Magazine December 09, 2019, Issue

Wise Teeth

(Phil Noble/Reuters)

I have had pretty normal teeth all my life: no braces, no hockey-puck demolitions. When I was a child I put each fallen baby tooth under my pillow and found a coin in exchange in the morning. When I became an adult I got a few fillings. Trained early, I brush regularly. One of the disgusting qualities of Mao Tse-tung, on top of the vicious ones, was that he never brushed, but his young concubines had to kiss the Great Helm mouth anyway. (He also gave them STDs, so it could be, and was, worse.) I even learned, reluctantly, to

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Readers write in with fond memories of fatherhood, some long-held admiration, and some prefix pedantry.

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