Christian has a dentist appointment tomorrow to have a dangling baby tooth removed from his mouth once and for all. This is no ordinary tooth, however, this tooth cost approximately $1000.00 and is the fourth in a set of four crowned baby teeth rescued from rot and decay when he was barely three years old.
Why did my child had to have $4000.00 worth of dental work before he was completely potty trained? Well, it could have been the 1/2 cup of sugar we mixed every day with a little bit of milk to use as tooth paste. (It looks just like toothpaste and tastes WAY better.) It could be that we were going for that hip, British look. Or it could be the fact that every night of his short life, we let our son go to bed with a sippy cup full of chocolate milk. He really loved “cocoa milk”, as he called it, and we really loved him, and so there really was no other alternative, right?
Yes, people warned us about “bottle rot” and letting your kid go to sleep with a cup/bottle of milk, but their kids must not have been as cute as our kid asking for a drink of “cocoa milk” at 9:30 in his fuzzy pajamas and sleepy eyes. It was a $4000.00 mistake. Perhaps one of the costliest mistakes of my life, and the day I held Christian in my arms as the anesthesiologist gave him a shot before his minor oral surgery, I wanted to ask him to hit me with a blunt object several times because I deserved it.
He survived the surgery. I survived the surgery. Within a couple of days, he was bouncing around with four slightly bigger and off-color front teeth. We made some significant changes after that. Christian didn’t get chocolate milk at night. We brushed. We flossed (for like three entire weeks). We also stopped letting him drive the car home from church. We were the parents and had to take control.
Eventually, the first three came loose and fell out as a permanent tooth pushed it out of the way and made its grand appearance. The fourth, though, gets loose, then tight, then loose, then tight, and dangles from his gums like a shredded flag bearing these words, “I will never forget. I will never forget.” From all of the loose/tight episodes, it has fallen out of place and juts out from his mouth at an 82 degree angle.
Christian claims it is his lucky tooth, but I can’t stand it. It takes all of my common sense and maturity not to pounce on my seven year-old when he’s not looking and, with a pair of pliars or my bare hands, yank the tooth from its home and send it far, far away forever. But, I am a rational, mature adult, and so I have made an appointment for a dentist to do the very same thing.
With our second child, Max, we are so much smarter and realistic. We don’t expect him to do long division in preschool and we don’t let him go to bed with chocolate milk. We brush his teeth with Splenda and inject the chocolate milk intraveneously.