Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth

I loved teaching the primary grades.

For the most part.

I didn't mind the constant tugging on my pant leg.

I was not fazed by hearing my name called 8 million and 1 times a day.

However, there was one thing I couldn't stand.

Those darn wiggly teeth.


Granted I am a squeamish gal in general. I don't watch Grey's Anatomy or ER and I debated getting married out of state because my state required a blood test to get a marriage license. But, loose teeth are at the top of my list of things that give me the eebie-jeebies. A close second is a tooth that has already fallen out.

You know the ones.

They are presented to you on an open palm with a toothless grin beaming in the background.


As a third grade teacher, I don't have to deal with too many loose teeth. By 8 and 9, they simply grab a baggy and put it in their backpack. And I like it that way.

So imagine my dismay when one of my friends got all up in my face and asked, "Does my tooth look loose?"

As he feverishly jostled it back and forth from the one thread that secured it to his gums.

Between dry heaves and dramatic gags (which I am quite sure were perceived as overacting, but in all honesty were a genuine reaction), I reminded him of my "I don't do loose teeth policy" (along with my "do not disturb my small group unless you have caught fire" policy) and sent him on his way.

It wasn't all that long until he once again was up and at my side. "I lost my tooth," he said...with an urgency in his voice.

I remained remarkably calm for someone whose guided reading lesson had been interrupted and said, "Get a baggy from the drawer and put the tooth into your bag."

He responded with, "No, you don't understand. I actually lost my tooth. It went flying and I can't find it..."

And although it is only Sunday morning, I can't get over the thought that tomorrow I will need to be alone in the classroom and could possibly stumble upon a lone tooth. It's consuming my thoughts.

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  1. Oh my goodness!! You're too funny! It must be in the air...I teach 4th and Friday I had a student come to me...tooth in hand, sent her off to the nurse and literally seconds later, along came another!! It was like when one has to go to the bathroom they all do...well then I caught a third kid tryin to remove one of his loose teeth!!! I made it very clear there will be no more lost teeth today.....GET YOUR FINGERS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!!! Yikes!!! I asked them all to pull over the

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  2. I COMPLETELY agree! I teach 1/2 and it's the worst part! Ew! I will gladly tie 25x2 shoes and zip coats but wiggly teeth gross me out!

  3. Hahaha! This post is too much! I teach fifth and they usually just stick the tooth in their pocket or grab a baggie. Some even toss them in the trash. I'm with you, though. The sight of a kiddo in my face, wiggling a tooth back and forth with their tongue, makes me queasy. Hopefully a custodian gets to that tooth before you do!

  4. YUCK! I can't stand wiggly teeth! I tell my first graders to show someone else cuz I can't take it!

  5. Glad I'm not alone in this thought... loose teeth are eeeeewwwww!!! I tell them to please go see the nurse... I can't do bloody mouths, or gauze or teeth holding on by stringy stuff...icky icky icky!

  6. I REALLY thought I was the only one!!!!
    I teach sixth grade--and loose teeth in my room seem like mammoth tusks to me. I can't deal with any of that... (gulp. gag.) stuff
    My rule is: Get an envelope, deposit tooth, write "tooth" on it, take it OUTSIDE, and put it in your backpack. (Whew! The tooth is outside. It's away from me. Hooray!)
    Now I am going to walk away from my computer, think happy thoughts, and forget all about TEETH! (Shiver. Shudder.)

    Happy Tooth-Free Sunday to you all!


  7. Wow! There are a lot of loose teeth haters like me! I send them to the nurse. Also, this year, I had the pleasure of having a student lose 2 teeth in 2 days. I thought she was just wanting to tell me about the 1st lost tooth when she really had another one in her hand! Yuck!

  8. I'm so relieved I am not the only one who hates loose teeth. My coworkers laugh at me because I love gross science stuff, but teeth (especially ones hanging by a stringy piece of flesh) are too gross! Now I don't feel so bad. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in this phobia.
    2B Honey Bunch

  9. This makes me laugh! I had 3 students last week that lost their front teeth in class. They all now have a huge gap from losing that tooth because they have now lost two front teeth. One kid was even walking in line and it just popped out. I think it's great fun a mini milestone in their life but I do get a little grossed out by the blood. (Vomit is much worse....I cannot stomach a sick kid!) Hope someone finds that missing tooth soon!

  10. I actually don't mind an already-fallen-out tooth at all - but the ones hanging by a thread in their mouths are just SO icky. I was a late tooth-looser, though: beware, junior grade teachers. I lost my first tooth near the end of grade 2. I finally finished the summer entering grade nine!

  11. My first year teaching, I had a student who was ALWAYS chewing on the neckline of his shirt. One day, another student felt compelled to teach the boy lesson and yanked the shirt out of his mouth. The shirt came out and a tooth went flying in the school's lobby. We looked everywhere for that tooth.
    Then I got to make 2 parent phone calls. Sigh.

  12. Absolutely i agreed with you! Wow its a great post. Love your blog posts, thank you very much for your interest!

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  13. Oh boy, I am glad I'm not the only one. One of my deepest fears is losing my teeth- has been for a long time. Being in my first year teaching, I never really put the connection between the age of my students and their teeth! I've had three fall out in school now and several more bloody mouths.

    The first few I was okay with but the last one with the little girl yanking it out really got to me! I ended up having to leave the hall and ask another teacher to send her back into the classroom

  14. Ha ha... if only the loose teeth didn't come with all that icky stuff. Dentists and tooth fairies do a good job at handling those kinds of things. Heh, in any case, cheers to you and thanks for the funny story.


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