Here in the village oral hygiene is not a priority, and the closest dentist is a $172-roundtrip-airfare away, so you can imagine my distress when part of my permanently cemented retainer popped off my tooth.
My quick-thinking (and very thrifty) husband immediately advised me to call my dental assistant friend for advice. She gave me two options: super glue it or remove it. Neither option sounded too appealing as they both included Steve’s bull-in-a-china-shop hands tinkering in my mouth.
After weighing the options, I reluctantly decided to let Dr. Steve glue the retainer back in place.
The scene would have made any dentist cringe. First, Steve made me swish with rubbing alcohol “to dry out” my mouth (note to self: using rubbing alcohol in the mouth is akin to gargling with fire and will subsequently cause the mouth to salivate uncontrollably in order to cool itself down). After I recovered from the oral inferno, I laid down on the less-than-sanitary church floor while Steve blasted my mouth with a hairdryer “to dry it out”.
When my mouth felt as dry as the Sahara Desert on a summer day, Steve worked diligently to keep the super glue from touching anything that wasn’t supposed to be glued while Assistant Maddie held an all-purpose flashlight in my mouth, and Assistant Klaira tried unsuccessfully to keep Riley (our dog) from licking my open mouth and the dental tools (which Steve later informed me were used on his Great-Grandpa’s sheep farm–lovely). Meanwhile, I was choking on the paper towels Steve was stuffing into my mouth “to keep it dry”, and praying he wouldn’t take this vulnerable opportunity to glue my mouth shut. Several long minutes later, my retainer was back in place.
But Dr. Steve wasn’t done yet! Enjoying his debut in dentistry, he decided I needed my teeth cleaned, too, so he scraped off some plaque and “polished” my pearly whites with a toothbrush. Remote dentistry at its finest!
The whole ordeal was completely unsanitary but my retainer is once again retaining, my teeth are cleaner, and my mouth isn’t glued shut. Success!
Through this Alaskan adventure, God is teaching us to be aware and grateful for even the smallest things (like a tiny $10 bottle of super glue!). We pray that you too, are experiencing some of God’s “Super Glue Blessings”.