It seems like every family has its signature injury. Some families always need stitches, others always need casts. We, on the other hand, need dentists.
It started when Claire was about 18 months and I was dressing her in her pajamas. She fell forward straight on her mouth and chipped her baby tooth. I was amazed that she would fall straight on her mouth and never brace herself with her hand. I thought it was instinctual to brace for a fall — apparently not. Since then we have rushed her to the dentist several times.
The most recent was last year when she was six and ran into a metal rack in the paint store with her mouth wide open. Her two front teeth had been in her mouth less than a month and they were already under attack. Luckily, the bloody mouth was the worst of it and there was no permanent damage.
David and Cate both have several baby teeth that are chipped too. And now, there’s Edwin who could fit a faucet through the gaping hole in his mouth.
He lost his first two teeth this summer and his permanent teeth are just barely erupting through the bottom of his gums. Just this week, he told me that one of his top front teeth was loose. Although I could barely feel it budge, I gasped with excitement and said, “Just a few more months and you’ll be singing, ‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…”
Little did I know that two days later he would knock them out.
With one ill-fated leap onto the sofa, his chompers met David’s forehead and the rest is bloody history. An immediate but brief silence was followed by intense wailing. Unnamed husband leapt into action as I was paralyzed with my hand over my mouth, my own teeth reverberating because I knew what had just happened.
I finally gather myself and comfort Edwin while Unnamed Husband calls our dentist friend. I assess the damage and see the teeth still attached to his gums but dangling like a couple of hanging chads.
Our friend agrees to see Edwin on a Sunday – did I mention that everyone needs to be friends with a dentist?
After a quick assessment, Unnamed Husband and our dentist friend decide that Edwin’s two front teeth should be removed. A little topical anesthetic and a lot of fussing and the teeth came right out.
As you can see from Unnamed Husband’s photos, Edwin was not a happy camper. He came back to life later after realizing that he would get a doubly profitable visit from the tooth fairy.
The tooth fairy visited us that night and left Edwin a tiny note telling him to take care of his new teeth. She found the idea on Pinterest — her latest time-sucking obsession!
Hopefully he’ll heed her advice and this will be the end of our dental anguish.