slice of life

Hanging On By a Thread

Notice the space on the bottom row of teeth!

I do not like wiggly teeth. I get the willies anytime I see a tooth hanging on by a thread. Forget about snaggle teeth… that’s just too much for me to handle!

These are reasons it’s a good thing I taught fourth and fifth grade, not first or second. I don’t think I could handle a class full of loose teeth. Yes, fourth and fifth graders lose teeth, but loose teeth were no longer a novelty by the time students reached upper elementary school. I guess that’s because the excitement of the tiny plastic treasure boxes faded by then.

So, imagine the way I cringed when Isabelle came home from school with a tooth that was hanging on by a thread. The space below the baby tooth was bleeding (probably because she spent the day wiggling it incessantly). I about passed out when she showed me how it was hanging on.

Luckily, there was another adult in the house helping me out this afternoon. When the words, “I can pull it out for Isabelle,” passed her lips, my eyes widened.

“Are you sure?” I asked — horrified by the idea of ripping a tooth out of someone’s mouth.

Noticing her head shaking, I asked, “Have you done it before?”

“Yeah, many times,” she replied.

WHY WHY WHY was all I could think. But “yes please” was the response I uttered.

I hobbled around on my crutches looking for gauze and gloves. Once I located both in a first aid kit, I sent the two of them off to extricate the tooth.

Five minutes later, I was greeted by an eight-year-old girl sporting gauze in the space where her tooth had been.

“Is it out?” I asked.

“Yes,” Isabelle replied displaying the baggie for the Tooth Fairy.

Relief washed over me since I knew I wouldn’t have to look at a tooth hanging on by a thread anymore… or at least until the next one becomes loose!

Head over to on Tuesdays for more slice of life stories.

12 thoughts on “Hanging On By a Thread

  1. I am the resident tooth-puller around here, so I never imagined being grossed out by wiggly teeth. So glad you had another adult around to help deal with Isabelle’s tooth. Another silver lining to the crutches situation?

  2. I’m with Amanda. Maybe pulling teeth is like cilantro– you either like it or you don’t. Ask me about pulling Clare’s front tooth when I see you. Hope the tooth fairy remembered to come. She was always very forgetful in our house.

  3. Ahh you and I feel the same about teeth! My mom’s a dental hygienist too, which I always find funny.

    My own “tooth pulling” story is a bit different. As you said, being a 5th grade teacher I didn’t have much attention on the lost teeth during class.

    That is, until one student yanked out a tooth during standardized testing that was definitely NOT ready to be pulled, walked up to me with blood running down his hand and arm, and said, “Can I leave now? I think I lost a tooth.”

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