Class 9 – English – Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth- important questions
REFERENCE TO CONTEXT QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Read the given extracts and answer the questions that follow :
Question.1. ‘Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’.
And pokin ‘and fussin’.
Didn’t seem worth the time—I could bite.
(a) What is ‘them’ being referred to in the first line ? Why did the poet show them the toothpaste ?
(b) Explain the phrase ‘pokin’ and ‘fussin’.
(c) What didn’t seem ‘worth the time’ to the poet ? (CBSE 2014)
Answers :
(a) The word ‘them’ refers to teeth. The poet did not brush the teeth properly. She only showed them the toothpaste.
(b) The phrase pokin’ and fussin’ mean checking carefully.
(c) To the poet, brushing the teeth carefully is not worth the time.

Question.2. When I think of the lollies I licked And the liquorice all sorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, bit and little,
And that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.
(a) How does the poet feel when she thinks of all the sweets she has taken ?
(b) What do you think of her as a child ?
(c) What are ‘liquorice’ and ‘sherbet dabs’ ?
Answers:
(a) The poet feels guilty when she thinks of all the sweets she has taken.
(b) She was very fond of sweets and careless about her teeth.
(c) ‘Liquorice’ is a kind of candy. ‘Sherbet dabs’ are tiny sweets.

Question.3. ‘Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath All the toffees I chewed.
And the sweet sticky food
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.
(a) What is the poet’s wish ?
(b) What harmed her teeth ?
(c) Give the meaning of’spotted’.
Answers :
(a) The poet wishes that she should have taken proper care of her teeth.
(b) The toffees that she had chewed during childhood harmed her teeth.
(c) ‘saw’.

Question.4. How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth.
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.
(а) What did the poet make fun of ?
(b) What do you mean by ‘they’ in fourth line ?
(c) Give the meaning of the word ‘beckonin’.
Answers :
(a) The poet made fun of the false teeth of her mother.
(b) ‘They refers to false teeth.
(c) ‘beckoning’ (calling)

Question.5. “But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth”.
(a) ‘But now comes the reckonin’. Explain.
(b) Who are beckoning the poet ?
(c) What is the poet’s regret ?
Answers :
(а) It means that she harmed her teeth by eating many sweets. Now the time has come to estimate or calculate the harm.
(b) The false teeth of the mother are calling the poet.
(c) The poet’s regret is that she did not take proper care of her teeth.

Question.6. If I’d known, I was paving the way To cavity, caps and decay the murder of fillin”s
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away
(а) Why did the poet develop cavities in her teeth ?
(b) Which poetic device does the poet use in the second line ?
(c) Give the meaning of’sherbet’.
Answers:
(a) The poet developed cavities in her teeth because she had been eating too much sweets, lollies and toffees, etc.
(b) It is alliteration.
(c) ‘A sweet candy’.

SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Answer each of the following questions in 30>40 words.
Question.1. What are the different kinds of sweets that the poet ate which led to the cavities ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The poet, as a child, used to eat all sweets things such as lollipops, caramels, chocolates and chewing gums. She enjoyed candies and the other sticky stuff.

Question.2. Why has the line, “Oh ! I wish I’d looked after me teeth’ been repeated in the poem by Pam ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The line has been repeated for emphasis. The poet realizes and regrets that she has not been taking proper care of her teeth. That is why, her teeth were now in a bad state.

Question.3. What should the poet have known ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The poet should have known the consequences of eating many sweets and neglecting the teeth. She should have known that if she continued to neglect the care of her teeth they would be causing her a lot of trouble.

Question.4. What were the consequences of the poet’s actions in her childhood according to the poem ‘Oh!I wish I’d looked After Me Teeth’ ?
(CBSE 2014)
Answer. In her childhood the poet ate a number of sweets of all kinds. She did not brush her teeth carefully. The result was that cavities developed beneath her
teeth, and she had to go to the dentist and underwent a lot of pain.

Question.5. “Two amalgum”. What does this expression mean ? (CBSE 2014)
Or
Why has the word ‘amalgum’ been misspelt in the poem ‘Oh ! I wish I’d looked After Me Teeth’ ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The poet deliberately misspells the word ‘amalgam’ as ‘amalgum’. She wants to emphasise in an amusing way that there were two cavities beneath her teeth which the dentist was to fill with amalgam a mixture of mercury and another metal used for such purposes.

Question.6. Why does the child find brushing a useless activity ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The child found brushing a useless activity because she was ignorant about dental hygiene at that time. She casually brushed her teeth and thus harmed them greatly.

Question.7. What perils did the poet spot ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The poet spotted perils, that is, cavities beneath her teeth. These cavities were caused by her eating sweets and sticky stuff and by her neglect of her teeth.

Question.8. How does the poem successfully ‘awaken the reader to his dental hygiene and care’ ? (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The poem repeats the line ‘Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth’ to emphasise the necessity of dental hygiene. She repeatedly expresses her regret and tells the reader how she had harmed her teeth by eating many sweets and by the neglect of her teeth. Thus, the poem succeeds in its explicit aim of making the reader aware of the significance of dental care.

Question.9. Who is whining a ‘drill’ in the poem, ‘Oh, I wished ‘, and why ?(CBSE 2014)
Answer. The dentist is using his drill- which gives the sound of whining-in filling the holes in the teeth of the poet. It is so because there are cavities beneath the poet’s teeth, caused by her neglect of her teeth.

Question.10. “But up-and-down brushing and pokin’ and fussin”. What do you understand by the line. (CBSE 2014)
Answer. The line tells us that the poet did not brush her teeth properly and carefully. She did not move the brush up and down as recommended. She took the activity of brushing as useless.

Question.11. On what should the poet have spent her money ?
Answer. The poet should have spent her money on the right kind of food. She should have spent money on healthy and nutritious food that would have made her teeth strong and healthy. She should not have wasted money on buying toffees, lollies, candies and sweet, sticky food.

Question.12. Why does the conscience of the poet prick her ?
Answer. The conscience of the poet pricks her because she had been eating wrong kind of food. She had been eating toffees, lollies and candies and sweet, sticky food. This kind of food caused cavities in her teeth. She had to bear painful injections and the pain of the dentist’s drill. Thus, she feels guilty.

Question.13. What did the poet do with her cavities in her teeth ?
Answer. She went to the dentist for treatment. She wanted to get the cavities filled medically. She had to get the painful injections. She had to sit in the dentist’s chair and bear the pain of the dentist’s drill. She regretted that she had not looked after her teeth.

Question.14. What signal did her mother’s false teeth give to the poet ?
Answer. Her mother’s false teeth gave her the signal that if she did not take care of her teeth, she, too, would have to get the false teeth for herself. She had neglected the care of her teeth. She developed many cavities in her teeth. She was likely to lose some teeth. So she thought that her mother’s false teeth gave a sort of warning to her.

VALUE – BASED LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Question.1. “The body is a temple”. It is believed that the body given by God should be treated with care, as it is one’s temple. Comment on this thought with reference to the poem ‘Oh I wish I’d looked After Me Teeth’.(CBSE 2014)
Answer. A temple is a place which we respect and honour. The body given to us by God is nothing but a venerable temple. If we neglect it we are sure to suffer in one way or the other. If we do not take proper care of any of its organ we will have to bear the consequences.
In the poem ‘Oh ! I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’ the poet paid no attention to her teeth in her childhood. She continued to eat sweets and sticky stuff. To make the matters worse, she did not brush her teeth carefully. She thought that brushing was a useless activity. The result was that many cavities developed beneath her teeth. She had to go to the dentist to fill those holes. She suffered from a lot of needless pain. Had she treated her teeth with respect she would not have to suffer at all.

Question.2. What message does the poet want to convey to children in his poem ‘Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’ ? Support your answer with reference to the following lines :
How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.
Answer. The poet regrets that she had not taken care of her teeth during her childhood. She conveys a message to the children that they should inculcate in themselves a good sense of dental hygiene. She regrets that she harmed her teeth by ; neglecting their care. Due to the neglect of her teeth, she developed many cavities beneath her teeth. It happened because she had been eating a lot of toffees and sweet, sticky food. Now, she realizes that she should not have eaten sweets and hard candies. She feels guilty that she had been eating
lollies, candies and tiny sweets. Her conscience pricks her because she had been eating wrong food. The poet regrets that she did not brush her teeth properly. She did not brush her teeth by moving brush up and down. She did not consider it worthwhile to spend some time in cleaning her teeth. Consequently, the poet had to go to the dentist for treatment.

Question.3. What is the role of parents and teachers in teaching dental care to children ? Discuss it with reference to the poet’s experience in the poem ‘Oh ! I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’.
Answer. There is no denying the fact that parents and teachers can play an active role in teaching dental hygiene to children. Mothers at home must ensure that her children do not eat too many sweets. She should ensure that they brush their teeth at least twice a day. She should also tell them the proper use of toothbrush. If the children pay no or little attention to their teeth, they should be taken to the dentist and show the horrible scene of treating the teeth.
In the poem ‘Oh ! I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’, it seems as if her parents were quite negligent. They did not persuade or force her to avoid sweets and brush her teeth carefully. Had they played their role well the poet would not have to suffer a lot of pain at the dentist in filling her cavities.