Posts Tagged With: teeth

To the Obnoxious Kid Who Told My Daughter the Tooth Fairy Isn’t Real

Dear Obnoxious Kid Who Told My Daughter the Tooth Fairy Isn’t Real,

Shut. Up.

You were so excited to crush her little toothy dreams. So eager and delighted. Who hurt you?

My Kid after school: Mommy! Look! I lost my tooth!

Me: Oh my gosh! That’s amazing! Way to go!

My Kid: Look, the nurse gave me a little tooth fairy box!

Obnoxious Kid not involved in this conversation: You know there’s no such thing as the tooth fairy, right?

My Kid: Yes, there is!

Obnoxious Kid: No, there’s not. It’s just your parents.

Techer nearby: Nu-uh. Don’t you be mad at her because the tooth fairy doesn’t come to your house anymore. Don’t worry, sweetie, there’s a tooth fairy.

My Kid: I know there’s a tooth fairy. There’s lots of little tooth fairies that collect the fallen out teeth for her.

Me: Yup. But the tooth fairies don’t come if you don’t believe, so I guess that’s why they don’t go to his (Obnoxious Kid’s) house anymore. (Burn!)

Obnoxious Kid: Uh, that’s not true.

My Kid: I believe!

Imagination: 1     
Heartless attempt at stealing my kids’ youth: 0

I hope the Easter Bunny takes a dump in your shoes, Obnoxious Kid.


Categories: Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing But the Tooth

Dear Kitten,

Two months ago you got your first loose tooth while eating a tomato of all things…


It was one of those parental moments when you realize that your children (despite their regular emotional outbursts)really are growing up. After all, you’re getting ADULT teeth now. Adult. Wha-?? It overwhelmed me for a little bit.

For days you delighted in showing everyone your loose tooth. Family, friends, teachers, the check-out girl at the supermarket – no one within a 10 foot radius of you was too obscure to share this glorious news with. It was sweet to see you so excited.

You know what’s not sweet? Fighting over said loose tooth with your child when it’s been almost a month and they don’t want to even aggressively wiggle it, much less pull it the heck out already.

Parent: Can I wiggle your tooth?
Child: No!
Parent: I just want to see how loose it is. It’s been three weeks and it’s still in there. Let me check it out.
Child: Noooo!
Parent: Well, can you wiggle it for me?
Child: (barely touches tooth) There.
Parent: How about you just show me the tooth, ok? Just open your mouth real wide. No, move your lip. Now move your tongue. Seriously?? I can’t even look at it?
Child: You’re going to touch it!
Parent: Look, my hands are behind my back! I just want to see how fast the adult tooth behind it is coming in. Can I do that?
Child: (flashes mouth for 0.26 seconds)
Parent: Unhelpful. (reaches for child’s mouth to peer in)
Child: NOOO! Don’t pull it!!
Parent: I’m not going to pull it! I’m going to look at it! Calm down!
Child: NOOOOO!!!
Parent: Stop thrashing! It’s just a tooth! Ow! Stop it!
Child: (unspeakable wails fit for persons losing limbs)
Parent: Stop it! Just stop it! It’s a freaking tooth!

And then you’re wrestling with your child just for a look inside their mouth and wondering if maybe you could just pull it since you’re basically sitting on top of her anyhow…and suddenly  you wonder how you came to this place. Over a baby tooth. It’s demoralizing, really.

It was during one such incident that you neglected to remember who you were speaking to and you lost all children’s programming privileges until the Freaking Tooth came out. I thought for sure this would prompt you to pull your tooth within the hour. You did not.

For days you neither turned on the television, asked for a cartoon, or even attempted to sneak in a program. For days your father and I had full control of the programming selections. A solid week of hockey and HGTV! You didn’t bat an eye.

I should mention that during Tooth-Gate, which turned out to be a 2 month ordeal, you actually obtained another loose tooth and lost it within the space of 3 days.


So, we all knew that it was possible. The Freaking Tooth would not be with us forever. But it sure felt like it.

And so, we came to the point that the tooth had lost its roots. It flopped limply back and forth in your mouth. Inspection of the tooth showed that it was hanging on by a pinched bit of gum suctioned to the bottom of the tooth (lovely). The adult tooth was hallway up behind it already. The time for pulling the tooth had come and gone. Still, our stalwart child held annoyingly firm. No pulling. No touching.

Your father – wearied and stretched to the end of his nerves by the Freaking Tooth – numbly handed you a tissue last night and said, “Just give the tooth a squeeze.”

You gingerly held the tooth between thumb and forefinger and – lo and behold – it came out. Thank the ever-loving Lord!


I cannot describe the utter relief that your father and I felt after staring down that Freaking Tooth for over two months. Two months of coercing, negotiating, arguing, and disciplining you…for the smallest tooth I’ve ever seen.

That night you put your tiny tooth in your tooth cup at the end of your bed and went to sleep with dreams of the Tooth Fairy fluttering around in your head. You woke up this morning, reached your hand under your pillow and pulled out…nothing.

Ya, we totally forgot to do the Tooth Fairy thing. Sorry about that. I hope you enjoy this note she’ll leave you tonight…


Categories: Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Move Over Alex Ovechkin, or No Rest for the Toothless

Dear Kitten,
You lost your tooth! Hallelujah!


You were standing right next to me as your Mimi and I chatted away. Then I hear a little gasp. When I turned toward you, you had a look of complete shock on your face and were holding a tiny, tiny tooth in your fingers.
Cue the shouts of joy!
Talk about hoopla! We screamed, we hugged, we jumped! It was out!
You ran to show your Dad, then your brother, than Mimi and me again. You said, “I look like Alex Ovechkin now!”


You look even better, if I may say so 😉
That night you put your little tooth (seriously, I’ve seen grains of rice bigger than this thing) into the tooth cup that I handed down to you from when I was a kid. You put it on your dresser and went to sleep.
Which is when the real work began.
A coin was procured. We found a Sacagawea dollar coin that had been part of a wedding gift from my Uncle Joe. It seemed appropriate that the coins should continue to mark our family’s milestones. Luckily, there are several of them, so we should be able to keep dollar coins going for at least a little while. I shined one up in some baking soda and vinegar and we were good to go. Except…
Your father and I couldn’t agree on how this was supposed to go down. When I was a kid we didn’t do teeth under the pillow. We were too afraid it would get lost during the night. So, my sister and I started making ‘tooth fairy shrines’ outside of our bedroom door.
At first it was just an upside-down laundry basket with a note for the tooth fairy. Then they started to get a little elaborate. There were table cloths, a little tooth dais, decorations, and – if you could find it amongst everything else – an actual tooth.
I thought the tooth cup was a pretty good ‘scale back’ from this. Your father disagreed. He’s a purist. The tooth goes under the pillow and gets swapped out for a coin. Stealth is involved. And risk. The tooth fairy of his dreams is part ninja I think.
In the end, we compromised. The tooth went in the cup on the dresser, but the coin would appear under the pillow.
In the morning, Kitten, you woke up and burst in to our room to show us your tooth fairy bounty. “Momma! The tooth fairy left me a really big nickel!” Oh, right. She’s never seen a coin like that before.
“Sweetie, that’s a dollar coin. How cool! You don’t see those very often.”


As you were basking in the glow of your exciting moment, your father and I leaned over you menacingly and asked, “So…how’s that other tooth coming?”
No rest for the toothless.

Categories: Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sanity and the Tooth: Both Hanging by a Thread

Dear Kitten,
This morning you woke up with two loose teeth practically falling out of your mouth. One has been loose for a few weeks and has an adult tooth coming up fast behind it. One only started wiggling a few days ago, but is already sticking out horizontally and hanging by a thread.


Today is the day.
When I saw that tooth flop over in your mouth, I got giddy. I may have squealed. I loved pulling my teeth when I was your age! It was disgusting and exciting and slightly destructive – awesome, right??
Every time your father or I attempted to even look closely at your mouth you clamped up and squirmed away. We had to pin you down to even look at the dang teeth. Attempts to touch them resulted in a tantrum befitting a 2 year-old; complete with thrashing, weeping, and wailing. Gross.
It became a test of wills.
The more you pushed us away, the harder we pushed back. If you had expressed any desire or ability to pull the tooth yourself or even work on it, we would have left you to it. But your feeble attempts to even wiggle the tooth combined with your unacceptable behavior, made us dig in.
It was coming down to that tooth or our sanity – both hanging by a thread.
My older sister was in a similar situation when she was your age. Our father was tired of her squeamishness with her loose tooth. He decided it was coming out. He went down to the basement and found his largest, rustiest pair of pliers. He lured my sister to him with the pliers behind his back, but when he asked her to open her mouth, she got wise and bolted. Our father chased her around the house (laughing maniacally, mind you) until she locked herself in a bathroom.
She emerged 30 minutes later holding the tooth in her hand. She was pale and shaky. There was a little blood in the sink and definitely some vomit in the toilet. But, she had done it herself. Victory!
I have shared that story with you numerous times since you first got a loose tooth. I’m hoping it will inspire you. Your aunt did something very difficult for her. She was scared, just like you, but she did it anyway. She was brave.
It’s not working.
Your brother watched you attempt (in vain) to wiggle your teeth this morning and immediately ran to the mirror and started poking at his own teeth. He’s not going to be a problem in this area. My worry is him pulling out teeth too soon.
He’s going to be like me in this regard and I only hope that he has a little more consideration for his sister than I did for mine. I used to sneak up on my squeamish sister and pull my teeth in front of her; pushing a tooth to one side and letting the roots audibly pop. She hated it. It was always satisfying.
Not wanting to pull your teeth is something I can’t identify with. It’s something I don’t know how to handle. I could just let it go, and I’m actually trying to. The tooth will come out eventually no matter what.
But it’s not really the tooth that bothers me so much. It’s the behavior surrounding the whole thing that needs to be addressed. The over-reaction, the tantrums, the fear, the regression. It’s disappointing to see you act this way when faced with a challenge, or something you’re afraid of, or even a little pain.
You are bigger than this. And, just like my sister, someday you will prove it to yourself. Just maybe not with this particular tooth…


Categories: Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Nothing But the Tooth

Dear Buddy,

You have had an intimate and well-documented relationship with your toothbrush. You love to brush. Just a few days ago you were sitting on the couch happily brushing both sides of your mouth at once with two tooth brushes.

It seems a little unfair, then, that at your first dentist appointment you should be struck with TWO massive cavities. Wha-??

How does a three year-old have cavities anyway?? Well, it turns out it’s two parts fun with genetics and one part raisin addiction.

Your father has a tooth enamel deficiency, which he was gracious enough to share with you. Your mother has incredibly deep grooves in her teeth, which she was kind enough to pass along as well. Such generosity! What does this mean for you? This means anytime you eat something sticky (like your beloved raisins) it gets stuck deep in your teeth and you get a cavity in about 0.5 seconds. This could put a serious damper on your love affair with your teeth.

I hope that’s not the case, though. I have never seen a kid so good at the dentist as you!

Today at the specialist who will be filling your cavities, you walked in to the exam room and made a bee-line for the chair. Before the technician could even ask, you put your head back and opened your mouth. “Wow!” she said, obviously impressed.

When you had your x-rays done she said, “We have ten year-olds that aren’t this good at x-rays!”

When she left the room to get the doctor, you took the mirror off the tray and tried to examine your own teeth.

You rock at the dentist!!

Which is good. Because you’re going to be there a lot.

Tooth brush buddies

Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Dear Kids – The Alphabet and the Retainer

Dear Kids,

When my older sister was about 12 she began her glorious adventure in to orthodontia. I was to follow her a mere two years later, but in this story I am blissfully ignorant of that fact. If I’d known, perhaps I would have been nicer. Every time she got a new retainer, an adjustment, or those awful tension rubber bands, I would ask her to recite the alphabet so that I could mock her brand new speech impediment.

It wasn’t kind, I know, but for some reason she complied every time. Don’t feel too bad; once my personal foray in to orthodontia began, I had to perform as well.

So, when my nephew called me a few nights ago and without preamble began reciting the alphabet, I knew before he hit his first lisp that he’d been bestowed his first retainer. Congratulations, kiddo!! I can’t wait to see your brand new smile 🙂

Aunt Bethie sporting some awesome metal mouth, while poor, naïve me waits on the doorstep of orthodontia.

Aunt Bethie sporting some awesome metal mouth, while I am as yet unaware that my time is coming.

Categories: Kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dear Kids – Love Thy Dentist

Dear Kids,

One morning I saw this:

oral fixation

My first thought was, “How sweet; My kiddos in the morning. I should take a picture.”

My second thought was, “Crap; The orthodontist is going to love you two.”

Categories: Kids | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Buddy – Twelve Steps to Recovery, Your Tooth Brush Addiction

Dear Buddy,

It started when you tried to steal Kitten’s toothbrush, so we got you your own. It was down hill from there. You were constantly running in to the bathroom to brush your teeth. Eventually you were in there so much we had to keep the bathroom door closed. We discovered if we needed you to follow us or go somewhere we just had to put a toothbrush in our back pockets – you would follow us anywhere.

It wasn’t long before you were breaking in to the bathroom – exploiting any lapse in it’s security. I found you once hiding behind the toilet brushing your teeth. Buddy, if you’re brushing alone or in private you know you have a problem!

Once I actually lost you. I turned the house upside looking for you. I even looked outside twice just to be sure. I knew you had to be in the house somewhere. When I checked the bathroom for the third time I finally found you. There you were, wedged between the wall and the sink, hidden behind the hand towels, toothbrush in your mouth and an innocent look on you face. I seriously considered intervention.

At your next check-up your doctor casually asked, “Have you started brushing his teeth yet?” Oh, Doc, the problem is getting him to stop!


Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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