Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010:
Dental care by the seat of your pants
in Malmö and Helsingborg

What I think:

I've been to the dentist a few times over the past couple of months. Apparently there are spaces between my gums and teeth in which bacteria are starting to form, which could cause me grief a bit later on in life; the grief being that I could be toothless if I'm not ultra-careful about keeping everything spotless in my gaping cake-hole.

I've learned a few tooth/dentist-related Swedish words during my time here, which I'd like to share with you now.
In Swedish (bear with me on this):

- Tooth is tand; a direct translation.

- Dentist is tandläkare, which is a compound word, consisting of tand (tooth) and läkare (doctor). So the direct translation of tandläkare is tooth doctor. So a dentist, in Swedish, is a tooth doctor. Cute, huh?

- Gums is my favourite inside-your-mouth word. In Swedish it's tandkött. Another compound word, this one consists of tand (tooth), as you've already learned, and kött (pronounced kind of like "should", but you replace the last consonant sound ["ld"] with a "t". This means meat or flesh.). So the direct translation of tandkött is tooth meat. So gums, in Swedish, are tooth meat. Isn't that adorable? Bless.

- Tartar may taste nice on fish, but apparently it's nasty on the teeth. In Swedish, it's known as tandsten, which translates to tooth stone, which, unless you're Keith Richard [Hi Keith!], is really not as glamorous as it sounds.

- "Open wide". "Gapa" is what a Swedish dentist (or a sadistic dental hygienist, apparently) says when he (or, more commonly, she) says when they can't quite reach the tooth containing the nerve that will cause you the most agonising (US/CAN: agonizing) misery. Interestingly - and etymologically - the English word "gape" (as in "my gaping cake-hole") comes directly from the Old Norse word "gapa", meaning "to open the mouth".

There you go. You learned something new today. Unless you're Swedish, in which case: Håll käften.

So anyway, my four - no five - visits to the sadistic Swedish dental hygienist cost me around 3,000 kronor (this is, at the time of writing, about £278.50 / US$446.20 / CAN$447.65 / €322.70 / 2,063,673 Zambian Kwacha).

I guess this isn't too bad, considering all the torture you get for your money, but since other healthcare is so greatly subsidised (US/CAN: subsidized) here, one would have thought it would be substantially less. Ah well...

And now for a not-so-smooth segue. I was on my way to one of my band's [CSI: Helsingborg's] notorious Pissed Rehearsals in Helsingborg a couple of weeks ago, umm, after having brushed my teeth.

When I got off the bus and headed for the platform, I noticed that just about all of the bicycles parked near the platform had these bright pink seat covers on them.
You see, over the past year or so (possibly longer; I'm not normally terribly observant), someone came up with the clever advertising (US/CAN: advertising - ha, gotcha) idea of printing up logos and/or messages on pre-made bike seat covers and putting them over as many bicycles as they could find.

This is actually quite ingenious, as many Swedish cyclists normally use plastic carrier bags as covers to keep their seats dry when the weather really sucks (which is usually about 342 days a year) and - regardless of the message of who's selling what - would probably appreciate having this little cycling accessory given to them free of charge.

[Unless, of course, it was provided by the Sverigedemokraterna (The Sweden Democrats), in which case 5.7% would hang it on their walls, about 54.3% would burn it, a few would actually use it, and the rest wouldn't be sure whether they should sit on it or not. Oh yeah, some would sell it on e-Bay.*]

But I'm into advertising, and not politics, so I thought I'd just check out which company was splashing out on this particular benevolent gesture. When I approached the nearest seat, here's what I saw:The Skåne region's "dental health" authority is advertising on these things. What?
(By the way, Skåne is the county or province (whatever) in the southwesternmost part of Sweden.)

The large writing (roughly translated) means "Your smile looked after.". The bit in the black speech balloon means "Healthy dental care - now for everyone!". The bit at the bottom is this website ->

Now, Malmö is not a huge city; certainly not by American, Canadian, British, Australian, French, Spanish, German, Irish, Italian, (... etc... for ages...) Peruvian, Turkish, Brazilian, or even Swedish standards, but there are a lot of cyclists here; that is if you look at bikes per capita, and the number of those who actually use them regularly.

I looked over at (one of) the main cycle park area(s), and just had to go halfway across the bridge to share this with you:That's a lot of dental care encouragement, wouldn't you say?

Then glancing back at the other (main) end of the station:
And there's a bit across the bridge over the canal:Amazing.

So. I caught the train to Helsingborg, and was walking to the Charles Dickens Pub to meet guitarist CSI: Nils for our usual pre-Pissed Rehearsal piss-up, and I realised that the tooth-care-advert fairies had hit Helsingborg as well (Helsingborg is also in Skåne):I hadn't left Helsingborg's train station through the bicycle parking area, but it looked as though a deed had definitely been done there too.

A couple more bits of evidence:

So, apparently, the dental care authority of Skåne had spent loads of money advertising the fact that people in the southwest of Sweden should visit their dentists, as if this was a radically new idea.

Oh, by the way, when I was in Paris last month, I was at this place and went out for a smoke, and there was some guy selling funky-flashy glasses. I had to try them on...I didn't buy any, and the guy selling was a bit annoyed, but this guy did...
... and the funky-flashy glasses sales guy was happy again. That's him to the left of the guy wearing (two pairs! Ha-ha! of ) the funky-flashy glasses.

Oh, how we laughed, etc.

Anyway, as I was saying, I wonder how much money was spent on producing and distributing those glasses - no, seat covers - in Skåne. Most Swedes that I've met are well aware of the existence of dentists, and most actually go through the ritual torture that that awareness entails; it's pretty much a part of being Swedish.

So why spend so much money on this silly campaign? Can't they use the money for the research and development of more efficient and painful torture devices? It's all very futile, it's ridiculous, it's costly, and it's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.

[*Based on figures I made up, for the most part.]

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Ken said...

Excellent piece, and pertinent questions. It's like advertising milk. Why? There has to be limited value back from that advertising money.
I think you forgot one Swedish dental word:
lån - meaning loan - and most dentist offices offer them so you can go into debt to pay for something that should be covered under the regular health system.

10:16 pm  
Blogger Miss Kitten said...

This is one thing that perplexes me about the national health plan in Sweden, that as good as it normally is, for some reason it doesn't cover dental. When you ask a typical Swede why dental care isn't covered they don't really answer the question but usually say, "Well, it is free if you're 20 or younger. " Good to know, although that doesn't actually help me because I'm older than that.

I mean, even in the States with its famously flawed and expensive private health insurance system, you can always count on dental being covered on even the crappiest plan.

5:06 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

Don't know why, but it's the same in the UK; dental isn't covered by the NHS. Maybe there are powerful lobbyists in the denture industry.

6:18 pm  
Anonymous Greg said...

It bothers me as my sister has just emigrated to Ludvika.
It has to be better than the UK


12:38 am  
Blogger sam said...

I enjoyed every little bit of it, I have you bookmarked and waiting for all the new stuff you post.
Volvo S90 Turbocharger

8:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

somewhat late a Swede needs to comment. This is an ad for public dentists in competition with private dentists. So that's why they spet the money. To attract customers from private dentists.

10:18 pm  
Anonymous Dentist Newmarket said...

Chiropractic spinal manipulation treatment is rated as one of the best back pain treatments. Any person's spine having restricted movement leading to pain and reduced functioning is a chiropractic treatment concept.

8:20 am  
Anonymous Dentist Flemington NJ said...

Dentist Flemington NJ having a dental practice that can accommodate all of your needs just makes life a little easier. Kensington Family Dental Care is proud to offer a wide range of dental services for the whole family.

12:45 pm  
Anonymous florida gator forum said...

A Florida Gator sports blog that covers every game, roster, exclusive
player interviews, and much more. It is your source for Florida Gator
news. Come check out the forum and discuss Heisman trophy winner Tim
Tebow and the rest of the Gators.

8:49 am  
Anonymous Teeth Whitening said...

Dental say that the most important part of tooth care happens at home. Brushing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent gum disease. Our Teeth Whitening is one the best dental service provider.

7:34 am  
Anonymous August M. Baker said...

This will help to protect your teeth. Look for Dentist in Newmarket.

9:19 am  
Blogger John Moran said...

Excellent sharing.You shared a really good information.keep sharing.

Rochester mi dentist

5:53 am  
Blogger amit said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.

Dental Implants Hartford CT

9:48 am  
Blogger Stella said...

Do I observe it correctly and this post from November 9th, 2010 is the latest on the blog? What happened? Did your teeth kill you? <-- This is a trick question

2:15 pm  
Blogger mohammad ahad said...

Thanks What a great info you have given us by your blog. I like it and will share it to my friends.

Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist

2:14 pm  
Anonymous Tucson Dentist said...

Thanks for this awesome blog friend.
You may like to click on this Tucson dentist

7:00 am  
Anonymous Las Vegas Dentist said...

Awesome article this is.Thanks for publishing this.I was thinking that you should see this Las Vegas Dentist

7:08 am  
Anonymous Vero Beach Dentist said...

Well I was searching for a good article as like this.lols!
Vero Beach Dentist

7:13 am  
Anonymous Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist said...

I was suffering from toothache last week, and I've found a great Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist near my home.To meet him or get appointed just click this!

7:20 am  
Anonymous cincinnati dentist said...

Well I was looking for a "dentist in Cincinnati" and I got my goal.For more info
visit his site.

7:26 am  
Anonymous Fountain Valley dentist said...

I have no words in praise of this article.It is so much informative thanks for this.

7:34 am  
Anonymous Burnaby dentist said...

I was searching a good health article.Thanks for ending my search. :)

7:41 am  
Blogger Max count said...

I read your article deeply.It has impressed me so much.Thanks for publishing this.
Orange County Implant Dentist

8:30 am  
Anonymous Invisalign Barnegat NJ said...

Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!

11:46 am  
Blogger Mishty Kaushal said...

I want to take treatment for teeth whitening, intended for that I want to take action from one of the dentist of Barnett, NJ. Can you please inform me that is this my right choice? Help me!!

teeth whitening in Barnegat, NJ

8:18 am  
Blogger Nichole Mercado said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:43 am  
Blogger Nichole Mercado said...

I quite enjoyed your quick lesson on Swedish translation of some dental terms. Anyhow, I have the same issue with my teeth; I had cavities forming on my teeth gaps, and not to mention on my impacted wisdom tooth. My Chandler dentist did an awesome job of treating it by suggesting an Invisalign treatment to close the gaps, remarkably it worked. But of course I still have to properly maintain a good dental hygiene or else all of my efforts will be put to waste.

6:46 am  
Blogger Abdullahel Kafe said...

Great post . This article is really very interesting and effective. I think its must be helpful and informative for us. Thanks for sharing your nice post.
emergency dental clinic Manhattan NY
Emergency dental services Manhattan NY
24 hour emergency dental office Manhattan NY

2:23 pm  
Blogger Thorough Lad said...

My dental care specialist guides me by educating me regarding all aspects of an array of choices. The staff with dentist Redondo Beach has always been extremely professional and knowledgeable as well.

8:07 am  
Blogger Mrs.Irene Query said...

How I Got My Loan From A Genuine And Reliable Loan Company

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs.Irene Query. I live in Philippines and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of $150,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 2 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of$150,000.00 US. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs.Irene Query, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

12:37 am  
Anonymous Abiya said...

Very nice post here thanks for it .I always like and such a super contents of these post.Excellent and very cool idea and great content of different kinds of the valuable information's.

J2ee training in chennai

2:02 pm  
Blogger Shalini said...

Wonderful bloggers like yourself who would positively reply encouraged me to be more open and engaging in commenting.So know it's helpful.

digital marketing company in india

5:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ya well and good as i well am interested in more things to know about the current scenario of the world.

Web Design Company in Chennai

6:24 am  
Blogger Abiya Carol said...

Great site for these post and i am seeing the most of contents have useful for my Carrier.Thanks to such a useful information.Any information are commands like to share him.

AWS Training in Chennai

7:31 am  
Blogger Akshaysri said...

Great post!I am actually getting ready to across this information,i am very happy to this commands.Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have.Well done,its a great knowledge.
PTE Coaching in Chennai

10:54 am  
Blogger Philips Huges said...

Its very useful to me. Wonderful blog.. Thanks for sharing informative Post.

Installment loans
Payday loans
Title loans

8:08 pm  
Blogger Freddie King said...

http://www.mcdonaldsgutscheine.net | http://www.startlr.com | http://www.saludlimpia.com

9:17 pm  
Blogger Philips Huges said...

Its a wonderful post and very helpful, thanks for all this information. You are including better information regarding this topic in an effective way.Thank you so much

Personal Installment Loans
Title Car loan
Cash Advance Loan

9:38 pm  
Blogger Sharaf Mohamed said...

I think great site for these post and i am read the most of contents have useful for my Carrier.Thanks for these useful information.Any information are commands like to share him.

SEO Company in Chennai
SEO Company in India
Digital Marketing Company in Chennai
Digital Marketing Company in India
Web Development Company in India
Web Design Company in Chennai

11:59 am  
Anonymous Anusuya said...

It’s amazing in support of me to have a site, which is useful in support of my know-how. thanks admin, you surely come with remarkable articles. Cheers for sharing your website page.Excellent blog here...
Home Interior Designers in Chennai
Home Interiors in Chennai

3:22 pm  
Blogger vinothika said...

This is an imposing post.Really very informative and creative contents. These concept is a good way to enhance the knowledge.I like it and help me to development very well.Thank you for this brief explanation and very nice information.

Hadoop Training in Chennai

5:54 am  
Anonymous Nicole said...

Very nice post here thanks for it I always like and search such topics and everything connected to them. Keep update more information..

Manufacturing ERP
Human Resources Management Software
CCTV Camera Dealers in Chennai

2:43 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home