I chipped my tooth the other day.
As soon as people hear this, they want a really cool story. Perhaps something about me heroically trying to open a jar of pickles with my teeth, or maybe tackling a really wicked taffy apple or something.
But the sad reality is, I was simply flossing.
Perhaps, like me, you’ve had recurring nightmares about losing your teeth. In mine, I’m always just innocently minding my own business, and then I find my mouth filling with bits of hard little rocks–and they turn out to be my teeth. Sometimes in dreams I spit, and I stare down in horror to watch my teeth come out, usually in bits and chunks.
Well, after last week I can honestly say that dreams do come true. There I was, flossing what seemed like an invisible piece of popcorn that had been stuck for four days. Little did I realize it was no popcorn; it was a crack. Nonetheless, I flossed the heck out of that thing, and then when I went to spit, I felt something sort of large in my mouth. But there was no pain, so I assumed maybe an entire kernel of corn had somehow managed to hide in my mouth since… wait a minute, when was the last time we had corn?
And then I heard it.
The sound of a tooth hitting a porcelain sink.
I went through all manner of sleeplessness as I waited for the dentist to open, and I didn’t even try to will my tooth away from the sharp, gaping chunk missing in my bite. I had to accept the truth: one of my molars was injured.
I went to the dentist fully expecting a crown or an extraction. But apparently the lack of pain (mental anguish doesn’t count) was a good thing, and my dentist said he could fix it with some simple filling.
The procedure was less painful than having a cavity filled–because, well–the hole was already made.
When I looked in the mirror that day, I couldn’t even tell which tooth had been chipped. It was amazing. It was perhaps the first time I genuinely meant it when I thanked my dentist. He was a magician that day, fixing my broken tooth.
And speaking of broken, I brought in the chip just in case he wanted to examine it. With my wild imagination, I thought maybe if he could see what kind of break it was, he could figure out a way to save it. He laughed at my naivete. Then I joked, “Okay, maybe I’ll just put it under my pillow and see what happens.”
Later, my husband got wind of my idea, although by bedtime, I was too relieved and exhausted to think about it. I ended up leaving the tooth on my night table.
In the morning, I remembered the tooth, and I reach for it. It was gone, nothing in its place. But I knew, and so I reached under my pillow, and sure enough, in time for Halloween, a pair of Jack Skellington socks from one of my favorite films. I guess even the Broken Tooth Fairy has a heart.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Check out The Scarred Letter, 50% off this month (along with all of BRP’s books). To puchase your half-priced paperback, simply use code “BRP5YEAR” when you check out at www.barkingrainpress.org. You can also find the ebook automatically discounted to $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever ebooks are sold.