I am writing this post purely because when I was told my toddler was going to have his front teeth removed at just 2 years old I googled my life away for days trying to find other people who had been in my situation. I googled paediatric partial-dentures (yes I feel ridiculous about this now) and literally thought the world was ending. I needed someone who had been in that situation that could tell me it was all going to be okay.
yep you heard that right, it’s every mothers worst nightmare.
I was 37 weeks pregnant, we had just signed the papers for our new house and decided to have a look around our new neighbourhood. Will went off to footy training and Eli and I went for a walk down the beach.
Eli decided to run off very close to the road when I went to grab him and tripped over. Landing him straight onto his face and me flat first onto my big ol’ belly.
Not knowing what to do I put Eli straight into the car and rushed to the hospital. Calling will on my way telling him to leave training and meet us there. As we arrived Eli and I were sent to different departments. Eli was to be seen by a pediatrician to check for a concussion/ facial injuries as he had grazed his face, chipped his 2 front teeth unaligning them and had a blood nose. I was sent to the womans assessment centre to have bubs monitored.
I walked into the ward crying covered in blood, everyone would have thought I was a nut job. They took me straight in and hooked me up on a monitor where I had a few contractions. Eventually Will and Eli came in to visit me as they said Eli was fine, we just needed to see a dentist. When I was ready we all went home.
The next day I booked in to see my dentist as I was worried the damage to his baby tooth might affect the adult teeth underneath. They weren’t able to tell me much as he was to young to get an x-ray. They then referred me to a school dentist and to get an emergency appointment.
The next morning we arrived at the school dentist where they examined Eli. They were quite concerned that his gum was a dark red and worried an infection may occur. They were also concerned that his 2 front teeth were very wobbly. Then I so vividly remember the most horrible thing I have heard to this day. She turns to me and says. ‘He is going to need his front 2 teeth removed’. Trying to keep it all together I took all her information on board as she put him on the waiting list to have them extracted. She booked us to come back in a month to see if there was any change but explained it could be up to a year before a spot comes available to have them out.
I got in the car and cried and cried until I could not cry anymore. Then I went home and cried for about a week straight. I felt like the worst mother in the world. Constantly relaying in my head that if I hadn’t tripped up my poor baby wouldn’t be going through this (instead he would have likely been hit by a car.. but I was obviously to irrational to think of this) Eli was absolutely fine at this stage and un bothered by the fact.
Flash forward 1 month we went back in for a check up. They re-examined him and said his teeth were still very wobbly (I didn’t think they were that wobbly but hey I’m no dentist). She told me he would need to stay on the waiting list as they would most definitely need to come out. There I am crying all over again, I just had a baby a week ago and you’re telling me my 2 year old needs to be put to sleep for surgery.
At this point I wanted a second opinion as there was no way I was having my childs 2 teeth extracted and putting him through that pain if they did not need to be. I called up the hospital and they said there was a 12 month waiting list to see the paediatric dentist…. 12 months… I put his name down and moved on with life.
9 months later I received a phone call from the hospital saying they had an opening and I could bring him in. I took him in and the dentist examined him, asked me some questions and took an x-ray. Then she said ‘THEY LOOK OKAY AND NO NEED TO HAVE THEM REMOVED’. It was like music to my ears. She was very happy with how the teeth had furmed up in the gum. The x-ray showed a small grey mark on one of the adult teeth which they were unsure if this was damage to one of the adult teeth underneath or just a shadow on the capping of the tooth from the angle of the x-ray. She asked us to come back in Jan to have the x-ray re-done. We will then also be able to discuss either shaving the tooth down to they are not so sharp (Cons of this is that this could potentially expose a nerve which could cause infection) or putting a small cap over the tooth (cons of this is it is not as long lasting and could be broken off when eating hard foods such as apples).
Come January we took Eli back to the hospital for a check out and BAM. They found an infection. We were back to square 1 and Eli was to have his 2 front teeth removed. I. was. distraught. My baby boy was going to be without his 2 front teeth for SIX YEARS
So here we are 3 months later and I think back at the way I acted as if my child had a life threatening illness… I’m not going to tell you that I don’t even notice they are missing because that would be a lie. I notice every single time he cracks a smile at me but what I can tell you is it doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact he still looks uber cute to me (I may be bias) and I still love him more than life.
If you are reading this because you too have just been told your child will need to be put to sleep for surgery to have their teeth removed, please trust me when I say there is light at the end of the tunnel and it really won’t be as bad as you may think. (also if your googling paediatric partial-dentures like I was.. just stop. You will kick yourself for being so dumb later on)
Every time someone asks Eli ‘What happened to your teeth?’ He grins back ever so sweetly and tells them ‘They’re gone, the tooth fairy took them and then she gave me a present’.