have nice technology. But of course, I don't speak their language, but I miss my dentist very much.
Maybe because it's just the language barrier, because I've been to the dentist here and he was really good and he can also speak English well.
I want an experienced one who's been around for a while, a couple of decades.
Well, I understand, because my dentist, he's kind of young, but I would say, knowledgeable.
Actually, another debatable point, like.
Are, like it's more experienced, are elder doctors always better or not, because sometimes they kind of are more narrow minded. They don't want to try the new technologies and everything.
They're stuck to the old knowledge.
Oh, I don't think so, because they're supposed to go and get and they put that on their resume. I go to a seminar every year.
As opposed to. But do they?
Well, I mean, when you choose a doctor, you can always have a look at how many years of experience they have. So you can actually choose like on websites and everything. So you can always find someone with like 20, 25 years of experience.
Well, I've got a question for you guys. So if you lived near by a university where a dental university or a university that has experience of hospitals, etc., you can get a big reduction on your dental bill. Would you ever go to a student dentist?
No, I've done it and was inexperienced.
Well, nothing happened. That's that was a point that nothing happened. Did you clean it or what? Yeah.
You know, I think that if I was in the U.S., I would probably do that just because usually I have a very, you know, not a good insurance which wouldn't cover dental care. So if I had an emergency, a dental emergency, and I didn't have enough money, I would go for it. Here -- no. Mm. No.
Fair enough. Well, another question. What do you think about DIY dentists kits? Have you ever come across these before? So in the U.K., apparently in some supermarkets, you can buy a special kits which can help you heal your tooth. Or if you have a cavity, you can fill the cavity yourself by biting down on this kit. Would you ever use them..?
I mean, it's like a legit?
It's legit, it's in supermarkets and it's approved by the authorities. Yeah. The health authorities. Would you ever use it, one of these kits?
Well, personally, I wouldn't because I'm not an expert of teeth, and I'd rather have someone who knows better than me to examine everything. Because who knows? Okay. It might be cheaper. Sure, but I want safety.
Yeah, it's a moneymaking gimmick. I do believe that. I don't think.
Well, even. Even if the bill was $20,000, I guess. Could you ever have a bill of $20,000?
Well, my bill would usually be like 5000.
Okay, that's huge. It's absolutely huge. Yeah, just imagine. Yeah. $5,000 is a lot of money in America. But for Russia, that's like a..
Yes, that's sure like a kidney. Yeah. I believe in China, you can sell your kidney for like $3,000, so.
I'm not going to ask you why you know this information, but okay.
Yeah, I was desperate one day.
Yeah, about these DIY kits, self-medication is never good, so you can just, you know, bring more problems to yourself.
By self-medication, so don't do that.
Okay. So no one likes to do that.
I mean, even when we go to doctors, we try to find the most experienced ones, the one we trust, so. And then go and do it yourself, huh? No.
I guess with dentistry, you don't have as many differing opinions as you would do, let's say, if you go to a specialist for other conditions, because some doctors you need to get a second opinion, quite often because some doctors have differing opinions, whereas I guess dentists have a more universal.
Oh no, you do have to have like a second opinion, especially when it comes to braces, you know, fixing things and everything or some surgeries. You might want to get a second opinion, yeah.
Yeah. Well, let's get started with our childhoods. Let's talk about our childhoods and our experiences with teeth. So can anyone remember having their teeth being pulled out as a kid?
Because I was told that you can actually do it. And I was just a little boy and I thought, okay, why not do it myself? But I had to do it gently because I was afraid that, you know, that blood will splattered. You know, I just had to be really careful about it. And fortunately for me, I did. And I was even happy that, oh, my God, I'm so proud of myself. I did it without the help of a dentist.
Yeah. So you wobbled out your tooth. By the way, for listeners, the verb
Exactly. And it took a while. It wasn't like instantly. So I had to also feel it like. Is it ready to go now? Yeah. Yeah, I think it's time. Five, fourб boom. It was out.
So, Katya, how did you remove your teeth, was there a special story?
Not really. I mean, when, you mean like the milky teeth?
So with baby teeth under no stories but with dental care in childhood in general. Oh, yes. Can I say that now?
Yeah, yeah, please, yeah.
The thing is that I was growing up in Yakutia, which is, you know, a very remote place.
So and, in general, to be able to make an appointment with the dentist, you have. Well, we had to wake up at like 4 a.m., go stand in line and then get, you know, a special appointment to line. And if you're lucky, you can get to the dentist the same day.
Oh, you mean like the appointment slips, like which they give out at the..
So and then it's a very traumatic experience and memory because the thing is that when they were, you know, helping with the teeth and everything, treating the teeth, I had to have a nerve extracted. And back in the day, in Yakutia they would do that. They would put arsenic.
Yeah, exactly. So then you would go home two days later you would come back and they would be able to actually extract the nerve because the nerve would be dead because it's arsenic in your teeth. And I still remember this needle go into my teeth and they kind of roll it and the nerve gas onto it. And despite, you know, having had arsenic in my mouth, for like two days. It was still so painful. So painful.
Yeah. Now, of course, nobody would use that. It's like barbaric ways, but they were.
Were you traumatized by it?
Oh, deeply. After that, going to the dentist, like, oh, my God, no, I only managed to actually make an appointment myself when I was like, 17, 18. Okay, now I think I'm ready. And also I can't put it off any longer.
I'm just intrigued how they kept the arsenic in your mouth. They put, they drilled a hole for your tooth, put the arsenic inside the hole and then covered the hole, yeah?
Okay, so you don't just have arsenic floating around your mouth.
No, no, no, no, no, no. Kind of, yeah.
Okay. Yeah, because it would definitely kill you.
So now, which is why now when I think like, oh, my toothaches, I'm like, no, no, no, wait. It can't ache. There is no nerve. I have about like four or five spots where there's no nerves.
Oh, my, oh, my, oh, my. And that's pretty..
The result of so, well, not Soviet, but dental care back in the day.
Yeah. So can you remember your milk teeth?
It's. I guess the normal way would be the dramatic way would be put a string around your tooth.
And then connected with door.
I believe I did that a couple of times, yeah.
But it didn't work for me. I remember taking a pair of pliers and pulling it out. I was like Ken, wobble, wobble, is it ready? I just took a pair of pliers. And when one time in sixth grade, which I was about, I guess I was 11, a friend complained about having her tooth. I said, well, I'll bring my pliers tomorrow. And so I did. And then the teacher saw me with the pliers and
So you use the pliers yourself? Your parents didn't.
I was unsupervised, so I was wild. I was a wild child. I did what I wanted to do.
So what did you do? Did you just drip something hard with your hand and then just..
Yeah. No, no, no. I mean, with your other hands, did you grip something hard and just pull it out with..
Cause it was ready to go. It was wobbly. It was wobbly, yeah.
Yeah, it was wobbly enough.
Yeah. By the way,’to slide out’. ‘Slid’ is the third form of the verb
Yeah, I think maybe it's just.. Yeah, it might be just a myth because I don't know about that.
So for those of you who don't know, so what will you do with the doors? You tie some dental floss to your tooth around the tooth, and then you tie the dental floss to the door handle, and then you shut the door really hard.
Yeah. I don't know if it works for anybody. I have no idea.
I recently saw a video on Instagram, you know, where they did the same thing, but only instead of a door, they kind of tied it to a dog and the dog just ran away. And then it was like, you know, the first seconds of shock, ready to cry. But then, you know, the whole absurdity of situation kind of made the kid laugh.
Or you can do of course as well, I guess. I call it probably the best one. Yeah, cause it's just quick and does it. But the dental floss doesn't normally hold. It doesn't?
Yeah, I didn't know it was dental floss. We just had string. It was back in the day where you don't. You can't afford dental floss. Yeah, I got lucky.
Am I right in saying that dental floss contains some silver? Maybe that's why it's quite expensive. Maybe. Maybe it does.
Yeah. So, do you had the tooth fairy as a kid? Did you have the tooth fairy? Well, can I. Oh yeah. Well, I had that. I had the tooth fairy. It was quite a fun experience. I remember once I woke up and realized my dad was the tooth fairy.
He should have said something like Tooth Fairy couldn't come. But he sent me a message. She sent me a message, you know, so.
Yeah. So the tooth fairy, I'd say it's more of an American tradition. Maybe. Maybe in the UK. Because my mother's American.
I mean, tooth fairy, you know, interpreters box there is the character. So it's definitely.
Oh, okay. So it's not an American tradition.
I think it's old European.
European and American. Yeah. So I remember receiving some coins under my pillow and I believe my mother still keeps my baby teeth at home.
Yes, there's a jar of them. It's quite creepy.
It is a little creepy, but it's creepy.
I think it's fun. It's cool to look at. Creepy but fun.
Yeah, that's what we do. Keep your teeth.
It's like a little momentum, memory of..
It's like a lock of hair or your baby tooth.
Yeah. Oh, so. So what did you do with your baby teeth? Did you just eat them?
Yeah. Ken, did you have a tooth fairy? So did you find a coin under your pillow?
Actually, no. That's why it's kind of sad. I didn't experience any of that. Sad story.
So in the Philippines, does this do people?
I don't think it's something that we have. I mean, except for the, you know, elites like the rich families, but for, you know, middle class. I don't think so. No.
Yeah. Well, is there any kind of tradition surrounding teeth in the Philippines? Is there any cultural thing?
Well, nothing to my knowledge.
And did you have any experience of
I mean, I didn't even know about this sort of, you know, character until I was like in my late teen years when I started reading, you know, some fantasy books or something. It's not a thing here.
Maybe, you know, some people might started, you know, the young parents. So they might start it, but all in all, no.
Mm hmm. Well, let's move on to fillings. So, obviously, Katia has some fillings. I have one filling.
You know, for me, it's easier to point at teeth that don't have fillings. Thanks, Mom.
Well, you only know if you have fillings. If the fillings are silver, like in back in the day. That's what color they were made out of silver. Now, of course, they're supposed to blend in with your teeth, so. I couldn't count my fillings because I. I've forgotten.
Mm hmm. So how many. How many fillings have you had?
I've only had one feeling.
Oh my Godness! Oh, Katya and I, we can't keep track of ours.
Yeah, really. Like when I said that, it's easier to point out, you know, the teeth I don't have. I was not joking. It was not exaggeration. Like even the front teeth. I have the fillings.
Oh yeah. Like these. The, the first and the second. Yeah. I do have fillings in between them.
I blame my mom. No offense, but. So the thing is that back in the day, in the Soviet times, so when a woman was pregnant, she was obliged. There is a mandatory to have all your teeth fixed to go to the dentist. So it was just mandatory and the medical care was free. So and that was my sister who was born in 1987. So she has perfect teeth. She has one single filling. One.
So when the Soviet Union fell apart, of course, nobody cared about, you know, all that anymore. People had other problems, like, you know, survival and all that. So nobody cared anymore. So when my mom got pregnant with me, she didn't go to a dentist a single time.
She's afraid. She's terrified of dentists. So and of course, you know, she didn't have the full medical check and everything, so she didn't take care of her calcium and what not. So and that's why I was born with really weak teeth.
So as a result. And then you can imagine, I was living in the far north.
No fruit, no veggies. You know, you might have some veggies in the summer. That's not enough. So, of course, you know, without all this sufficient amount of vitamins, the teeth, you know, they just go so bad.
That my mom, she's still terrified. I'm like,
Well, how can you alleviate someone's fears of a dentist? What can you do to calm someone down?
Well, I don't know. I was disciplined very quickly. I remember the first time I went to the dentist, I was about six, and I whimpered. So I made a sound like
And so now I keep very quiet when I'm at the dentist. I don't whimper. I keep all the pain, you know, inside me.
I think nowadays is just the the matter of like, just try and go. Because, let's say, a friend of mine, she was terrified of dentists, you know, because. Childhood trauma, all that. But now when she went to a private clinic and she's like and everyone's like the doctors and everyone.
Are you feeling okay? How are we doing? Are you comfortable? Do you need anything? And before that, like, do you want some tea? Coffee? She's like, Wow, if I had known, you know, this, things are like that.
Well, I would say that because I've always had a man dentist. And when I came here, I've always had a women, what I call dentists. I guess they're dentists, but they have such a gentle touch and it's like, wow, their little fingers in your mouth. Oh, it's so nice having a feminine woman dentist.
Yeah. So you feel it would be better if more women trained to become dentist?
It's just a very hard job as well, so.
Oh, we're going to talk about that. Yeah, we're going to get to that. So fillings. So yeah, we've talked about that. What about wisdom teeth? I have still never had my wisdom teeth removed. I don't even know if I have wisdom teeth.
I mean, if they're growing and they're growing well and you have no problem, so why would you?
Well, I'm 30 years old, and I thought that usually by the time..
Now, I mean, if they're already there, just say thank you to whatever you believe or not.
The idea is, because they're so far back in your mouth that it's hard to clean behind them. And that's the reason that you're supposed to remove them. But maybe the genes just like to pull teeth, because I kind of wish I didn't have some of my wisdom teeth pulled.
So did you have only a few? Did you don't have all for?
I guess we're supposed to have four and I don't know how many. I mean, I don't want to stick my finger in now, but I know I haven't had all of them. And I kind of regret having the others. I don't think there's a reason to pull my teeth.
So they weren't pushing against your other molars,
Well, mine they were pulled definitely that just a lower row of teeth. But I'm okay with that because now I can chew better and you know, I don't see any problem there.
You still have your, do you still have your top?
But they don't cause any problem at all. It's like..
You know, the lower row of, of teeth.
And what was the operation, like, was it?
So I don't know when it was done, I thought
And did they give you an injection or was it the face mask? Was it the gas?
I mean, the face mask, you know, they need the access to the teeth, so.
I mean, what they normally do, I believe dentists use. What is it? Is it, um, what gas is it? Do you know? All of dentists use a specific gas.
Maybe it is nitrous, not nitrous oxide. No, I'm not a chemist, but they put you to sleep with a gas and. Yeah, so. So it was with an injection. How quickly did you, how quickly where you sedated?
Well, that's a good question because I really can't remember.
Oh, so it was like a long time.
So which means that it was a job of the an anesthesiologist.
Exactly. Well, how old were you, roughly?
Um, how old was I? Um, early teens.
Oh, in your teens, you had your wisdom teeth.
So you must've been very wise as a kid, some 30 and I still haven't reached that. Yeah. So how old were you, Katya?
Oh, I have a lot of stories about my wisdom teeth because I had all of them removed, all four of them. So I think about 7-8 years ago, I had one of my upper wisdom teeth removed because it was not pushing against the molars, but it was kind of cutting through my cheek.
So and it was like bad 5 minutes done.
Literally. It takes, trust me, once the anesthesia, you know, kicks in from 2 to 5 minutes, you don't feel a single thing. And then after that, you know, one hour later, you can already eat, drink.
So same with the, with the other, um, upper wisdom teeth, but with the lower one. So that was fun. So the thing is that my lower wisdom teeth, they were pushing against the molars and they were growing not vertically, but horizontally.
Rebels. So and the thing is that I remember it was five days before I had to leave for the U.S. and one of them started to cause problems. So it was swollen and everything. I called one of the clinics, they like
So the thing is that I couldn't come for a, you know, the next visit 6-7 days later because I was leaving for the U.S. so they couldn't take the the stitches off. They just said,
Oh, it was unstitched maybe? They'd come apart.
Yeah, it was okay. So and then my last lower wisdom tooth, I had it removed two years ago and it was bad. I mean, the process again, it was okay, it took 40 minutes, but in one visit I had my lower wisdom teeth removed and not just removed. They had to cut through my gums, cut through everything, to saw with a mini saw, you know, the tooth itself.
Pull it out and the same, during the same visit I had my molar removed and an implant. A metal implant. Implant. Basically all in one visit took 40 minutes.
It was 40, I have a very professional dentist. He's really cool. Even though he's young, he's like 35 or something. But since it was a major dental surgery, the next day was horrible. I had a fever of like 39.
I was on antibiotics and everything.
Well, I guess cause your body's trying to protect, to kill off any germs.
And then you have, you know, like a metal thing in your gum. And only on the fifth day, I was able to eat some mashed potatoes. Before that, it was water or just some yogurts. That's it.
To be honest, I'm just really interested. How much dental work have you had through the years? Like..
A lot. A lot. I mean, I've had about... Well, for I had my teeth removed, like, what, five, six times? I have an implant, I have a crown, I have whole lot of fillings. So and then you have to, you know, get back and redo the fillings once every several years because I was not lucky with the dentist back then. So a lot, trust me, a lot and is still not done. The amount of work I need to do to finish all that is about another 100 000 rubles.
So, yeah. So take care of your teeth, people, and teach your kids to. And if you're planning to have a kid, please go to a dentist.
Well, let's talk about cosmetic dentistry. So in America, a lot of people have braces. Did you have braces as a kid?
I didn't have any braces.
Oh, really? Would you say, it's like it's almost part of American culture, to get braces.
Yeah, well, you had to if you had really crooked teeth. I remember a lot of my friends or classmates would have braces.
Right. Oh so lucky. So you never had crooked teeth?
No, I do have crooked teeth, but I just never had braces.
Oh, okay. Fair enough. Because it's painful. I know.
Really. I know because it's quite common in the Philippines. But my teeth are, you know, relatively okay. But I remember as a kid, I would get envious of other kids because I thought, oh my God, that's so colorful. I want one too. And then I would say that to my grandma, and she would say,
But no. Never had any braces at all. But I wish I had, you know.
Yeah. What about you, Katya?
I really needed the braces. But the thing is that my family couldn't afford that, so I never did.
Well, I mean, to be honest, is not something I recommend. Luckily, I did not have metal braces. My neighbor was actually a dentist, a really professional good guy. And he gave me these.. They're called
Aligners. Really common these days.
Yeah. And he was very kind and he helped me out with this, but it was so painful. The shifting of your teeth.
Constant headaches and, to be honest..
I think you don't do that only for the esthetic reason. Because, for example, I have a friend and since the, what do you call it, the way your teeth are.. It's not a.. What do you call it? Like the way they are situated. What is the word for that?
The way they.. I don't know, the way they sit.. Yeah, it's a technical thing. Yeah.
So and the thing is that because of the way her teeth were, let's say, situated or sitting or something.
The way the teeth grew out, the other way her teeth
So, she had constant pain in the jaw lines, the headache. And, in general, you know, a lot of pain. And because of, I have no idea how exactly that's related. But she even had some back pain and her posture, you know, like the shoulders and everything were different. And when she tried to fix the posture, it turned out that it's all because of the teeth.
That's true. I've heard that each tooth is linked to an organ in the body. Do you know anything about this?
Yeah. I've heard that one is linked to the kidneys. Yeah, there is some kind of maybe as, I don't know, maybe it's.
Just like, um, physical connection, you know, cause your teeth are moving, the shifting and everything, and then the jaw line changes and everything. And then it affects the neck, it affects the shoulders. And I was really shocked to see the final result after three years of her wearing braces. It was like, wow.
Yeah. I wasn't as disciplined with my braces and I've got a little gap between my two front teeth.
I love those. When you grow up, they grow back together.
Oh, cool. I mean, to be honest, I quite like it's kind of like being a squirrel or.
I mean, aren't kids picked on because of that?
Yeah, my daughter had, it was so adorable. And one day when she was in her twenties, I looked at her, and
Extra teeth push forwards, yeah. So yeah, it was funny because I don't know if, in America's really funny, there's this hilarious stereotype of British people having terrible teeth. And to be honest, at least not so much these days because we have more advanced dental care now. But previously it was definitely true.
Yeah, we did. And we still do probably.
The Brits are not known to have the best teeth in the world. If anyone knows the film
You've mentioned the stereotype when we talked about the stereotypes in a podcast.
Oh, may have, so yeah. So but just to remind us, there's this scene where he looks at, Austin Powers is a British spy, and he looks at a mirror and he smiles and he cracks the mirror with his smile, yeah.
Well, I don't know what else you're going to talk about, but I had. You're talking about cosmetic.
This is. Are you going to be talking about decorative? Decorative.
So when I was in the Marine Corps, there was this guy.
I didn't even know you were in the Marines Corps.
Yes, I said every podcast. Oh, some Marine story. But this guy had on his, one of his front teeth had the outline of the state of Texas. With a diamond in the middle. And don't ask me how he cleaned.
Somehow, you know, if you hadn't mentioned the state, I would have guessed it was Texas.
And it's a big, big state anyway. Yeah. So with this this. Well, not a gold star. I thought it was diamond. I think it was a diamond star. But I asked him about, I said,
And the judge said to him,
As for, well, any offer, what you guys think of golden teeth for these gangster rappers with?
Ah, one time sorry. One time I told my mom, I said,
Is this association with golden teeth in the U.S.?
Yeah, not good, not good.
Is it like with some sort of like criminals or something?
It was very common in Russia back in the day, like really common people would have, you know, when they needed the crown, they would put the golden crown and everything. My dad used to have like four or five golden teeth, you know, like the crowns. Yeah, they fell off at some moment, but well.
My mother wouldn't like that.
They were not at the front, so they were not really visible, but still weird.
Well, I also had a neighbor. And if you read my creative nonfiction,
But have you seen the pictures of like some different rappers these days who have all of that?
It looks so weird. They have their whole of their teeth, you know, that are visible. You know, they have some golden crowns and everything, they put diamonds. So basically they smile and all you can see is like shiny gold. That's it.
You are going to be blinded by that.
And it's on a sunny day. But yeah, it looks so strange.
I mean, speaking of which, because he was about to ask that. Do you like it? Because for me personally, I. I don't know what's the beauty in it. Like, well, maybe I'm just, you know, traditional. I just want my pearly whites. Yeah.
Well, speaking of pearly whites, what do you think of teeth whitening procedures?
I'd go for that. I mean, who doesn't want to have.
Has anyone had any experience of teeth whitening? You have?
I mean, I have. And in general, you know, in Russia, it's pretty common. And you can get that. But I think the key is get it, you know, maybe lighter but to a natural point. Not like, I'm sorry, but toilet white.
Yeah, that's a little excessive.
Or porcelain, like kind of, yeah.
Yeah. But this is what I notice here. It's also connected with, like, cosmetic way and everything. People install veneers. So they kind of what is like the shape or saw their teeth so that, you know, they look.
File. Thank you. So they file their teeth, they have their teeth filed and then they have these veneers installed. And very often they go with like porcelain white but doesn't look natural at all.
It looks a little off-putting sometimes.
And a good dentist would recommend something not.
But there is it's like so common these days as well. You know, every, every time you go to a dentist, not every time, of course, but some of them would say
Yeah, well, I mean, have you had any teeth whitening?
Yeah, I. My dentist gave me some kind of mold of my teeth. And then it's a tray. It's called a tray. And then you put the teeth whitening in, and then you put it on your teeth and you leave it on for a couple of hours and it's peroxide or something, and it does work. It's a gradual thing.
I remember in the U.S., they're also like whitening strips and everything, so you can just kind of glue. Well, not glue, but put them stick them to your teeth for, like, 15, 20 minutes every day. And then you do that for ten days. And the next time you can do it is like in a year or something.
But a lot of dentists say like, oh, this is not really safe for the teeth.
Yeah, that's what my dentist say.
And it's more artificial.
Yes. They would leave behind some residue in your mouth, which is like you're trying to eat something. You know, you have to taste this chemicals and yeah, hate that. When I brush my teeth every day. I spend so much time rinsing out my mouth because I hate the taste of, like, leaving toothpaste in my mouth. It's. Yeah. All right. So, no one else, you don't want to get teeth whitening?
No, I said I would go for it.
Excuse me, yeah, you do. Yeah. Mm hmm. What else can you do cosmetically to your teeth? Can you? Well, would you consider tongue piercing?
I mean, tongue piercing and teeth, it's not really.
Actually, I have a piece of advice for those who are considering tongue piercing, because I have a friend who did that. She has really weak teeth. Her teeth started to fall apart. Is this like metal, you know?
It keeps, you know, like kicking and clicking on the teeth. So it's really bad for the teeth.
So don't do that. If you care about your teeth.
Mm hmm. All right. Well, let's move on to the dental industry as a whole. So you said before you don't really trust Russian dental health care. I mean, Ken does. What's the difference between dentistry and Russian dentistry in America?
I think out of us four, Barbara is the only one who's had some experience with.
Well, the experience. That's all I'm saying, that one dentist that I had for 25 years, you know, and I know he.
And at the various places you worked in America, did you have a dental plan?
Oh, no, no. It was always out of pocket or on my credit card. Never. I've never had insurance.
And dental plans are really common in America.
I don't understand any of it. And yes, they are.
How much does it cost? Because I would expect it to be like so expensive. In general, I'm terrified of the prices in the U.S. when it comes to dental care.
I mean, it is crazy here, too, but not to that extent.
In England we have quite expensive dentistry. We have the NHS and you can get health, well, dental care through the NHS, the National Health Service, but you still actually have to pay extra for that. But you would be on a waiting list for a long time, so most people just go private. Well, not most people, but a lot of people go private. And in the UK it is very expensive. What about the Philippines? What is it?
I don't think it's a thing also in my country, I mean, if we talk about dental plan, because most people when whenever they have problems with their teeth, they just go to the dentist and that's it. They pay out of their own money. And it's not like, you know, the government pays for it. We, I don't think we even have such a thing, no.
Well, does the Philippines have a state sponsored health system, health care?
Yes, we do. And in fact, we are all, it's mandatory to pay for it every month.
So you have mandatory health insurance?
Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. Now we do, too. I had to pay. Yeah, I had to pay as well. It was a new thing.
Oh, this is not Medicare or something like that. Medicare is not mandatory, yeah. So now in the Netherlands, for instance, you have to pay €80 a month and you get guaranteed state health insurance because it's mandatory in the Netherlands. But I don't know if that covers dentistry or not.
No, ours. I mean, you could. But for the minimum that I was required to pay with did not cover dentistry.
Yeah. Mm hmm. And what about dental tourism? Which places which destinations are considered places where people visit for?
For sure. My dentist said that before the pandemic, he used to have really often he used to have patients from Europe, Italy, America, even Moscow. This is cheaper for them to fly to Siberia and have their teeth fixed than to do it in Moscow very often. So, yeah.
Yeah. And the quality is good.
In general, Eastern Europe is the place to go.
Absolutely. Poland and Hungary are big destinations for dental tourism, because I have a lot of people who don't want to pay the exorbitant prices in the UK. And yeah, the quality is just as good. It's just the language barrier that's quite scary.
And that's why you have to find, you know, in my case, I really took the time to find an English speaking, you know, dentist otherwise, you know.
And how did you find them?
I just assigned one time on Instagram and then just scanning and then one time I saw you, I mean a page and then there was, you know, a contact there and I said,
What was his English like?
I would say Upper-Intermediate.
You do my teeth and we will do your brain?
I wish I had made that, you know, agreement with him or arrangement with him. But no, I mean, he's very busy. In fact, he works all these. Monday to Sunday.
Oh, yeah. It's like they have to. Was he really young? Because the young ones have to.
I suppose he is in his early thirties.
And it's really impressive that he has an Upper-Intermediate level of English. That's not exactly an easy thing to get to. How did he tell you? Did you ask him
This is kind of off the topic.
It was something to do with English. I mean, he went to some English courses before and so. Oh, good for him. And good for me because I found him.
I mean, uh, again, my dentist told me that when he had a patient from Italy.
She paid for the translator.
So there's a translator sitting there, in the surgery.
Yeah, and it was still easier and cheaper than to have her teeth done in Italy.
And there's quite a specialist trained interpreter, like Italian-Russian. Yeah, because English interpreters..
Some people do that, so they hire somebody to translate everything.
Well, I do that, but not with a professional translator, but with a friend whenever I go to. I mean, it's a little off topic, but whenever I do medical check up, I need to go to the doctor and then I take with me a friend to translate basically everything.
I don't have any friends. I go on myself.
Oh, dear. Well, let's talk about dentists themselves. So, would you guys like to be a dentist?
No, no, I can't stand blood. I can't stand guts. I can't stand someone's mouth. No, no, no, no, no.
Absolutely. I'm on the same, all the same wave.
Well, okay, second conditional sentence, here we come. If it didn't take so long to...
To become a dentist, I would love to become a dentist.
Yeah. You get so much, you make so much money, and it's quite fun and..
It doesn't take that long to become a dentist.
It does, it's like being a doctor.
So what, so what, just go if that's if, then the money pays for itself, right?
Seven years or something, isn't it?
Well, it depends on the country cause it can be really expensive to get a dent.. Like a medical degree.
A get a lot of money afterwards.
And do you consider dentists to be doctors because they do have medical degree?
They are. You know, that's funny because some people, they don't take them seriously as a doctor is like, oh, the tooth doctor, they have to be qualified as a
It's really fun to see, you know, all the rivalry between the GP's and the dentists, you know, they're like
Well, I believe for the first 4 years of their education, I guess they have to do the same things as doctors.
Not in Russia. In Russia, if you want to become a dentist, you go a separate way. All 7-8 years. That's a separate story.
Like the first or second year, you don't learn the same kind of things like the anatomy of the body?
I mean, you might do that, but it's still you know, they have their own way. So they don't study together anything.
Yeah, I don't think they do in England. I don't think they do. But you have the dental schools. But I believe they have to.
You'd be a good dentist, I think.
Yeah, calming voice, entertaining.
Yes, definitely, I think it's worth it.
So you'd be okay with all the blood and everything?
I'm not too bothered by that, to be honest with you.
Cutting through people's gums with a saw?
To be honest, the mouth, not really. I mean, even though I'm a little bit scared of a dentist myself, I'm not too worried about that because, it's more.
You see, that's the ironic part. Because you're afraid of dentists. Yet you imagine yourself you could be a dentist.
No, thought of that, you know, like, kind of makes me like...
I mean, obviously watching. I mean, if you ever accidentally see videos of surgery, sometimes it can be very queasy. It can make you feel a bit strange. But to be honest, I'm not too bothered by blood. I mean..
Yeah, it's also the smell, too. The body smells, you know. Yeah, the sights and sounds.
The sounds, yeah. They kind of scare, the smells, not whatever it's like. Yeah, you just have to deal with that.
If you take your trash out every day, then you can, you can deal with that.
Yeah. Okay, so what are the positive sides of being a dentist?
First and foremost, yeah.
That shouldn't be first and foremost. It should be that you have this passion for teeth.
I had a student, a teenage student who I asked, I asked the group of teenagers, what do you guys want to be when you're older? And he immediately said, I want to be a dentist. And I was really impressed that he knew exactly what he wanted to do. And he was gearing up to study all the materials.
Yeah. So you believe to be a dentist, you need to be a a calming, a soothing person.
Not to be afraid of the blood.
You should be gentle, too. Because you're dealing with somebody else's teeth.
Yeah. And how much does it cost to get a dentist degree or dentistry degree in Russia?
I mean, if you're a Russian citizen, you still have a chance to study for free and, you know, have your education funded by the government. But if you don't. I mean, now it could be up to like $3,000 per year.
So. And then you have to study for like, what, seven years? Eight years. So it can't be quite can be quite pricey.
I believe in investing in oneself.
Of course, but obviously within reason.
They would spend like half a million dollars on their med school, but then it is going to pay off fast. What, a decade.
It costs a lot of money in my country, definitely. And that's why I wouldn't say that there are a lot of us, you know, wanting to become a dentist because first, the, you know, the money issue. And secondly, of course, the time that you have to spend, I mean, for various seven years is not long, but it's long for us.
Yeah. What about the career of being a dental hygienist? Do any of you know dental hygienists?
So those who kind of like you go when you have..?
The assistants, the one that cleans your teeth.
So what you need to do to become a dental hygienist?
You have to go to hygienist school. And it's not for seven years.
Yeah, it would be like one year or two years.
Probably a couple of years plus, first college and then a couple of years of hygienist school.
So it's not quite the same level as being a nurse?
I'm not sure. Nothing like a dentist. Just cleaners.
Yeah. And do you think they would make a nice salary?
Yes, I do believe that, yes.
Yeah. Well, definitely in America. Well, I'm not sure about Russia. Well, guys, let us know if you know any dental hygienist or if you'd like to be a dental hygienist or a dentist yourself. So do let us know in the comments. We'll leave that, we'll leave it there today. So thank you very much guys. And do check out our website www.BigAppleSchool.com where you can hear more information about courses that we offer and you can read articles and you can learn more about the English language through our articles and also be sure to like, share and subscribe to our podcast on our social media platforms. So that's it. See you next time. Bye for now.