Daughter 'loved' tooth extraction by javelin

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Media captionBryan Clay shows how to remove a tooth using a javelin

Some children get rid of wobbly milk teeth using a piece of string attached to a slammed door but US Olympic gold medal-winning athlete Bryan Clay had other ideas when he helped his daughter, Ellie, remove her loose tooth using one of his javelins.

The 2008 Olympic decathlon champion posted a video of the feat on Twitter writing: "What you use javelins for once you're retired." It was retweeted over 1,600 times.

"Her brother and sister were telling her different ways and mum was too. Then someone came up with the idea of the javelin and the second she heard that, that's what she wanted to happen," Clay told BBC Trending.

"I didn't want to do it. I was a little bit afraid of what people were going to think, what they were going to say, or that they would misunderstand and get a little upset," he admitted.

"But it takes everybody back to a time when they did the same silly things to get their teeth pulled out and she absolutely loved it and kept asking me 'Please, please, please Daddy' until I gave in."

Image copyright Bryan Clay
Image caption Olympic gold-winner decathlete, Bryan Clay, throws the javelin - and his daughter's tooth - 30 metres

Clay attached one end of a piece of string to the five-year-old's tooth, and the other to his javelin. He then launched the javelin 30 metres across a field, pulling the tooth with it so seamlessly Ellie and his other children, who were watching, weren't sure whether the stunt had worked.

Proof was provided on camera in the form of a bit of blood in Ellie's mouth and proud yippees from mum, who was behind the camera.

"The only reason we taped it was to show grandpa and grandmas and to be able to show some of her friends," Clay said. "The idea of it going viral has been surprising but that's the nature of these things, I guess. They take on a life of their own."

Image copyright Bryan Clay
Image caption Bryan Clay admitted he was a bit nervous about posting the video in case people reacted negatively

Reaction was swift on Twitter from other well-known athletes, parents and even dentists.

Some like, Lolo Jones, Olympic hurdler and bobsledder, were lining up for the unorthodox dental treatment, tweeting: "I never got my wisdom teeth out, I'm coming over. #freeDental"

Others wanted to know the trick themselves: "Please tell me you measured the throw," tweeted Jon Mulkeen, an athletics statistics fanatic from the UK. "Us stattos need to know what the 'tooth-pull-javelin-throw' world record is."

Or were curious to see what comes next: "Can't wait to see how the other 9 events come into play in parenting!! #DecathalonDad," tweeted Allen Webster.

An Olympic javelin weighs around 800g (28oz) and can reach speeds approaching 70mph (113km/h) on release, but the 2010 heptathlon world champion wanted to stress that he and his family were cautious. They used dental floss and they made sure Ellie had wiggled her tooth so it was just hanging on a thread.

It was a "pretty painless non-traumatic experience," he said.

Dentist Dr Craig Mallorie praised Clay's technique, tweeting: "Very skilled extraction there Dr Clay! #Extraction #dental #thinkoutsidethebox #itwillgrowback."

Image copyright Bryan Clay
Image caption The tooth is removed and was a "pretty painless non-traumatic experience", Clay tells the BBC

No wonder Ellie had her sights set on something impressive for her tooth-pulling. Her siblings have experimented with extraction methods like "floss attached to a helmet while one kid rode off on a scooter," a "Styrofoam airplane with floss", "bike and floss" and even floss attached to the family dog's collar.

Clay added that Ellie had put the tooth under her pillow and "could hardly sleep last night."

If her luck is anything like that of her father's maybe she'll be getting some gold to replace it.

Blog by Olivia Crellin

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