Parenting Guru: Tales of Teeth

The Tooth Fairy has only visited 3 our family three times. Only 2 of those times have been to our home. We're late-bloomers. Big lost his first tooth at age 7, this summer in Maine, on the docks, in the lake.

We never retrieved that tooth, though we looked and looked and looked and looked. We expect it to sit buried at the bottom of the lake for all time. Big was fine with it. He was biting into a peach when the tooth literally fell out and fell through the opening between the planks of wood. While I was worried about the Tooth Fairy not being able to retrieve the tooth, he commented that he's sure it's happened before and that he'd just leave a note. Heh. He's the mature one.

While we were prepared for the tooth to fall out, we weren't prepared for what was behind the tooth. A fully-grown-in adult tooth, tipped back a bit. Apparently, Big's adult teeth are passive-aggressive and don't push the baby teeth out, they just squeeze themselves in to join the baby tooth until the baby tooth feels like coming out on its own.
The only 2 teeth Big has lost, have both had fully grown adult teeth behind them. At Big's 7-year appointment, the pediatrician literally jumped back when she looked in his mouth to see the 2nd adult tooth hanging out behind a firm baby tooth. "Big!" she exclaimed. "You have a loose tooth! That tooth should be out already!" When Big replied that he knew he had a loose tooth, she asked if he'd been wiggling it. "No," said Big. "My daddy says I can't put my fingers in my mouth." "Well," laughed the pediatrician nervously. "Its really important that you listen to your daddy, but in this case, I think we need to tell your dad that you do need to wiggle your tooth." The tooth wiggled out that night. Leaving barely a hole but, and, once again, a full-toothed smile because the adult tooth was already in.
Middle, however, has a big gaping hole in his mouth. His front top tooth was pulled this fall when he was found to have an abcess above it in his gums. A quick swab to test for infection loosened the pus inside and, suddenly, that tooth, which we found in an x-ray to have a corroded root, was loose, loose loose. A week on antibiotics and the pediatric dentist pulled it.

What a difference! Most teeth fall out and the tooth is a small little oval-shape. But a prematurely pulled tooth has a huge root! It also leaves a huge space because no adult tooth is there to move in. The night before Middle's tooth was pulled we took picture after picture of his baby smile. I love those pictures. I love his unique smile now, too. His face lights up no matter what.

The tooth fairy has visited us three times. We expect her visits to be many, but far between. She leaves us golden tooth fairy money (gold coins) and the boys each received five for their first tooth; and will leave one for each tooth thereafter.

Currently, we have no loose teeth, that I know of. Perhaps I should look into Big's mouth, behind his baby teeth, to see if he has any adult teeth accompanying.

By-the-way, Little, at almost 19 months, has 7 teeth, coming in all out of order. She's following her brothers' footsteps.

Julie Meyers Pron is a Shine! Parenting Guru and a member of the Yahoo Mother Board. This post was inspired the March Parenting Guru topic: When the Tooth Fairy Visits Our House. Read more from Julie at her blog: Just Precious.

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