“I think I ripped off part of my gum,” Arden boasted just moments ago. He showed me a tooth with blooded roots that came out of his mouth. All weekend he has been grasping inside his mouth with fingers caked with dirt under the nails, trying to yank free the jaws of childhood.
At eleven he has lost most of his teeth. This one came from far back, on the top row, probably a bicuspid or maybe a molar.
“When I was your age, we tied strings around our loose teeth and to door knobs. When then slammed the door shut. That will yank your tooth out in seconds,” I advised.
“No way!” He cried, holding the side of his face.
“It will eventually come out. The one underneath will grow in more and push it out,” I promised.
His constant prodding worked. The tooth came out.
Why must children show off lost teeth like precious gems?
That does look like a piece of his gum.
“Get that away from me,” I cried. “I’m not a tooth fairy.”
“How did you get it out?” I asked.
Dental floss and the bathroom door,” he explained. “You didn’t hear the door slam?” He asked. “You were right, Chals. It didn’t hurt very much.”