I Think I Varnished My Teeth

The process of rehabbing my father's Thistle may soon include a trip to the dentist.
Sailing World


The Rolling Stones set another bad example.

I’m not sure if it’s even possible, but I think I varnished my teeth.

Yesterday afternoon, I tuned in the Cleveland Browns game on the radio, wrapped my foam block with 320-grit paper, and continued sanding away at the Sled, the wooden Thistle I’m in the process of varnishing. Last weekend, I worked through all the nooks and crannies of the bow and mast-step areas; the back of the boat is less intricate, so yesterday’s sanding went relatively quickly.

Moving the block back and forth along the grain of the bench seats and following the contours of the mahogany plies, I soon generated a cloud of ultra-fine varnish dust. I probably should’ve been wearing a mask and goggles, but frequent vacuuming seemed to be keeping the dust at bay, and the Browns were winning for once, so I just kept motoring along.


But I couldn’t help noticing my teeth. They seemed extra sensitive to the cool air in the garage. As I inhaled, I had to make a conscious effort to cover my chompers with my lips in order to avoid the uncomfortable chill caused by air hitting teeth.

Driving home, I moved my tongue across the enamel. It felt smoother than usual, like it had been polished. I’m beginning the think that the the varnish dust collected on my teeth, and I unconsciously wet-sanded them with my lips. Whatever the case, my grill has that fresh-from-the-dentist feel this morning, and it didn’t even cost me a co-pay.