A dentist is rarely the lead character of a book, movie or TV show, let alone cast in the role of action hero.
The latter is about to change with the forthcoming anime The Dragon Dentist, the story of which features an underlying message about the importance of preventing tooth decay. The feature-length movie will play in two parts in February 2017 on the NHK BS Premium channel, which is available via a number of Australian satellite providers.
A Dentist for Dragons
The Dragon Dentist is based on a 2014 short film of the same name, in which a girl named Nonoko is charged with learning dentistry to protect the teeth of a guardian-like dragon.
According to a recent Anime News Network article, the upcoming movie will focus on Nonoko’s mission to prevent tooth decay in the dragon. After a battle with a neighboring nation, she discovers in one the dragon’s teeth a boy from the country in question; this supernatural event launches them on an epic adventure.
The short was a sensation at the 2014 Japan Animator Expo, and the full-length movie is produced by the esteemed Studio Khara, which also made the popular Evangelion series. It also has the backing of Hideaki Anno, the writer and codirector of the well-received Shin Godzilla, which is currently playing in some Sydney-area movie theaters. Notably, Shin Godzilla has some funky dentition, too, similar to the weird teeth in the earliest movies.
A Drag On the Teeth
Presumably, being a dragon is hard on the teeth. It is surprising that a dragon wouldn’t have deciduous teeth, like a crocodile. But, then again, the dragon looks less reptilian than some. The effects of all that fire-breathing would likely include dry mouth (and we won’t even mention the dental complications that could arise from the wanton devouring of villagers).
Saliva helps protect teeth from tooth decay by flushing food particles and nullifying some of the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. Without treatment, persistent dry mouth leads to an increased risk for cavities and gum disease; it can also cause changes in taste and contribute to halitosis (chronic bad breath).
In people, dry mouth becomes more common with age, and it is a side-effect of many medications. It can also be a result of smoking or chewing tobacco. Treatments for dry mouth include moisturising rinses and medications to stimulate saliva, depending on the cause. Dental sealants or dental fluoride trays may also be recommended to protect the teeth from further damage.
We would have to assume that the dragon has much thicker enamel than we do, because heat sensitivity would definitely be a problem.
If a dragon deserves a devoted dentist, so do you and your family. The Sydney dentists at My Hills Dentist are dedicated to helping patients maintain beautiful, healthy smiles through comprehensive, general and cosmetic dentistry services. To schedule your appointment at our Baulkham Hills office, please call (02) 9686 7375.