Flashback Friday…About Those “Pearly Whites”…

Today’s topic of  choice is all about teeth, and whatever we can remember concerning them while we were  growing up.  Let me brush away the cobwebbs in my mind, and see what I can remember today…

 I  remember that I didn’t want anybody to pull out my loose teeth!  I’d let them hang by a thread until they literally fell out.  Once, when I was older, I was eating a peanut butter Mary Jane when I accidentally pulled one of my molars out with the sticky candy!  That scared me good!   I also remember that I’d wrap each lost tooth in a piece of tissue, and place it under my pillow at night, for the tooth fairy.  The tooth fairy always left me some change, which I probably spent on candy! 

About going to the dentist…

Back in the days when I was growing up, dentists were not very high on our list of places to visit–at least not at my house!  You only saw a dentist when you had a toothache, which usually meant it was too late for him to do anything except pull the tooth.  Ouch!

My earliest memories of the dentist, involve my mother.  I remember being about eleven when my mother began having all of her teeth extracted–and she was barely over age forty!  I’m not quite sure what led to this move at such an early age, but  I saw my mother doing a whole lot of suffering while she ate a whole lot of soup!  She eventually finished having all of her teeth pulled, and got a set of dentures, but  I told myself way back then that I didn’t ever want to experience what I saw my mother endure!  No dentures for me, please!

I went for my first dental visit at age fourteen– because of  a toothache.  Of course, the dentist pulled the tooth.  My second dental visit was at age 16, for the same reason.  Fortunately, this time  I saw a different dentist, whom I’ll call Dr. R, and he told me that even though the cavity was very large,  he thought he could save the tooth, which he did.

Dr. R, then had a talk with my parents about my teeth, and explained that I needed much more dental work done.  I’m so thankful that my parents decided to have my teeth fixed before I lost any more of my permanent teeth!  Over the next few months, I had several large cavities drilled and filled.  Drilling and filling are not my favorite activities, but are much better than the alternative!   

I’ve been a patient of Dr. R’s since that fateful day, way back in 1970!  He’s filled cavities, pulled wisdom teeth, and patched numerous broken teeth for me throughout the years.  I love Dr. R, because he’s not afraid to “think outside of the box”.  He isn’t afraid to try.  For instance, he’ll say, “you really could use a crown, but I’ll see what I can do.”  So far I’ve been lucky…  I visit the dentist every six months, like clockwork.  These days I worry because Dr. R and I are not getting any younger…I don’t know what I’ll do whenever he retires!

About our children while growing up…

When our children were small, and the tooth fairy came to our house, she not only left a dollar, she also left a small toy surprise.   I think our children liked the toy surprise better than they liked the money.  I always kept a small supply of prizes put away for this occasion.  Once, when one of the children lost a tooth on a camping trip–the tooth fairy wasn’t prepared!  She left money, but no prize, much to the disappointment of the child.  I was wishing I hadn’t started the “prize thing” that day! 

Speaking of the tooth fairy, I’ll never forget when our daughter began losing her baby teeth!  She was only in pre-school, and  I was scared to death!  I didn’t realize that some children begin losing their teeth at such an early age.  I never pulled any of our children’s baby teeth!  The thought of it made me ill.  I was more than happy to let the teeth come out on their own.  One of the children actually swallowed one of their teeth once! 

Once our youngest child fell out of his umbrella stroller at the Putt Putt golf course and hit his mouth on the sidewalk.  I was terrified that he’d ruined his teeth.  He busted his lip pretty good, and his two top teeth turned a  grayish color for a while.  Thankfully, his teeth were okay.

One time we were attending one of our oldest son’s high school basketball games, when  we saw a member of the opposing team trip one of our players during the game.  Our player fell hard on the court–face first.  When he landed, we could hear and see several of his teeth flying across the floor.  It made me feel sick…  I remember thinking, he’ll need some extensive dental work, and he did.   

Our daughter had some dental problems as a child.  She sucked her thumb until she was about seven years old, which caused some problems with her front teeth.  She also ended up having some of her baby teeth pulled to make room for the permanent ones.  Our daughter says she vividly remembers that ordeal to this day, and does not like Dr. R at all.

The orthodontist recommended braces for our daughter, but we decided to let her make the decision about whether she wanted braces when she became older.  Years later, when she was eighteen, she decided that she wanted to get braces, and she did.  As a result, she took excellent care of her teeth while wearing braces, and had no problems at all.  Today she has a beautiful smile.

As for the rest of us in the family, we still have our original, slightly crooked smiles–but that’s fine with us.  As for me–  I’m just glad that I don’t have dentures!  I plan to try and keep it that way. 

Thanks to Linda for hosting “Flashback Friday”, Java for hosting “Follow Friday”, and Design it Chic for hosting “Boost My Blog Friday”.



Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 8:49 am  Comments (8)  

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  1. Dentists were a top priority in our family while I was growing up but that’s most likely due to my dad’s father being a dentist. LOL Hubs family never used a dentist and his teeth are horrible. We took the girls to the dentist every 6 months and they continue doing that to this day! Pretty sure I spent my tooth fairy money on candy too!

  2. I think dentists may be responsible for more phobias than any other profession! I enjoyed reading this.

    At least we didn’t live back in colonial days when people had wooden teeth. Can you even imagine?!

  3. This is a good one, Kathy. 🙂 I am glad you have a nice Dr. R. My dentist may have an alias, being “Dr. R.” He is nice. I picked on younger than I am so that he can outlive me. It isn’t fun finding a new dentist.

  4. Oh dear, I could write a book on this subject..but I won’t….I will tell you that my Mother got dentures at age 26..I think she might have had gum disease or something like that..I was 5 or 6 at the time….if I had put all the money spent on my mouth in a good investment account like an IRA or 401K, I could pay off my house and more…we just won’t go there.
    Mama Bear

  5. Great memories! That’s fun to leave a little toy with the money.

    Have a nice weekend.

  6. My parents never thought a trip to the dentist was necessary either. Nor was a doctor visit. I started going to the dentist regularly, when I started working at about 19. His name was Dr. Hollar. Really! He was kind of scarey too.

    My children, on the other hand, were always taken to both. I lost count of the number of bottles of the pink medicene that sat in my refrigerator. Times changed when we learned more about preventative health care. Our parents didn’t think about that.

  7. I have awful memories of my early dentist experiences…not fun at all!! Now however, no problem!!
    I’m a new follower from “Follow Friday 40 and Older”, your site is amazing and I’ll definitely be checking back often!! I would love it if you would follow me back!!

  8. I do not have good memories of going to the dentist, which is why even noe at 44 it still terifies me!
    Have a great week x

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