I think we are all familiar with the Twilight series, right? As you may know (or choose to ignore) it features a certain hunky vampire protagonist: Edward. Edward is described by the author as perfect in every way: his face, his muscles, his hair. She even goes so far as to describe “Edward’s perfect breath.” Although I have never read nor seen the entirety of any Twilight story, and most of what I’m about to say is based purely on snark, I find it unlikely that Edward has perfect breath. Allow me to explain the impossibility of this and the conditions necessary for “perfection.”
Vampires drink blood; I think we can all agree that in any vampire story it’s a key element, and their only source of food. However, black pudding (which is neither black, nor pudding), and all other blood-based culinary cast-offs create an iron-rich putridness that will always leave a ripe funk in your mouth. If that was all you ate day in, day out, for hundreds of years, it would definitely create a less than desirable oral environment. There is no way around this. Regardless of vampire healing powers or beauty facades, nothing will fix that kind of smell.
Realizing this fact, I am stuck wondering how on earth vampires have gained such a sexy reputation if they’re all walking around with black-pudding breath. A Lothario of the night cannot possibly woo this way. Seduction is just not compatible with halitosis. The only way that a vampire could be capable of having less than offensive breath would be through diligent oral hygiene. This includes regular brushing and flossing. Flossing would be the first problem as they have no reflection in the mirror. Blindly, and I’m guessing with waxed unflavored floss, they would massage the fangs before brushing and retiring for the morning. But such routines alone can’t create perfection. The vampire needs a helper: The Vampire Dentist
Perhaps the dentist is a vampire himself; perhaps there is a long tradition of converting recently graduated DDSs into vampires specifically so that they might serve the vampire population: offering a fang bleaching or sharpening, and even operating during night hours. Naturally, this tradition couldn’t be that old. Looking back at the history of the vampire, I realize that vampires predate modern dentistry. Most vampires, like perfect Edward, are over 100 years old. When he was a young human man I doubt he ever saw a dentist in his life. Needless to say, the state of his teeth (and breath) was probably not very impressive. At the time I’m sure no one noticed, since they all had the same notions of oral hygiene: rotting gums and blackened teeth were a sign of prosperity (or so I imagine). But the stink of rotten blood mouth was likely horrible – even by local standards. How did vampires lure their victims 200 years ago? Did they lurk near out-houses so that the smell of their breath would seem mild in comparison? What a glorious day it must have been when one of the blood suckers realized he could liven up this gruesome feeding-time if he would only freshen up a bit. The transition from monster to sex machine had to have been when a vampire realized that an eternity lurking in smelly places to attack and feed on his victims was really no fun. He thought to himself, “If the ladies actually wanted to come near me, I might actually get laid once and a while instead of feeding like some parasite of the porta-potty.” And thus, we have the modern, sexy, perfect vampire.
Now that that’s settled, and we can all agree that Perfect Edward must be working really hard to reverse centuries of dental neglect, I submit for your amusement a scene from the one place no author has dared to venture: The Vampire Dentist’s Office
Evelyn sits at the front desk, tapping a pen against the message pad, her head is pinched to the left, holding the phone receiver. “I’m sorry sir, but we no longer accept that insurance… As I said, Van Heal-sing discontinued their contract with our practice… You’re certainly welcome to come in for a cleaning, but you need to know that the bill will be your responsibility…Okay, then. Have a nice day, sir.” She drops the phone into the cradle, sighs and pushes a lock of dyed black hair away from her milky forehead. As she looks up, the front door of the waiting room opens. The irritated angst on her face drops and she beams a perfect smile. “Hello, Edward. Nice to see you.” She pushes the hair off her forehead again (more demurely this time) “The doctor is just finishing up. Please have a seat.” Edward nods, sits down and begins thumbing through the Highlights magazine on the seat next to him. His Olympian good looks make Evelyn sit up in her seat a little more, hoping he’ll notice her craning her creamy neck to the side – pretending to look at something out the window. The only thing she’s actually looking at is the framed poster of an anthropomorphized molar holding a toothbrush in one hand and giving a thumbs up with the other. The only damn poster in the room, put up to look “normal” in the event someone stumbles in thinking this is a regular dentist’s office.
The swinging double doors burst open, “Ok, Count, great to see you again.” The man speaking has a vaseline smile and an expensive suit under his lab coat. “We’ll see you in six months. And remember to lay off the virgins! That sweet stuff will rot the fangs right out of your head.” He turns to Evelyn at the desk, stretching his smile to the point of a grimace, “Won’t they?” Evelyn blushes under her white foundation makeup and nods. The Count shuffles through the double doors as the dentist holds them open. Flashing his toothy grin again, he looks into the waiting room and says “Ah, Edward, great. I’ll be right with you.”
At this point, reader, I’ll let you fill in the rest. Once the dentist gets his cleaning instruments in Edward’s perfect mouth dialogue would be incomprehensible, anyway. So, we’ll stop here. Of course, there are many questions left to be answered. In the meantime feel free to ponder the following: Do vampires ever need root canals, dentures or braces? Obviously, this information, like everything else I’ve mentioned, is not frequently discussed in order to protect the sexy vampire persona. Perfect Edward’s less-than-perfect reality will have to remain secret for a little longer.