My eight year old daughter had a bottom tooth broken yesterday. It was a new, grown up tooth so much panic ensued. She walked into a fellow school mate who happened to be swinging a walking stick (as you do) and she caught it in the face.
I had read or learned at some point that if you get a tooth knocked out, then you should hold it in the gap until you reach the dentist. When I found my daughter sitting with the school Sister I had a look in her mouth. A bottom tooth was broken diagonally in two, so quick as a flash I asked, 'where's the bit that came off? Did you swallow it?' my miserable and traumatised daughter who was holding a wet bundle of cotton wool to her mouth tried her best to answer me through swollen lips. 'Take me to where it happened' I demanded.
We went to the scene of the accident at a run then set about scouring the tarmac for half a tiny tooth. Fortunately fellow school pals got involved and we miraculously found it after quite a lot of false starts, 'Is this it?' someone would pipe up, 'No, that's just a leaf' 'Is this it?' 'No that's a stone.'
When we'd got it a Mum shouted over, 'Put it in milk! It can save the tooth!' 'Really?' I asked but obviously wasn't going to argue. 'OK then.' The Sister, my daughter and I then ran to the school canteen, 'Please can we have some milk?' The dinner ladies looked bemused. Sister was by this time holding a small pill box that she'd rustled up from nowhere.
Next we ran to the car park and from the car I phoned the best dentist I knew (battery flat, I had to run the engine to charge the phone to make the call.... oooo, you can imagine!) The receptionist asked a couple of questions, 'Is she in pain?' My daughter uttered a muffled, 'yes...' followed by a concilliatory, 'a bit' The receptionist continued, ' You see the dentist is very busy.' I said that I was coming in to their offices post haste. There was no stopping me. On arrival the dentist swooped out of his office and said, 'Where is the tooth?' 'Here in some milk' I said, 'Oh well done!' he said, 'you have done the right thing. If you don't put it in milk then the tooth can dry up then no longer be used.' Phew, I thought.
I love the dentist now. I had only met him once before and he was nice, but now I love him. He fitted in my daughter immediately in spite of waiting patients and the poor thing was stretched out on a chair, under the lights with a plastic thingy to hold her mouth open, all before you could say 'knife'. He glued her tooth back together, (it was a lengthy process involving local aneasthetic), and gave her a pink rubber that said 'I love my dentist'.
My husband arrived. He said, 'I hope the boy that did this knows he is in trouble!' I said, 'It was an accident and he did take her to see the school Sister himself.' 'Hurumph' said my husband watching his pained daughter recover herself.
This morning the dentist's receptionist rang to say that the dentist wished to know how our daughter was and whether she went to school today. As callous parents, we did send her to school on the basis that a) she was fully recovered and b) she will be viewed hero for a day by all of her piers (and it's the last day of the school term so it's the only chance to revel in the glory).
We've been told that she will not ever be able to bite into hard foods like apples in case the tooth breaks again. My daughter is delighted as she hates all fruit. We asked her if she had been put off going to the dentist now and she said, quick as a flash, 'No, not at all!' I think it's because he told us that she never has to eat apples again. I think that that the dentist is now her hero too.
I sent a message to my sister in England to tell her of the drama and she replied that her two year old broke one front tooth and the other one got jammed back into her gum when she fell off her high chair the day before. Her dentist said that nothing could be done about it. My sister said that it was all made better by the fact that her daughter recovered quickly and that the dentist was 'a dish', which helped enormously in the process of accepting that her daughter now looks a bit funny and will do for the next few years.