My mom said recently that she sees it as a personal failure that only 2 of her 5 children made it out of her home with their front adult teeth intact. I don't remember what happened to Captain Fabuloso's front tooth. I know that I chipped Richie's by swinging my lunchbox in his face somewhere around the third grade. As for mine, when I was about 9, my dad needed to do some work up at the church one night while my mom was busy, so he took all us kids with him. The church was deserted and the five of us decided to play tag in the dark of the cultural hall (gym). I was "it" and I was sure I was hot on Captain Fabuloso's trail, so I was laughing. And running. In the pitch dark. With my mouth agape. (Note: Laughing loudly is probably not the best strategy when you're "it" during dark tag.) Instead of getting Fabuloso, I ended up running right into a wall, front tooth first.
I chipped the tooth and we never did find the missing piece. I remember going through what seemed like days with half of a front tooth, which even in 4th grade is pretty humiliating. When I got into the dentist, he was able to put a cap on it. I was told not to do things like eat corn on the cob.
I wasn't told not to chase after El Senor up a slide, playing park tag. After a few months of a successful tooth cap, that's what I found myself doing. Laughing again. That is until I slipped and fell tooth-first into the slide. And out popped my cap.
The next time I lost my cap was ridiculous. Remember that "no corn on the cob" thing? Well, I was served corn on the cob, and like an obedient little girl, I cut all the corn off of the cob. Then, I put my first fork full into my mouth and... the cap just fell off! How insulting!
This all eventually led to a root canal, and for the past two decades of my life, I have lived with half of a dead front tooth. It hasn't bothered me at all, except that I started noticing it in pictures and wondering if other people noticed it, too. It was just one of those things about myself that I took for granted and therefore never actually noticed when I looked in the mirror. But recently I started wondering if this is what people noticed when they looked at me. To that end, I have created a poll on my blog and I would love for you to participate! It's totally anonymous, and I guarantee you that my feelings are not wrapped up in this at all. I really do want to know how much people have noticed my tooth over the past few years. Because, you see, I just paid for a crown!
Now, don't judge. The crown is not coming from a superficial standpoint at all. If it were up to me, I'd just go through life with the half-tooth showing because sometimes I have to show people that I'm not all perfect. And when people look at me and my perfect husband, child, and my perfect life, it probably helps to show them that I don't have everything. I don't have two front teeth! But dentists over the years have kept telling me that it was time to put a crown on it, which insurance would pay for, because it needed to be strengthened. And if I didn't put a crown on it, the tooth would eventually just fall out, or something awful like that. But I've been really afraid to do this because the known evil was much better than the unknown evil. What if they shaved down what was left of my real tooth and then replaced it with a bubble tooth that was way more obvious?
Currently I have a temporary crown, and I have to say, even the temporary one is better than what I had. So I guess this isn't all bad. In a couple weeks, I'll get my real crown and this will be the end of my front tooth woes.
Or will it? Check back in two more decades to find out!
(Seriously, respond to the poll! I'm dying to know!)