As is the case with most people, going to the dentist is not one of my favorite things to do. Being poked, prodded and drilled on is a painful experience.
For some of us, it is even worse if we have had a traumatic experience with our teeth.
When I was in second grade, I slipped on the school bus steps and cracked my front tooth. Blood was everywhere, and my tooth was nearly gone. I was in the nurse’s office until my mom arrived. We headed straight to a dentist.
To this day, I can remember the smell and sound of the drill. I have had to replace the bonding numerous times over the years, and each time it makes me cringe.
So when my back tooth started to ache, I prayed it would go away. Unfortunately, the toothache has been ongoing for a couple of weeks now. Finally, on Monday, I couldn’t take it anymore and asked a dentist to check it out. I was so nervous I thought I would need a sedative.
Turns out, the dentist couldn’t do anything about it, so they referred me to the endodontist. I was thinking that this means big trouble. Root canal or abscess made the list of possibilities.
On Tuesday, I was at the endodontist where they did a 3-D X-ray and found I had some bone loss, but not enough to warrant this type of pain. I yelped like a baby as he prodded my back tooth. The doc found out that I had a bad infection. So he prescribed me amoxicillin, mouth rinse and pain relievers. I went home feeling hopeful.
Hannah Jo overheard my conversation with her dad about my toothache. She asked me several questions. Why was I eating so much watermelon and yogurt? How bad did it hurt? Hannah Jo seemed very concerned. She gave me a great big hug and told me she would be right back. I was a bit confused, but she is only 3, so I ran with it.
She came back with a bunch of different Band-Aid boxes.
“Pick one, mama, and I will put it on your tooth,” she said.
I had a choice of Ninja Turtles, Doc McStuffins, Minions and Barbie. I choose the Ninja Turtle one. Then she placed it on my cheek and kissed it.
My heart melted. I was awestruck that I raised a kid that is compassionate. Hannah Jo never ceases to amaze me. It also makes me sad that one day, she will figure out that Band-Aids don’t fix everything. Some things just need time to heal. Oh, and painkillers!
Just being cheeky!
• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.