As long as I can remember, my maternal grandmother has worn false teeth. They weren’t just a few teeth, but a bunch of teeth. And my grandmother used to clean them with a brush every evening before bedtime.
I was four years old when I first saw her false teeth. At the time, I was staying at my grandmother’s house for several weeks, and every evening, I used to brush my teeth next to her in the kitchen.
While I brushed my teeth, my grandmother would take out something from her mouth and wash it under the running water in the sink.
“Grandma, what is it?” I asked her eagerly, trying to have a better look at the thing she was washing. “What are you washing there?”
“It’s my false teeth,” she replied, smiling at me.
“False teeth?” I repeated blankly. I had never heard of such a thing before. “What are they? Can I see them?”
“Well, sure,” my grandmother was a little surprised, then she quickly added, “but I don’t think you’ll like them!”
When she showed me her “false teeth,” they looked like real teeth. I was impressed.
Then, in front of my curious eyes, she put the false teeth back into her mouth. I was too impressed to say anything. My grandmother can take off and put on her teeth just like that!
From that day on, I started examining my own teeth carefully. I wanted to mimic what my grandmother was doing with her teeth, but unfortunately, I couldn’t take mine out of my mouth. As I searched for something that could play the role of false teeth, I found a Hello Kitty toothbrush case. When I opened it, its inside had a lot of indentations and it reminded me of my grandmother’s false teeth.
I ran the water in the sink and washed this toothbrush case with my own toothbrush, all the while recalling the sense of wonder I felt as I watched my grandmother’s false teeth being washed under the running water that night.