Once upon a time, there was a tooth named Freddy. He was a pleasant little fellow who lived a very contented and peaceful life.
Freddy liked his position as a tooth. Sometimes he got to help bite into food with the sharp incisor teeth, and sometimes he got to crunch and munch food with the molars. He was not in the front where he was in danger of breaking from getting hit by a ball, and he wasn't too far back where the toothbrush had a hard time reaching to clean him.
His master, Billy, was a responsible young man. He brushed Freddy and the other teeth every day after each meal and before he went to bed at night. He kept his gums healthy and strong, and free from rotting food by flossing his teeth every morning. Freddy sure was glad that Billy was such a good boy. Freddy's enamel was so clean, it shined whenever Billy smiled!
One day, though, Billy made a terrible mistake. The sun was shining brightly, and the weather was hot. Billy was outside playing until finally, his mouth became so dry that even Sidney and Sam, the twin salivary glands, couldn't make enough moisture to make him feel comfortable.
Billy felt weak from thirst. He spotted a vending machine nearby and put 2 shiny coins in it. A bottle of cold soda pop dropped down the chute, and he held it for a moment, enjoying its cold chill against his hot skin. As Billy twisted at the lid, he imagined the refreshing taste and coolness that would bathe his mouth in just a few short moments. But there was one problem. The lid was stuck. Try as he might, Billy just couldn't budge the cap to that bottle!
Frustrated, Billy looked up and down the street for someone he knew to help him get his bottle open, but there was nobody around him. Finally, he had an idea. He put the bottle in his mouth, bit down hard, and gave it a sharp twist.
"OOOWWWW!" Freddy cried in pain just as he heard a sickening snapping sound ripping right through him.
Freddy's entire body throbbed with a pain that pierced his enamel, shot through the dentin, and lodged in the pulp, where his blood vessels and nerves were located.
Just then, Billy felt the pain in his precious tooth and began to cry. His mother ran outside to comfort him. After he began to feel a little better, she peered into his mouth. There wasn't any blood, but she could easily see a big crack in Billy's favorite tooth. And poor little Freddy ached all over.
Billy ended up going to the dentist with his mother, but Freddy would never be the same. Freddy had to stay very still while the dentist did a careful cleaning of his enamel and put a special paste across the crack. It took many weeks for Freddy to feel completely better again, but there was always a dull white line where the dentist had to fix his tooth.
From that time on, Billy always waited until he could find a friend to help if he couldn't open a lid. He used his teeth only for chewing food and giving away happy smiles. Freddy missed his old shiny self, but he was glad that at least the change in him reminded Billy never to try to open hard objects with his mouth again.
How about you? Do you take good care of your teeth? Or do you use your teeth to bite down on hard things like Billy did? Remember, your teeth are a special gift from God to help you to chew your food and to brighten the world with your friendly smile. Take good care of them, and your teeth will be nice looking and strong for a long, long time!