Most children lose all their teeth, except molars, by age 10, but I have a bit of a different story. I’m 14, and I still have five teeth to lose. In fact, three weeks ago, I lost another tooth.
I lost my first tooth around age 4 and lost a couple more teeth before age 6. After that, I didn’t lose any more teeth for a very long time. I actually thought I had lost all my teeth because all my friends said they’d lost all of theirs.
My teeth were not even slightly loose for almost eight years, which in my mind solidified the false idea that I wouldn’t lose any more.
Finally, eighth grade came around, and my mouth started to feel sort of weird. One tooth on the right side seemed to hurt whenever I bit into something.
At first, I thought it was a cavity (I had never had one, so I didn’t know how it felt).
Two or three weeks later, I went to the dentist for a checkup. I still hadn’t told my parents about my tooth because I was worried they would get mad at me due to my perfect record at the dentist.
As I walked to the chair where my dentist would look at my teeth, I secretly hoped it was a cavity because I didn’t want it to be anything worse — such as if my tooth was rotting.
At the end of the checkup, I asked my dentist, “Do I have any cavities?” My heart was racing, it felt like an eternity before his mouth opened, then he replied, “No.”
This is when I started to get rather worried. But I still told no one. I got home and brushed my teeth relentlessly for the next couple of months, but my tooth kept hurting.
I wondered, “What if my tooth is rotting?”
Two months later, I felt a small but sharp pain in my tooth. One of the strands holding my tooth had broken, and it started moving back forth when I ate or talked.
At that point, I was convinced I would have to get a gold tooth.
Still, the thought that my tooth was loose didn’t even cross my mind; if someone had said that to me, I probably would have laughed.
The eighth grade Washington, D.C., trip was about to happen, and my tooth was dangling because two strands were now broken. I was worried something was going to go wrong with my tooth on the trip.
Everything went well until we got to the airport to return home. I was walking down a hall in the airport when another strand broke. At this point, blood started to come out, and I was absolutely freaking out. Then, in the back of my mind, I thought, “Could it possibly be that I haven’t lost all my teeth?” I thought to myself, “No way.”
I was fighting myself over and over until I finally called my mom. She said, “No, you couldn’t be losing a tooth — you lost all of yours years ago.”
Over and over, I asked her, “Are you sure?” Soon after, she had to get off the phone, leaving me in a worse state than before.
Around 30 minutes later, my mom called back and said she had called the dentist and that I still had around eight or nine teeth to lose.
I was so relieved. Only 10 minutes later, my tooth came out, and I enjoyed most of the rest of the eight-hour-plus plane delay in Baltimore.
—By Dylan Margolis
Originally published in the May 28 edition of the Octagon.