PART ONE: First, when I was a youngin' I had three front teeth. Yep, one big one in the middle of my two front teeth. I thought this was delightful being little and liking anything that got me attention, and when Christmas time came around I'd sing "all I want for Christmas is my three front teeeeeth." I knew it was unique to have three front teeth, but I didn't think it was some sort of genetic anomaly that, now that I look back on it, was truly freakish. But I was blissfully unaware of my freak-like status and my parents cringed silently while I sang odes to my strange dental situation, waiting for the day that the tooth fairy took the third-tooth-wheel away forever.
Here I am, on the left (sister, with two front teeth, on the right)displaying my pearly whites proudly (I was not a fan of hugs, however):
A closer look:
And the tooth fairy did take it away, and all were happy. My adult teeth started to come in, and my parents were sure that I would have a normal number of mouth adornments.
But then a white dot appeared on my gums in between my front teeth. It was another tooth. A small, persistent tooth waiting to grow into its rightful place. My parents took me to the dentist. This time they weren't going to wait for the normal shelf-life of a tooth since this one, the adult one, could be here to stay. I was a little disappointed that I would be losing my prized mark of difference, but could tell that my parents were pretty serious about this one.
I remember sitting in the dentist chair rather nervous that they were going to be ripping a tooth out. The usual medley of Novocaine numbed my gums and the dentist told me in a soothing voice that this wouldn't take long at all. "It's just a little one," he said, sure that this freak tooth was a weak one. I believed him and prepared for the easiest tooth extraction I had experienced thus far in my young life. (And no, this was not the first.)
Suddenly searing pain hit my gums as metal tools flashed in front of my face. Behind his mask I could see the dentist's face turn to a look of confusion, quickly recovering as soon as he saw me watching him.
"Well look here!" he said, trying to sound enthusiastic. "It's bigger than we thought!"
After the hygienist washed it off and placed it in a little case he showed the tooth to me. It wasn't just a tooth. No, it was a fang. Longer than normal front teeth and ghastly looking. That little white bump on my gum was the tip of the iceberg, an iceberg that was now displayed before me.
With my third front tooth removed I anticipated my mouth's development into a normal adult smile. Little did I know what was in store for me in the coming years...