Saturday was the height of our tooth-related nightmare. Johnnie and I were both so tired, and we were waiting impatiently for Ez to return home that night after his week in Honduras. Johnnie spent the morning chewing on her index finger and trying to keep the space between us to a minimum, while I kept her supplied with hugs and little distractions. Though we've been working on getting rid of bottles, she wasn't getting much out of the cup on this particular day and asked for a drink. (She makes the sign for milk now. It is adorable.) I was tired, so I gave in and got the bottle, hoping it would help ease her into a nap.
Just after finishing her mid-morning drink, Johnnie grabbed the glass bottle out of my hand and in one fluid motion cracked it right across my mouth. I'm not sure if she was trying to share it with me or if she just wanted my attention, but I'm pretty sure she did not mean to send shockwaves pulsing through my head or for pieces of my tooth (the upper left lateral, to be exact) to crack loose as the thick bottom of the bottle made direct contact with my pearly whites.
It's very disconcerting to feel the sharp edge of a broken tooth with your tongue (especially given the tooth dream I have on a regular basis.) I was shocked. The back was somehow more damaged than the front, so to my tongue it felt positively horrifying. I didn't want to scare Johnnie though, so after scolding her for hitting me and demonstrating what gentle means -- for the millionth time -- I tried to remain calm as I looked for my dentist's phone number and quietly and discreetly cried a little.
The earliest available appointment was Tuesday, so I had a three day wait to get it fixed. In the meantime I had a presentation to give in front of a group of strangers, a slight steady headache and a touch of vanity to deal with. I know it was a very minor chip in the grand scheme of disfiguring injuries, barely even visible in passing, but my tongue could not leave it alone. It was a chink in my armor, a sign of my frailty. (Maybe I'm feeling a little dramatic about my approaching birthday?) I thought about the thousands of dollars that have gone into my mouth for orthodontics and oral surgery to fix my gappy smile -- and how now it was broken and had to be fixed again. And I was rattled that my 13 month old baby could do such damage in a split second. For days I was on hyper-alert for other potential ways she can hurt both herself and us, as if I didn't worry about these things enough already.
Tuesday finally rolled around, and the fix took less than an hour. There was no nerve or root damage, so I was lucky. After a little bit of slightly unpleasant (but fortunately painless) drilling and grinding, the patch was made and it looked as though the chip was never there. It's amazing, and I'm appropriately thankful.
My dentist even fed my vanity problem by telling me she had to use the whitest composite they had to match my tooth color. I left her office feeling whole again, and my tongue stopped being an obsessed weirdo continuously poking itself on the sharpest point. The hillbilly jokes have faded, and I even ate an apple today with no problem.
But we continue to wait for Johnnie's little tooth to make its appearance. Please, let it be today!