The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

HOCKEY AND DENTAL CARE
spittin' chiclets
Ah, the old gap-toothed hockey player's smile. You can still find it, but not if the players' wives can help it. Dental technology allows puck-inflicted tooth damage to be repaired quickly and almost imperceptably.

Some great little anecdotes here from players who've had a couple knocked out:

When he played, [Ken] Daneyko used false teeth on dental bridges, which he took out during games. Sometimes he would pull pranks by slipping his teeth into his teammates' soup. Other times, he would inconvenience himself by leaving his teeth in lockers or in hotel rooms on road trips. He was photographed so often in uniform without his teeth that fans would do double takes when they saw him away from the arena...

When Danny Markov of the Carolina Hurricanes lost three teeth this season after being hit by an opponent's stick, his teammate Rod Brind'Amour decided to help out. He stickhandled two of the teeth back to the bench.

The best part is at the end, where it's theorized that hockey had a significant role in the development of mechanized flight:

Some people even theorize that the loss of teeth in a hockey game affected the course of scientific history. Seventeen years before Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their first airplane, Wilbur lost a few teeth in a game of shinny on ice in his hometown, Dayton, Ohio.

Dawne Dewey, the head of special collections and archives at Wright State University in Dayton, said of Wright: "In photographs you rarely see him smiling. He never has an open mouth."

During his recovery he chose to stay at home instead of attending Yale. His reading included scientific books and journals.

"He had plenty of time to read and study," Dewey said. "The hockey accident set the stage that led to his intense interest in flight."

I'm going to assume that Wilbur played on the wing... (Get it? Wing, wing, flying? Just making sure...)