March 2007 Archives


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D: "Why do teeth stick to your gums?"
Me: "Well, actually- they aren't stuck to each other like glue. Your teeth go up into your gums...they have roots that hold them in place."
Jl:"Like trees?!"
Me: "Yes, like trees. In fact- I have some of my teeth that were taken out during surgery. I'll bring themin and show them to you."
Me: "It's not really gross. They're just teeth. Just like the ones in your mouth."
Jd: "Oh"

Days later after several days of "Did you bring the teeth?"
"Oh! No, I forgot. Write me a note. I 'll bring them tomorrow."

"Did you bring the teeth?"
Me: "Yes. In fact I have them here! Now, we'll pass them on a tray. You shouldn't touch them. Most of the blood has been washed off- but I can see a little. Just look with your eyes as you pass them. Notice that the top part and the root part are different colors. Look at this one here. It's broken. Do you remember talking about how nerves are connected to your brain and that's how you feel things, and feel pain? Well, the roots were growing around a nerve in my mouth. The dentist didn't want to cut the nerve- so instead he broke the tooth. I'll place one side up and one side down. You can see how there is space inside your teeth. It's not solid all the way through."

As I'm talking the students are passing the makeshift tray I made from construction paper and tape because I couldn't place a lunch tray quickly.

"Are there any questions?"

N: "Why don't babies have teeth?" He's such a deep thinker!

"Great question! Actually, they do have teeth. But they are little, and haven't pushed out through their gums. Does anyone have an idea why babies' teeth are still in their gums when they are born?"

W: "Because they are still growing."

"Absolutely. Let's think about what we know about animals, and their teeth and what they eat." Meanwhile N is wiggling his hand like mad. Normally I don't approve of that but I can tell that student N has got the idea even before I made the statement about food.

N:" They eat milk"

"Exactly. I want you to think back to the video we saw on making cheese. Do you remember the baby cow drinking milk? Do you think that would feel good for the momma cow if the baby cow had teeth!?"

A chorus of NO erupts with many children shaking thier heads.

"Well, It's the same for people."

J points to her own little will-be-boobs-someday and giggles. The others are thoughtful. I'm a bit relieved. The boys can be dangerous with this sort of information. They suprise me.

"J, be mature please. "

J: "Okay" she says with a sheepish grin.