The History of the Big Tooth
When we first opened the office, we had a LOT of blank walls. Being a former teacher, Sharon had an idea. She found a larger than life tooth cut-out. Included in the package were hands, floss, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. She bought a bulletin board large enough to display the tooth with enough room for oral hygiene information. She placed the tooth on the wall between the two hygiene rooms.
When a few of the children came in, they wanted their picture taken with the Big Tooth. So, naturally that prompted us to purchase another large bulletin board to display the happy children. At first, we had thought that only cavity free children should be on the board, but after just one tearful child, Sharon caved and ALL children were displayed on the board. We kept the pictures on the board for a couple of months and then filed them to give to the patient at their next appointment.
This fast became a ritual for the practice. The children loved the recognition, and the mothers loved seeing the children change in the 6 months that had passed. Some parents even put the pictures in a scrapbook! The Big Tooth has been many characters for different seasons. We try to be creative and fun when we prepare the tooth for the changing holidays and various times of year. You can see some more of the boards on our website.
At one time, we had considered removing the boards, but when we had the board of the Big Tooth down, there were many disappointed patients, parents and children alike. So, we bought new boards to replace the worn cork, made a new tooth by tracing the big tooth on poster board and had it laminated at School Box. We are now on our fourth or fifth Big Tooth. Each has taken a lot of staples in the years of its service. The ritual is perpetuated by children coming back as parents with their own children asking if we still take pictures with the Big Tooth.
We are so happy that something that started as a need to decorate the walls as efficiently (and inexpensively) as possible has turned out to be such a joy for not only our patients, but also our entire team.