Joe Biden’s teeth used to fascinate me. I recall watching Joe sweep into the theatre at Centre College, Danville, for the Vice Presidential debate leading up to the 2012 election, and actually laughing out loud at his coruscating smile. A real-life emoticon.
When his easy smile breaks into that pearly grin, it’s like sticking magnesium ribbon into a Bunsen burner.
Arriving home too pissed to sleep, ‘Joe Biden’s teeth’ was a staple Google search to kill some time whilst waiting for my bedroom to knock off the Ferris wheel act. I quickly discovered the domain name had been registered. I can’t honestly say it’s worth a visit, but it’s worth knowing it’s there:
Now, only five years on, I’m looking at my own teeth languishing in their pyrrhic victory against my three favourite drugs: red wine, espresso, and English tea. Everyone told me to expect, with age, that my fascination with late nights and alcohol would wither and wane. I ultimately realised they were confusing the effects of age with the effects of having children and, in doing so, failed to mention stained teeth. But, far worse, nobody mentioned that by 2017 it would be normal to look like Joe.
A Google search for ‘why do English have…’ always used to autocomplete with ‘yellow teeth’ — a suggestion that barely ranks in the top five now that, increasingly, they don’t. Instagram’s cultural reach has normalised American values in Britain. While I’ve been busy sneering at the obsession with cosmetic surgery abroad, a bustling population of homegrown vain selfie-philes have been queuing for clinical help to emulate Kendall Jenner’s pout. The Donald’s phosphorescent teeth Trump old Joe’s, and yet it’s only the tangerine skin that gets a mention.
Well, I’ve a dental appointment when I get back to the UK, and—you guessed it—I’m going to gingerly open dialogue on how to wrest my teeth back from the clutches of my vices. It seems I’m too proud to embrace the symptoms, although I’m not proud to admit the remedy. I promise to be sufficiently subtle that you’ll barely notice the difference. No Bidenator iPhone flash smile. No magnesium ribbon flare. Just back where I was in 2012. That’s all. I’ve explored the possibility of claiming that it’s ‘for me’, but I just can’t pull that guff off. It’ll be for vanity. That means it’s for you lot. So I thought you ought to know.