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09_Oh, I WISH I’D LOOKED AFTER ME TEETH class 9

 

Summary

  • The poem is written on a humourous note about the experiences of the narrator with her teeth.
  • It expresses the poet’s regret in adulthood regarding the damage caused to her teeth due to her carelessness.
  • The poet regrets having neglected her teeth during her childhood and youth.
  • She had not taken care of her teeth the way she should have.
  • As a youngster she chewed toffees, took sweet sticky food, enjoyed gobstoppers (large, hard sweets), liquorice and sherbet dabs without showing any concern for her teeth.
  • She now wishes she had resisted the temptation to buy sweets with her money and paid more attention to the damage they could have caused to her teeth.
  • Now she is full of remorse for having consumed so many lollies and brittle peanuts.
  • She also recalls that though she had brushed her teeth, it had not been done thoroughly as she had felt it was all a waste of time.
  • However now as she sits in the dentist’s chair staring up at him, she feels remorseful about all the sweets that she has ever eaten.
  • She says that if she had known that she was going to suffer cavities and tooth decay and would have to undergo fillings, injections, and drillings at the dentist’s office, she would have been more careful and thrown away all the sweets.
  • There was a time when she used to ridicule her mother’s set of false teeth.
  • Unfortunately, she too has reached the stage when she would have to be satisfied with a denture.

 

LITERARY DEVICES USED IN THE POEM

 

  1. Alliteration :

(a)      sweet sticky food

(b)      lollies I licked

(c)      cavities, caps and decay

          (d)      molars of mine

 

  1. Rhyme Scheme of the poem : aabba

 

 

 

 

 

Questions & Answers

 

Q.1    What different blunders did the poet make in her dental care?

Ans.   The poet had a very casual and an indifferent attitude towards her dental care. Sticky food and too many sugar-candies ruined her teeth. On the top of it she brushed her teeth casually and hurriedly not bothering about her dental hygiene.

 

Q.2    Explain : When I had more tooth there than fillin’. 

Ans.   The poet is referring to her childhood when all her teeth were intact, sound and healthy. She had no cavities and none of her teeth was damaged. Now her carelessness has ruined her teeth so badly that majority of them have been treated with fillings by the dentist and there are hardly any sound teeth left.

 

Q.3    What idea do you get about the poet from “Oh, I wish I’d Looked After me Teeth”?

Ans.   The poet having a very casual approach towards her dental hygiene behaves in a very careless and irresponsible manner. Having neither any farsight and foresight nor any control over her tongue she damaged majority of her sound teeth. However, she is honest enough to own her fault and confesses the omission on her part without trying to shift the blame to someone else.

 

Q.4    Describe the poet’s state of mind as she undergoes dental treatment.

Or

          How does the poet feel in the old dentist’s chair?

Ans.   The very idea of the dentist’s drill digging and poking her teeth makes the poet shudder in pain. While lying in the dentist’s chair, she feels very helpless and miserable. Owning the responsibility of ruining her own teeth, she is full of remorse and blames herself for her misery but it is too late.

 

Q.5    Why did the narrator make fun of her mother’s false teeth?

Ans.   As a child, the narrator had all her teeth intact sound and healthy; hence her mother’s ‘teeth’ in a bowl amused her. Little did she realize at that time, that her carelessness would damage her teeth and a stage might come in her life when she too would have to depend on dentures.

 

Q.6    Why does the poet say she should have bought ‘something else’ with her shilling?

Ans.   As a child the poet was given to eating lots of toffees, gobstoppers, liquorice and other sweet and sticky food articles that proved detrimental to her teeth, causing in them cavities and decay. This forced her to undergo dental treatment which was a very painful experience. The sight of her mother’s false teeth makes her dread what is set to happen to her. Now she regrets having spent her money on the harmful sweets and sticky food and wishes she should have bought something healthier with it.

 

 

Q.7    Read the following statement where ‘I’ refers to ‘you.

          “I can’t afford to after what Jack’s done to his teeth”.

          What is it, you think you can’t afford and why? Write a diary entry of not          less than 125 words.

 

Ans.   Thursday, 17th June, 2014                                                         9.00 p.m.

 

Dear Diary

 

I was shocked to see Jack today being forcibly dragged to the dentist by his parents. In spite of repeated warnings of the parents he neither bothered about his dental hygiene, nor gave up eating sweets and sticky food. Consequently he has badly decayed teeth, which are painfully sensitive to hot and cold. They are dotted with cavities but he is mortally afraid of dental procedures. Poor Jack, he is in a pitiable state!

 

After seeing his plight, I have decided to mend my ways right from today itself. I can’t afford to damage my teeth. I am going to say a big ‘NO’ to sweets and sticky food. I have resolved to brush my teeth regularly and carefully so that my teeth remain sound and sparkling. Goodbye toffees, sweets, gobstoppers and lollies and hello healthy teeth!

 

Oh! It’s time to brush my teeth before sleeping.

 

OK, Bye!

 

Jessie

 

WORKSHEET

Short Answer Questions

 

  1. The narrator has decaying teeth with cavities. Give two main causes for this condition of her teeth.

 

  1. The narrator brushed her teeth every night. Yet she could not save them from the dentist’s drill? Why?

 

  1. What is the poet’s regret?

 

  1. How was the poet insensitive to others’ health problems?

 

  1. How did the poet spend her pocket money? How should she have spent it?

 

  1. How does the poet feel on thinking about all the sweets she had consumed in the past? Why?

 

  1. ‘Didn’t seem worth the time I could bite’. What was not worth the time, according to the poet? Why?

 

  1. How the poet paid for neglecting her teeth?

 

  1. What does the poet feel about dental treatment?

 

  1. Why does the narrator look at the dentist’s nose in despair?

 

  1. What is the moral conveyed through this poem?

 

Long Answer Questions

 

  1. Are parents alone responsible for inculcating a good sense of dental hygiene amongst children? Write an article for your school magazine discussing the role of parents, schools, media and doctors in spreading awareness about the need of oral health.

 

  1. Suppose you are the narrator. You have just come back from the dentist’s after receiving the treatment.

Write a diary entry describing

  • what was your experience while sitting at the dentist’s chair
  • what you will do now to take careof your teeth
  • How you are feeling now
  1. Suppose you are a dentist. You have been called to address young kids at a primary school to tell them about the importance of good dental care. Draft a speech that you will deliver.

In your speech youshould

  • highlight the dental problems that affect children
  • explain the causes
  • suggest what children need to do to keep their teeth healthy

 

Or

On the basis of your reading of the poem “Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth”, draft a speech to be delivered in the morning assembly of your school on the “Importance of Proper Dental Care and Oral Hygiene”.

 

  1. Your younger brother has poor dental health. After reading the poem “Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth”, you feel like writing a letter to him advising to take care of his teeth.

In your letter you should

  • highlight the importance of good dental hygiene
  • say what your brother can do to improve his oral health
  • advise him to read the poem by Pam Ayres

 

  1. What do’s and don’ts have you learnt from Pam Ayres’s experience of poor dental health?

 

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