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Sideways…and out!

December 23rd, 2005 · No Comments

Sideways. The tooth hung sideways in her mouth. And backwards. The smooth white curve that presented itself front and center in her smile was now facing her tonsils. For days it had dangled in place. Abigail had enjoyed pretending she was an alligator, a reptile with teeth that poked through her lips in her smile. The tooth could be pushed into a 45 degree angle. The tooth became a toy. Her jaw widened in preparation, creating extra space in the area awaiting adult dentition. I was certain the dentist would help remove it at her visit in November, but he left it there. Each night we’d encourage her to wiggle the tooth, but she would resist, reluctant, claiming she didn’t want to lose it. But then one night in December, immediately after Ted returned home from his trip, she turned it sideways. And backwards. Ted and I ran to grab our cameras. I knew she would lose it before she went to sleep. The laws of physics and biology declared the impossibility that tooth would be able to return to its proper position without detaching. Abigail did not realize this herself but in the moment it happened her eyes widened and she smiled. A smile with a gap where her front tooth once was.

“How do you feel?” I asked her.


“You were unique before you ever lost a tooth.”

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