Saturday, September 17, 2011

A visit from the tooth fairy

When Claire was just over 18 months old she had a fall off an elevated stage and jammed one of her two front teeth way up into her gums.  After an emergency trip to the dentist (my dentist since it was at night and you must be a patient of record to be seen by a pediatric dentist) and lots of tears from both her and mommy, we made an appointment to see a pediatric dentist.  Initial x-rays revealed no immediate danger to her tooth so we began visiting the dentist every 6 months to check and have her teeth cleaned.  Claire does great at the dentist, a real pro at this point.  She has a very crooked smile, partly because of the direction both teeth were pushed, partly because she still has that stinking pacifer and partly because she got her mamma's big teeth and small mouth.  So needless to say, the orthodontist envisions lots of dollar signs and I've pretty much settled on the fact that she'll need extensive work.

This was a picture taken a couple days after the accident.

About a month ago, I noticed what looked like the start to an abscess on the gum above the 'trauma tooth'.  As a general rule, nothing medical happens in our family during normal business hours.  I discovered this on a weekend, at night and Claire's dentist was closed the following Monday.  We couldn't get in for 2.5 weeks, but they called an antibiotic in to control the infection so it didn't spread.

Claire got examined and had a set of x-rays.  When we sat down to go over the results, my stomach dropped...she was going to lose that tooth after all.  I really, really, really didn't want this to happen for a variety of reasons, but a few were:
1.  It can't be an easy process to take out a tooth that isn't loose.  This would probably be extremely painful and scary
2.  I don't want her to have a fear of the dentist as she grows up
and I'm totally ashamed to admit the third reason, because I sound so concerned with appearance but here it goes
3.  I really didn't want her to be without her front tooth for 4+ years!!

However, I knew that it had to come out and I only had a week to mentally prepare her (and me) for it.  Claire is the kid that needs to be told everything ahead of time.  She doesn't like surprises, so we started talking that night.  We told her that the next time we went to the dentist, that she was going to have her tooth taken out, she would put the tooth under her pillow and the tooth fairy would come and give her money.  She was excited about the tooth fairy thing and I was coming to terms with her losing her tooth.

This was taken minutes before they started at the dentist.  Crooked, but cute is how I referred to her smile!

We went to the dentist, who is wonderful, but it is something that I hope none of my children have to go through again.  EVER.  She got sick of the mask being on her face.  Then the shots started and I felt like they weren't ever going to end, so I can only imagine how she felt.  It was heartbreaking to listen to her cry and scream.  I was getting emotional about it (and whoosy thinking about what was happening) so I actually had to leave the room.  Thankfully, both Grandma's joined me at the dentist (they just knew that I would need the reinforcements).  So, Maggie Grandma (my mom, named after her dog Maggie) went in to be with Claire while Riley Grandma (Ryan's mom, named after her dog Riley) took care of Natalie.  I don't know what I would have done without them there.

This is when they just had started, the camera went away after this.

Finally, the tooth was out and she got lots of mommy hugs.  Then she got to get a few prizes out of the token machines.  She selected three bouncy balls and an ice cream ring.  By this point, she was back to her normal self; jumping around and wanting to play with the cupcakes in the waiting room.  She has done wonderfully since, no issues eating, drinking or talking.

Here are some pictures of Claire after the extraction, I am still not thrilled with the toothless look but she's cute regardless.  I know I will always think so, I'm her mom ;-)

This is the tooth, no wonder the hole in her gum is so big!

So we put the tooth in the cute hot pink tooth box that the dentist gave us and put it under her pillow that night.  After some discussion that the tooth fairy wouldn't take any teeth from her mouth, she was good with the tooth fairy leaving her money.  She went right to sleep that night and woke up the next morning as her typical self.  She did have a brand new 50 cent piece under her pillow, but she was more excited to play with the prizes that she got from the dentist.

The next morning with her money from the tooth fairy.

She doesn't seem scared to go back to the dentist in a couple months, so I hope she's forgotten the trauma.  I wouldn't mind if we didn't ever have to go to the dentist for anything other than cleanings in the future!


  1. Awe sorry that you both had to go through that. Glad everything went fairly smooth and she still looks adorable!

  2. She is still adorable! We have to take out plenty of baby teeth premature for variety of reasons. Hope the nitrous worked out!

  3. Woah what a tooth! Your little girls are adorable!!!!!!

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