Tongue Ring Damage
Every mother dreams of buying her daughter that special piece of jewelry. Perhaps it’s a birthstone ring for Sweet Sixteen or a special necklace for her wedding day. I was unprepared for the moment my 18-year-old daughter, Sarah, arrived home sporting a new piece of jewelry she’d arranged for and purchased all by herself—a tongue ring.
What can a mother say except, “Ugh!”
Any possible parental persuasion against this decision—risk of infection, swelling, speech impediment, difficulty getting a job—were obviously a day late and a dollar short. Sarah bore with the swelling and what must have been intense discomfort, and we endured a week of silence from her, as speaking was too painful.
Once that initial period passed, we decided that as parents, we just had to “ride it out” and wait for the Good Sense Fairy to descend upon our Sarah.
But there was something else we didn’t see coming: the added danger of sports. Sarah plays forward for the varsity soccer team, and she’s aggressive and competitive. When the next inevitable hard collision and spill happened during practice, (just a few weeks after she began speaking again), she came up spitting out shards of her front teeth.
From within her own mouth, the tongue ring had knocked out the lower edges of both upper front teeth. It was a sickening sight.
We paid an emergency visit to Dr. Tom Hughes in Monument, a dentist who specializes in the overall health of teeth, including broken ones. Unfortunately, the bits of teeth were too small to reuse, but Dr. Hughes restored her teeth in two visits with porcelain veneers that look exactly like her own teeth prior to the accident.
Today’s techniques are so much better than when I was young. Kids who’d fractured their front teeth had fat caps and telltale black lines around their gums. No more. Today’s ceramics and adhesives make a good repair undetectable. Flawless, actually. The skill of the practitioner definitely plays a part, and we were delighted to be in the capable hands of Dr. Hughes.
While we’d certainly have preferred that this accident never happened, at least the outcome was as good as it could be.
Soon afterward, as stealthily as it had arrived, the tongue ring vanished.
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