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Local Column

If Band-Aids could fix everything

As is the case with most people, going to the dentist is not one of my favorite things to do. Being poked, prodded and drilled on is a painful experience.

For some of us, it is even worse if we have had a traumatic experience with our teeth. 

When I was in second grade, I slipped on the school bus steps and cracked my front tooth. Blood was everywhere, and my tooth was nearly gone. I was in the nurse’s office until my mom arrived. We headed straight to a dentist.

To this day, I can remember the smell and sound of the drill. I have had to replace the bonding numerous times over the years, and each time it makes me cringe.

So when my back tooth started to ache, I prayed it would go away. Unfortunately, the toothache has been ongoing for a couple of weeks now. Finally, on Monday, I couldn’t take it anymore and asked a dentist to check it out. I was so nervous I thought I would need a sedative. 

Turns out, the dentist couldn’t do anything about it, so they referred me to the endodontist. I was thinking that this means big trouble. Root canal or abscess made the list of possibilities.   

On Tuesday, I was at the endodontist where they did a 3-D X-ray and found I had some bone loss, but not enough to warrant this type of pain. I yelped like a baby as he prodded my back tooth. The doc found out that I had a bad infection. So he prescribed me amoxicillin, mouth rinse and pain relievers. I went home feeling hopeful.

Hannah Jo overheard my conversation with her dad about my toothache. She asked me several questions. Why was I eating so much watermelon and yogurt? How bad did it hurt? Hannah Jo seemed very concerned. She gave me a great big hug and told me she would be right back. I was a bit confused, but she is only 3, so I ran with it.  

She came back with a bunch of different Band-Aid boxes.

“Pick one, mama, and I will put it on your tooth,” she said.

I had a choice of Ninja Turtles, Doc McStuffins, Minions and Barbie. I choose the Ninja Turtle one. Then she placed it on my cheek and kissed it.  

My heart melted. I was awestruck that I raised a kid that is compassionate. Hannah Jo never ceases to amaze me. It also makes me sad that one day, she will figure out that Band-Aids don’t fix everything. Some things just need time to heal. Oh, and painkillers!

Just being cheeky!

• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Reach her at

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