I have never been a fan of loose teeth.
As a child, I began losing baby teeth at the fine young age of about 4. This, quite frankly, horrified me. I’d only just GOT the teeth, and now they were going to fall out? I’d been chewing with lousy practice teeth?? And they had to go to make room for the real ones? And it was going to hurt? And it was going to bleed?
No thanks. Sign me up for jumping rope on the patio (the uncovered part), take away my library card, whatever! But please, nothing wobbly in my mouth, and definitely no blood.
I was thoroughly traumatized.
I’d let my teeth loosen all on their own. I did not play wiggles with my fingers or tongue. I did not chew with the loose ones. I did not do anything at all with them, save press them back down firmly into the sockets, and pray with all my might that they would just re-root, and not be loose anymore. The wiggling turned my stomach each and every time, and I dreaded the whole process. Those puppies got so loose, they hung by the merest shred of tissue, but I never once yanked, tugged, or even gave an experimental pokey with the tip of my pencil. Nothing. If my teeth were planning to jump ship and desert me, I was not going to help them, in league as they were with the greatest thief of all time.
The Tooth Fairy was a vicious thug who went around stealing what was rightfully mine. And she thought a lousy quarter would make up for the pain and suffering I endured?
(Now, not all my siblings had this same attitude. Once the brother just younger than I cottoned to the idea of a Fairy tossing around cash for spare enamel, he and the neighbor boy spent a clandestine hour with a pair of purloined pliers, hatching a plot to rake in the big bucks. Fortunately, my brother is more of a mastermind than a test subject, and by the time he was ungrounded, the neighbor kid’s front teeth had started to grow in again.)
So, Me + Loose Teeth = Nausea, Vomiting, Trauma, Anxiety, Unhappy.
I was a walking “May Cause Side Effects” pamphlet from age 4 to age 10.
In our household, my kids are quite staunch in their belief that there’s no way on earth Mom could be subbing for a Tooth Fairy, because the older two have experienced the dire consequences of wiggling loosened dentition at their female parent, and have warned the Spicy child against it. This belief is so firm that even discovering a small envelope of labeled, expired baby teeth in my “hidey spot” didn’t clue them in. The Mom who quite literally turns greenish, and has to stop eating dinner if a child says, “Look, it’th looth!” would never be a Mom who welcomed The Fairy into our home, right?
I try. I try to be The Fairy at least once for each child. Fantasy is important, and it’s not like she’s some quasi-substitute for important religious symbology or anything.
But my own childhood horror is aroused every single time, and I’ll have weeks of dental nightmares… you know, the ones where you bite into Jello and your teeth snap off, or you suddenly realize that all your teeth have fallen out, and no one seems to have noticed, or you’re suddenly sporting the world’s most prominent overbite, and have Perma-Spinach stuck all in them? Or that you’re an adult, but keep losing teeth on a daily basis, only to have them re-grow and fall out over and over again?
I’m telling you, that Fairy has a lot to answer for. I have tooth issues.
(My son is working on his last loose baby tooth. I’m finding it a great curb to the appetite, as I’ve been nauseated just thinking about it for days.)