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“Ow!” Justin yelled as he felt a sharp pain in the back of his mouth.
“What’s wrong, Justin? What happened?” asked Jessie with a worried look.
“I don’t know.” Justin tried to talk with his sore mouth. “I bit down on my cracker and something hurt in the back of my mouth.”
“Uh oh! Maybe you broke a tooth!” said Jessie. “Just like my grandpa. He broke a tooth once and said it was terrible. He told me he went to the dentist and he was there for hours.”
“It was terrible?” Justin asked with a scared look on his face.
“That’s what he said. I don’t know.” Jessie shrugged.
Justin held his hand to his mouth and went to find his mom. He and Jessie had been munching on cheese and crackers for their snack. But he wasn’t hungry anymore. He just wanted to make the soreness in his mouth stop. Justin finally found his mom in Ellie’s room, reading a book to her.
“And cows say—Justin!” Mom looked up at him as he came into the room with tears in his eyes.
Ellie looked at her mom in surprise. “No, no, not Jussin. Cows say ‘moo,’ not ‘Jussin!’” She patted the book saying, “Read, Mommy. Read.”
Mom pulled Justin closer. “Tell me what happened.”
Justin told her how the cracker hurt his mouth and that he thought he broke a tooth. Mom had him open his mouth wide. “I don’t see any broken teeth. But I’ll call the dentist and see if we can come in today.”
“No!” Justin shouted through his sore mouth. “I don’t wanna see the dentist.” He remembered what Jessie said about her grandpa’s tooth.
“Justin, don’t you want it to stop hurting?” asked Mom.
Justin nodded sadly. Mom gave him a hug. “Don’t be afraid,” Mom said. “Dr. Grady is a good dentist, and I’m sure he’ll be able to make it feel better. Trust me.”
An hour later, Justin was sitting in the dentist’s office. The chair was huge, and it moved up and down. He had never been in a chair like this before. He smiled as the chair made him lie way back.
“Okay, Mr. Jay!” said Dr. Grady as he sat down on a stool next to Justin. “Open up wide, and we’ll take a look.”
Justin stared at the dentist. He thought about Jessie’s grandpa and his broken tooth. Justin kept his lips shut tight.
“Justin, dear, do what Dr. Grady says,” Mom said.
“I’m just going to take a peek and see what’s hurting in there,” said the dentist.
Justin swallowed hard. He knew he could trust his mom. She said Dr. Grady would help him. He slowly opened his mouth so the dentist could look inside.
“I’m going to use my little mirror on a stick so I can see way back in there, okay?” Dr. Grady held up his mirror to show Justin, and then moved it into Justin’s mouth. “Ah ha!” he exclaimed.
“Did you find what’s wrong?” asked Mom.
“Yes. I think so,” the dentist replied. “It looks like Justin is getting a new tooth way in the back. Sometimes new teeth can make your mouth a little sore. And when that crunchy cracker hit that sore spot, it was painful.”
“Really? Is that all that’s wrong? I’m getting a new tooth?” Justin asked.
“Yep. That’s it. I’ll just rub some cream on the area to make it stop hurting,” explained Dr. Grady. When he was finished, Dr. Grady asked, “Ready for another chair ride?” The back of the chair made Justin sit up and then moved down, down, down.
Justin hopped off and smiled. “Thank you.”
“It will feel better soon. But while you’re waiting, how about this?” Dr. Grady reached over and opened a big drawer.
“Wow!” Justin shouted as he gazed at all the neat prizes in the drawer.
“You can choose two today since you were so brave and trusted me,” said Dr. Grady. “And this is for you, little lady.” He handed a tiny book with a picture of a tooth to Ellie.
On the way home, Mom said, “See? I told you that you could trust me.”
“I know,” Justin replied. “I just kept remembering what Jessie said about her grandpa’s tooth, and it scared me.”
“Jessie forgot to tell you that the dentist actually helped her grandpa and fixed his tooth.”
“Really? She never said that. I guess I didn’t need to be afraid after all.”
“I guess not,” Mom replied. “We all have to be careful not to let fear take over.”
“What do you mean?” asked Justin.
“If we let fear grow, it makes it really hard to trust God.”
“I don’t want that. I want to trust God, because he’ll take care of me. Right?” asked Justin.
“Jussin, read please!” Ellie held out the new book she got from the dentist.
“Okay, Ellie. I’ll try,” Justin said as he took the book. “The Tooth Book,” Justin read. He asked, “Where are your teeth, Ellie?”
Ellie grinned and pointed to her small, white teeth. “My teefs!”
Justin smiled. “Good, Ellie! And who helps take care of our teeth?”
Ellie proudly answered, “The dennis!”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.