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Day 70

Updated: Apr 22

Years ago, when I found out that some dentists get their teeth cleaned quarterly by other dentists, I decided that if I could ever afford to get my teeth cleaned quarterly I would. When I acquired this knowledge, Constance was less than a year old and at the dentist with me. I took her everywhere for the first few years of her life, like a wildly overpriced, one-of-a-kind purse. Only, instead of carrying my money, she cost me money and required that I travel with additional luggage.

Since Constance’s passing, I have started grinding my teeth. I have a significant overbite. Apparently, my overbite is so severe that my grinding has chipped and moved my teeth since my last visit, pre-Constance’s passing. As a result, I am now the proud owner of a retainer. I will be wearing retainers around the clock for a minimum of six months and then only at night. Theoretically, the transparent retainers are supposed to be a better option than eventually biting off all of my teeth and getting implants. However, it is too early to tell. I feel like a giant baby. I am not supposed to eat or drink anything besides cool water with them in. Yes, plain water! That thought of having to brush and floss my teeth after every cup of coffee might be the thing that finally cures me of my four–cups-a-day habit.

Future Rachelle here, I can assure you it did not cure me [of the habit].

In February, when I took Constance in for her checkup, her dentist assured me that she did not inherit my overbite. She did suggest that I consult with a specialist to discuss what she might recommend for Constance in the future if her crowding didn’t go away after she lost her baby teeth. I thought the idea was completely absurd and told the dentist I wasn’t going to pay $500, miss work, and take Constance out of school again for a specialist to speculate on possible treatment for a possible future dental problem that Constance was years away of possibly having. I’m sure the dentist noted my attitude [if not my retort] in her file. Unfortunately, Constance did have two cavities that had to be filled. Most kids these days get their teeth sealed so they don’t get cavities but when Constance’s father took her to her last appointment he declined it because he thought she was unlikely to keep her teeth dry while the sealant set. He was probably correct.

I hated being the bad cop that took her to painful things like vaccinations. Being there when she got her teeth filled was a bummer. I tried to cheer her up with French fries and a cookie after but she couldn’t be pacified. She chose to nap on the hour’s drive home and then awoke just as pissed at me as she was when she fell asleep. The key complaint was that when we went for the cleaning I said it was a “no ouchy trip” and then when they said she needed the fillings they decided to do it that same day because they had a cancellation in their afternoon and we were already there. I don’t think there was ever a time when Constance would have wanted to get fillings filled; who would? Still, being a parent who followed through on commitments was very important to me. I felt terrible that I broke the "no ouchy trip" promise to her.

We still joke about how Constance called her Grandmother a “sneaky sneak” for telling her she was taking her to the pool but not successfully doing so because of the pool and the beach being closed for rain by the time they arrived. I don’t want to be a “sneaky sneak,” I just wanted to be a good mom.


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Unknown member
Jul 01, 2018

Day 71 is at


Unknown member
Jul 01, 2018

You are a great writer.

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