Lynn's Comments: I really got myself into trouble with this one. In the second panel, "checking pockets" was something that used to be done during a regular check-up. This involved using a probe to explore the depth of the tissue holding each tooth. The tiny spaces at the front, back and sides of each tooth are called "pockets." A healthy tooth has shallow pockets, meaning there is substantial tissue holding the tooth and the bone has not receded. "Long in the tooth" is when the bone recedes, the gum does as well, and the tooth root begins to show. I knew dentists and their staff would get the joke, but the general public might not... so I added the note, "a dental joke." It was not accepted as such. I did this strip for the sheer joy of the punchline, which was a dreadful pun. I was proud of it. The number of irate dental folks who wrote to tell me that checking pockets was NOT a joke, but a serious procedure and I should know better than to make fun of it. Well, excuuuuuse me!!! I was also on the carpet for suggesting that not all assistants wear gloves. In fact, at the time this strip was written (early '90s), wearing gloves was only just becoming a medical requirement. Yup. I apologized and explained my way through the letters, but the slap stung. This has been a long-winded explanation, but I'm glad to get it off my jest!