Comedy·OP-ED

Ohhh, this whole time I thought everyone was saying 'teeth WIDENING'

“You know what? It’s fine. Let the people buy their Crest Widening Strips, whatever and whyever those are, and I’ll just be over here minding my own business.”
(Shutterstock / sirtravelalot)

Hello, I have made a grievous error vis-à-vis being alive. Thank you for your support.

For the past decade or so, I have been merrily going about my day assuming that everyone around me was talking about getting their teeth "widened."

"Why??" I quietly wondered to myself, but then I'd just shrug and return to my majestic pine cone art.

"You know what? It's fine. Let the people buy their Crest Widening Strips, whatever and whyever those are, and I'll just be over here minding my own business."

But boy, did I ever lie awake at night, troubled, terrified, staring at the ceiling. "Is everyone just inexplicably going out and getting their individual teeth stretched into one long monobone??" I whispered to the quiet beckoning darkness. "Should I do it? Nah, it's probably so expensive."

And sure enough, the next morning my coworker Petra and I were chatting beside the fax machine and she divulged THIS startling little gem: "I got my teeth widened last fall and it was hundreds of dollars per session. Also, it didn't even really work."

She wasn't wrong. I peered into her mouth without her permission and sure enough, each tooth was still stubbornly maintaining its tiny individual shape. So much for teeth widening!

"But I mean, why did you even decide to do it in the first place?" I asked her. I couldn't help it. I needed answers. I needed to know.

She shrugged and thoughtfully took a sip of her Dr. Coconut. "Cultural beauty standards," she replied. "I felt pressure to conform."

Um, what??! Have we as a society fallen so far that people will rush out, risk their health, and part with thousands of dollars simply to adhere to whatever absurd new trend we randomly deem to be "beautiful"???! It's just unconscionable.

I started to have anxiety attacks in the grocery store and in restaurants. "How do you even eat with one long, terrifying monotooth?" I'd wonder as I stared into the depths of a watermelon, lost and confused in the world. Sometimes, to my horror, I'd realize that I'd accidentally wondered these questions aloud.

"No idea," a random passerby would say. Which: fair enough!

The anxiety attacks escalated into full-blown nightmares in which a 47-kilometre-long toothbone would roam the streets laughing and crushing everything in its wake: buildings, cars, people, trees. I know what you're thinking: Laughing? Am I seriously saying that the terrifying monotooth itself had a mouth of teeth? Yes. That is seriously what I am saying.

After six months of the unrelenting stress dreams, I sought hypnosis therapy. At my first session, I lay down in the beanbag chair, ready to take control of this ridiculous situation.

"Right. Okay," the therapist, Neil, began. "Why do you think you're so disturbed by people changing their teeth to a cleaner and more visually pleasing shade of white?"

The room fell silent for five full minutes.

"Goodbye," I said. And I left.

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About the Author

Sophie Kohn

Writer/Producer

Sophie Kohn is writer and producer with CBC Comedy, a stand-up comedian in Toronto, and a graduate of Second City's Conservatory program.

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