No one wants this text:
Hi Sarah. This is Colt’s teacher. I left you a message, but I want you to know that Colt hit his mouth at recess and we are thinking you may want the dentist to look at it. Let me know what you want to do.
I texted back immediately from the meeting I was in — stepped out, and called. As I listened to Ms. Jennifer fill me in, my own teeth started to hurt. Fell outside… bloody nose… didn’t realize at first… front tooth… hurts to chew… recommend a visit to the dentist…
He’s never even been to the dentist.
Great. We’ve been putting off going to the dentist and now THIS will be his first experience. Something traumatic. I was picturing broken, jagged teeth and jack-o-lanterns.
On my way to get Colt from school I called Jeff to let him know we’d be using that dental insurance earlier than expected, and made an appointment with the pediatric dentist. Well, first I INTRODUCED myself to the dentist. Hi. New patient! You’ve never met me, but I totally need to get an appointment, like, now. Thanks!
Expecting the worst, I was relieved to see Colt playing normally when I got to school. He wouldn’t really let me see his mouth, but I could tell his gums looked scraped and his teeth were bloody where he wouldn’t let the teachers in to clean him up. But off we went, in search of Kiddo’s First X-ray.
The pediatric dentist in Fayetteville is incredible. It is Disney World meets Dr. Suess — in a dentist’s office. It has a zoo theme and the waiting room is bright, fun, covered in wild animals, and I entered our patient information into a computer disguised as a treehouse.
Surprisingly, he wasn’t terribly nervous as his best friend Scout had JUST been to the dentist that week and had filled him in on all the fun to be had. Meanwhile, visions of wiggling baby teeth were dancing in my head.
I distinctly remember HATING X-rays as a kid. What with the latex-covered fingers shoving cardboard into the absolute back corners of your mouth… But Colt lucked out. He needed X-rays of his front teeth only. No cardboard. No shoving. Just a lead vest and a handy little tooth camera.
And so far, so good. The only thing that rattled him was everyone’s apparent confusion when he asked, “Do you know, Scout? This is her dentist, too.”
Finally, we made it to the dentist’s chair. Where he was given a pair of headphones and asked to select a movie. Cars 2 came on (on the ceiling!) and we were ready to roll.
While he completely tuned us out and lost himself in Finn McMissile and Lightning McQueen, the dentist showed me the X-ray and explained there was nothing broken, chipped, or otherwise in immediate danger. I exhaled. Yay baby teeth! She explained that there’s really no way to know how the tooth will react “long-term” so we shouldn’t be alarmed if we notice discoloration as time goes on, but that after a few days of tenderness it should be back to normal.
Good news — no broken teeth.
Bad news — short appointment and Little Guy didn’t get to watch much of his movie.
He got a sticker and a prize, and we were on our way. Back to school for you, Buddy!
So while I wouldn’t exactly label it a ‘false alarm’, I’m certainly glad it turned out to be nothing. Colt had a FANTASTIC first experience at the dentist and is constantly reminding me that we need to go back (to finish his movie!), and he talked me into a diet of jello and mac & cheese for a few days.
My favorite part of all of it is trying to picture what happened. I remember as I drove to school to get him that day, picturing his face scraped and bruised — which would be pretty normal for a kid having just fallen face first into the ground and earning himself both a bloody nose and a possibly broken tooth. When I got there — no scrapes, no scratches on his face. The only evidence of the entire incident was INSIDE his mouth. His bloody, badly-scraped gums. It’s as if he had to have been smiling — grinning from ear to ear — as he played so hard he crashed into the ground. Smile first. What a goofy, happy kid.
Well, Buddy. That’s my favorite smile. And those are my favorite little baby teeth. Let’s see if we can take good care of them — at least for a few more years.