Gentle twisting. That's the secret to Jeanne Mandeville's technique for helping scared and anxious kids who are ready to coax out their loose baby teeth. Mandeville is the health-room director at a private Catholic elementary school in Tulsa, OK, and in addition to playground scrapes, bloody noses, and ear aches, she has become the go-to "tooth fairy" for students whose deciduous teeth are oh-so-loose but just won't come out without a little help.
She was featured recently in an article in a local Tulsa newspaper, spotlighting one kindergartner who came to Mandeville for her reknowned tooth-pulling talent, but utlimately chickened out. The article outlined Mandeville's long standing reputation as a kind, empahthetic school health care staffer with a special technique for cajoling stubborn loose teeth.
Well, here's the kick in the teeth (sorry!). The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry got wind of the article and decided that Mandeville should be investigated...for potential felony! You can read about these antics in a follow-up article published a week after the original piece. Here are some highlights...
From the dental board: "Little kids need to go to the dentist and be comfortable so they're not scared to go. Something like this is much more appropriate in a dental setting, in a dental office. Maybe a kid avoids a dentist because they know she'll (Mandeville will) do it and it will be cheaper. She may be not be able to evaluate things that need to be evaluated. Kids have oral cancer. There are so many diseases in your mouth that can happen."
And from the school principal: "She's an amazing woman. She's kind-hearted; she's compassionate; she loves our children. Everyone loves her. She'd bend over backwards to help anyone out, and that's why she does what she does."
So what do you think?