“Love starts with a toothbrush.” When I first heard this opening lyric in Brad Paisley’s song “Toothbrush” I was thrilled. Dentistry is not the most thrilling topic to sing about, and it was nice to hear my future career referenced in a popular song. This encouraged me to find out what other songs reference dentistry in their lyrics. I thought it would be interesting to see how oral health topics were portrayed in these songs.
Along my search through Spotify I came across a few other dental themes. The Beatles song “Savoy Truffle” is a reference to Eric Clapton’s addiction to chocolate. George Harrison wrote the song after Clapton’s dentist told him “But you’ll have to have them all pulled out after the savoy truffle.” Breakout pop sensation Lorde uses people’s teeth as a gauge of their social status in multiple songs on her album “Pure Heroine.” Her song “White Teeth Teens” speaks of a clique where she couldn’t fit in that had glowing smiles.
Returning to my country music playlist, I realized that Blake Shelton sings of a traumatic experience at the dentist in his song “Some Beach.” Shelton seeks his happy place at “some beach” when his dentist fails to achieve anesthesia before drilling on his tooth. Unfortunately there seemed to be a trend in this negative dental experience.
Electronic artist Owl City’s song “Dental Care” comes just short of accusing his dentist of being a sadist. The song brings back memories of “Little Shop of Horrors” becoming a dentist as an outlet for inflicting pain in others. As the future of the dental profession, we should definitely be concerned about how these lyrics affect the way our patient’s view us.
While these songs are meant in good fun, there must be an ounce of truth in every song lyric. Maybe hearing about dental phobia in these songs will be the inspiration to treat our patients with as much compassion as possible.
What dental-y songs do you rock out to? Let us know in the comments section below!
~Greg Shank, Stony Brook ’16, District 2 trustee