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Look at them choppers

By Robin Dearing
Like riding a two-wheel bike, losing baby teeth is one of those childhood events that mark the burgeoning independence of every child. Margaret has lost 6 baby teeth so far and she's yet to have a loose tooth. It's a bummer, she's had to have 6 teeth pulled so far in order to allow those seemingly giant adult teeth to move on in. gas mask.jpg She had the two bottom teeth pulled in February because her adult teeth were coming in behind the baby ones — like shark teeth. The adult teeth quickly moved forward and filled the gap. But we were warned that having the top adult teeth come in behind the baby ones could cause problems, so we followed the pediatric dentist's advice and had them pulled. This procedure was more difficult than the first time. It required more shots of novicaine (we never told her that she had shots in her mouth, but she sure felt them this time) and she cried a bit when the teeth were pulled. gauze mouth.jpg The dentist worked quickly and she rebounded faster than I would have. Bill and I did our best to comfort her but it wasn't until she was told that she could pick a prize did her sober attitude turn sunny again. toothless smile.jpg Even though she needed gauze pads to staunch the blood oozing from her gums, she still mustered the ability to tell the dental assistant how she conquered the two-wheeler. To give her a little time to recover, I brought Margaret back to my office so she could rest before heading back to school. Once she started to feel better, she proudly paraded her little envelope full of baby teeth around the office and showed anyone who would look. My co-workers are wonderful people who oh'd and ah'd over the pieces of ivory and the bloody holes in her mouth. By lunchtime, she was back to her normal self (such as it is) and I took her back to school. Her class was sitting quietly for story time when she walked in. One giant toothless grin and she had completely disrupted the class. One boy was agog as he said, "How'd you lose all those teeth?" She beamed, her war wounds were appropriately recognized.