Compared to other cultures of their day that ate a grain-based diet, the Maya had generally good teeth, and they took pride in their teeth. They even went so far as to decorate their teeth extensively with small jewels. People would have holes drilled into the front of their teeth and gemstones inserted to make their smiles more attractive.
It’s not surprising, then, that the fear of losing one’s teeth, and the shame of inadequate dentures, should be detailed in their mythology. The Popol Vuh, which collects many of the Maya’s myths, including their creation stories, tells the story of Vucub Caquix, Seven Macaw, who literally died of shame because of bad dentures.
Seven Macaw wasn’t just proud of his teeth, he was vain. In fact, he was so proud of the light that was given off by his beautiful bejeweled teeth, that he claimed to be the sun as well as the creator of the universe. And because the first people who lived on the earth were dumb, they worshipped him.
This pretension could not be tolerated, so the heroic twins of Maya mythology, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, were sent to kill him. In the first conflict, Seven Macaw was only wounded in his jaw. He tore off one of Hunahpu’s arms and ran away.
The hero twins decided to concoct a more clever plan to kill Seven Macaw. They knew he was moping around, suffering in pain and barely able to eat or talk because of the wound in his jaw. So they enlisted the help of a couple of healers to help them lure Seven Macaw into a trap.
The healers walked by Seven Macaw’s house, and when he asked them for help, they looked at his mouth and said all his teeth were infected with a worm and needed to be removed.
When Seven Macaw objected that he didn’t want to give up his beautiful teeth, the healers said they would replace the lost teeth with new ones made of bone that would be just as beautiful and just as functional as his natural teeth. So Seven Macaw agreed.
But when the healers extracted Seven Macaw’s teeth, they replaced them not with bone, but with dry white corn.
These new denture teeth were not only ugly, they were ineffective. The corn wasn’t strong enough to chew any food at all. When Seven Macaw saw what had been done to his teeth, he lost all will to live and let his spirit go.
We’ve talked about several stories where people were lured in by the promise of cheap dentures, only to find that what they were given didn’t really meet their needs. None of these people actually died of shame, but most of them lived in shame. Don’t let yourself make the same mistake: choose high end dentures that you will be proud to show off.
To learn more about dentures that will look natural and function properly, please call (610) 272-0828 for an appointment with a Philadelphia denture dentist at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell today.
Dental Excellence of Blue Bell