All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. Seriously.

A long time ago, when dinosaurs were a recent memory and I was in grade school, I went over to a neighbor friend’s house, jumped off his loft, hit my chin on my knee, and knocked out my bottom (permanent) tooth.  Luckily, the tooth was able to be re-implanted, preserving my toothy smile.

Well, we’ve had a good run, my tooth and I, but it finally came to an end.  I’d had a stretch with little dental care while I was poor and my older boys were little; I was very thankful for the medical card that covered us, but finding a dentist who’d accept it wasn’t easy.  When we finally got basic dental coverage, x-rays showed that the replaced tooth was dead and would need to come out.  Since it’s front and center in my mouth, you can imagine how happy I was about that news, especially once I got an idea of what dental implants cost.

We eventually got better dental coverage, but the tooth didn’t really give me any problems, so I ignored it while we worked to pay off the ridiculous amount of dental bills we accrued when Jeff needed multiple root canals. And then Nathan had two surgeries, which we’re still paying for, so the tooth never moved off the to-do list.  All this is to say that it’s my fault, and not our dentist’s, that things got to this point.

I guess it got tired of waiting, and over our extended Christmas/snow break it developed an abscess.  Actually, as it turned out, its neighbor developed the abscess because it had been affected by the other dead tooth, and now I was losing not one, but two teeth. In the front of my mouth.  Today.

I’m trying hard to keep my perspective on this. I know there are far worse things that can happen; in fact, people around me are living them right now.  Even just in the tooth department, at least they’re bottom teeth and not top ones. But many tears have been cried. It’s taken me 40 years to get to a point where I’m comfortable with how I look, and now I’m very self conscious again.

Maybe not so much for a little while

I should only have a few weeks with this new gap-toothed smile before it gets filled in with an appliance, and luckily, with my reputation for falling, people are likely to believe whatever crazy story I come up with to explain my missing teeth.  Or just assume it’s something more extreme than a playdate gone wrong.


And in the meantime, maybe I’ll just trade my biking/running time to hang out with hockey players.  I’ll fit right in.

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13 Responses to All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. Seriously.

  1. The rockstar says:

    I knocked my teeth out when I was young. Went through most high school and college with broken front upper teeth. Got the “appliance” that covers my top front 6 teeth. I’ve had it now about 30 years without issue.

    Spread the cost over that time and it is a good value prop.

    Have fun matching the color.

  2. Jody Dwiggins says:

    I have an appliance also on my upper front. I lived with a gap for a very long time and got it fixed about 6 years ago

  3. You don’t need to make up a cool story. This happened diving off the top bunk at Cassidy’s house. That in itself is a cool story. Besides, I knocked out my two front teeth twice. Just put some new ones in.

  4. Terzah says:

    My boss went through this (she actually had to have them pulled for braces, at age almost 60 or so), and she felt the exact same self-consciousness about both the gap and the braces. But her teeth look great now. Yours will too and this will be a memory!

  5. Nancy rezabek says:

    Kate uncle Francis had to have three lower teeth removed a few years back. He had that done on Friday and on Monday he started his new job in Oxford, MS. What a great way to meet all your new co workers- minus three very important teeth!

  6. Matt Gholson says:

    I’ve got two missing molars because I put off cavities for too long. It’s not hard to do.

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  8. Raina says:

    I dropped my son going upstairs (i tripped) when he was 16 months old and knocked out a few of his teeth. I shed some tears. One stayed in and looked ok, but later abscessed. We left it in too long.. 😦 It has stained his permanent tooth, so now we are looking at what to do with that. This dental stuff is not cheap. Sorry about your tooth. It really is a confidence/ self esteem thing.

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  10. JB says:

    Aww, SK. I’m sorry to hear that. With your incredibly optimistic attitude and cheery disposition, your smile will always be a bright spot in the lives of people around you. Hang in there. Go for the celebrity whites that match your shining personality.


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