I have a collection of baby teeth, sent to me by recovered anorexics from the ward. Their children’s teeth, proof that their bodies are working.
from “Dead Sea Fruit”, in The Gate Theory
I actually do have a collection of baby teeth. When I worked for The Helix magazine, we had a science project where the readers (most of them under 12) sent in their baby teeth to be studied at, I think, a University in Norway. The Uni studied lead and cadmium levels in children around the world.
I packaged up and sent off hundreds of teeth. It was DISGUSTING. Some of them were covered in dirt from being buried. Some had holes. One came with a piece of dental floss still around it.
But I sent them off to Norway.
After a while, the project ended but the teeth kept coming in. I didn’t have the heart to tell the kids they were too late, so I sent off the letter saying “Thank you for your tooth” and kept all the teeth in a little plastic jar.
I still have them.
(I googled myself and The Helix, just in case I was on there, and discovered that someone has archived a story I wrote for the magazine in 1998!)