Today, the dentist who examined my 12 year old son’s teeth gave me the Bad News – a baby molar was blocking a permanent tooth, causing the incoming tooth to grow in at a weird angle. “This molar isn’t budging,” she declared, suggesting that we come back soon to extract the baby molar, to avoid orthodontia fees later on.
On the drive home, I offered my son thirty bucks if he could make that tooth come out before the month was over. One hour and one grape Tootsie Pop later, he showed me this:
There are several takeaways from this story: 1. It is a big, fat lie that letting your children gnaw on candy always leads to worse dental health, 2. My son is very motivated by a lump-sum cash payout, and 3. Twelve year old boys are highly entertaining creatures who, when they are not showing affection through karate chops or surprise piggyback jumps while you are not looking, can channel all that energy into useful tasks, such as pulling out an unloose tooth to save on dental bills.