A year ago in May is when XBoy had the accident at daycare that resulted in all four front baby teeth being pulled. The link to that post actually will just bring up the comments because at some point I cut and paste the post without actually pasting it anywhere. The words have long been lost.

He was riding a little scooter around on the gym’s floor and for whatever reason, he decided to use his face as a brake on the bleachers. After meeting my husband with a bloody-faced child – being such a big-boy in spite of the pain and fear and blood – at the dentist’s office, we were told that we were fortunate in that the damage was limited to the baby teeth.

Ooooh! An illustration!
Ooooh! An illustration!

The x-rays showed his two permanent middle teeth (central incisors) were just about to emerge (the baby teeth were already loose before the accident) and the teeth on either side (lateral incisors) were still quite high and would come down much later. About six months ago, after the two central incisors were fully emerged, I noticed there was a considerable gap between the two. The space that had been meant for four new teeth appeared to be compromised.

I first saw his dentist, who thought I better see an orthodontist. The ortho poked around, but advised us to wait and see and check back later.

Now it is later and while I had hoped that I would get good news, we didn’t. So typical of those dental types, wouldn’t you agree?

XBoy’s poorly spaced descent of the centrals were not the result of the accident, but due to both of his parents passing on a less than perfect labial frenum. Mr. DD’s sister had a substantial gap (diastema) between her teeth. The gap between my teeth was perfect for holding straws (if you goal was to store a couple of straws between your teeth), so about 20 years ago I had my dentist fill it in. God bless those who revel in their gap-toothed smiles. I just didn’t have the confidence to pull it off.

And I don’t think XBoy will, either. Not to make a snap judgment call about physical beauty, but he already struggles with the stigma over the first few months of behavioral issues last fall in school. If I can prevent future teasing, especially when it comes to his appearance, I’ll do it without hesitation.

That brings me to the ortho’s opinion on XBoy’s current situation. With the two central incisors taking over the space that was meant for four, we now must make a decision to either do a) nothing and check again in 6-8 months and see if the lateral incisors are finally descending; or b) pull the baby canines to create room for the lats.

The concerns we have with either choice are based on pure speculation. The wait-and-see certainly seems more appealing. ANYTHING seems more appealing than having two teeth pulled especially when said child is capable of losing his shit over something as innocuous as a hang nail. The problem is that the waiting usually only puts off what’s inevitable. Worse case is that these teeth, denied the ability to descend, start growing their roots up too high and curling around where they shouldn’t be so when we finally do end up pulling the baby teeth (or they fall out on their own), the lats will be even slower to emerge.

Slower as in, y-e-a-r-s. XBoy could be eleven or twelve years old and have only two top teeth in the front to smile with. We’re talking pre-teen here; middle school. Do YOU remember what it was like in middle school? You’re hormonal, checking for hair where you’ve never had hair; actually washing and combing the hair you’ve had; and no longer able to pretend you’re skeeved out by the opposite sex. We all know kids are insatiable when it comes to picking on other kids (a form of deflection, don’t you know), but when they’re ‘tweens, they can be downright evil in their cruelty.

You can understand why I don’t want to have XBoy’s nickname to be “Gopher” or “Bugs”, right? I can assure you personally, Gopher is a shitty nickname.

And as I said, Option B is to just pull them now and get the ball rolling. Yes, it is a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul since it requires the hole left by two teeth to bring in one and he will probably be playing catch-up when it comes to making room for any upper teeth. This is only the beginning since it’s very probable that he will end up with braces down the road in what the ortho described as a “comprehensive treatment” plan or the ortho’s “down payment on a private jet” plan or our “say goodbye to your university education and heLLOOO to the community college” plan. But I think – I HOPE – it’ll be the right choice for now.

I am just full of angst over the idea of causing XBoy any pain, but I know it’ll be fleeting. He won’t understand until he’s much older that the painful experience of teasing for being different is something he won’t simply outgrow. As his parents, we don’t need to make it easier for the other kids to find something to zero in on. I for one am not part of the camp that believes that kind of bullying builds character.

By the by, why the hell are my posts so long? Really? I want them to be short and sweet but they just get away from me… I was able to boil this all down to my husband via a phone call in like 10 seconds! Sheesh. If I’m going die of boredom, I’m taking y’all with me, Bitches!

17 thoughts on “THANKFULLY, STILL NO BROKEN ARM *knock on wood*”

  1. I had horrible teeth when I was young, and my parents opted to get them fixed before I entered middle school. At age 9 I had 8 teeth pulled (4 baby and 4 permanent,) and then the braces were put on. Four years later I had awesome straight teeth; while everyone else was just getting braces. Yeah, it sucked having 8 teeth pulled at once, but I’m so glad my parents had the procedure performed when I was young and before my awful teeth gave kids something more to tease me about.

    1. Yep. I think I’m more convinced that to get them pulled now. I’m seeing my son’s dentist tomorrow a.m. as a matter of fact. I’m going to see if they have any way of putting him under conscious sedation.

  2. I am actually missing my lateral incisors completely (genetic gift from my granny, thanks). After my braces came off, I got a retainer with fake teeth to hold the spaces open until I was old enough to get crowns/implants.
    Could the ortho go ahead and do a retainer (like those invisible aligner thingies) with placeholder teeth to keep the gaps open until the missing teeth descend?

    1. Good question. Right now the pattern in his mouth for the area in question is this: BT – S – PT PT – S – BT, which is “baby tooth, space, perm tooth, perm tooth, space, baby tooth.” The “space” isn’t big enough and it would take the jaws of life to make “space” bigger.

  3. I don’t know what I’d do. Either option seems so traumatic in it’s own way.

    The Boy has yet to lose any teeth. Should I be worried about that?????

    1. I sure wouldn’t worry. But you have taken him to the dentist to make sure he doesn’t have his perm teeth sitting behind his baby teeth like a shark, haven’t you?

  4. I’d get a second opinion just because my kid’s teeth worked out fine after we waited a little while, and after having a gigantic x-ray taken of their entire mouths, it turned out that Kaz doesn’t have adult teeth in two spots and if we ever pulled those baby teeth, he’d have nothing, until he became an over-17 year old and we could get him implants. Not cheap.

    And with Mac the dentist’s solution was to expand his jaw for all his crowded teeth by giving him a retainer that he was supposed to wear 24/7 except to take in and out every meal. ADD boy was supposed to not lose a $350 retainer every meal? Bah…we said forget it. So we’re going to get another opinion and see what other solutions there are for that.

    As for trauma, if you do get them pulled, ask about getting some Versed, aka midazolam. It lightly sedates kids and they remember nothing. Alternatively–laughing gas helps too. You still need freezing for pain control.

    That said, now that he is on ADD meds, he will likely feel less anxiety and panic about a dental appointment. And now that he’s on the meds, he will be less likely to hurt himself impulsively and do any more damage to his teeth.

    Take care, I know this is also a money issue and stressful.

  5. Tough call. We are going through that a bit now as our oldest had to have three of his top teeth removed due to an accident and one of his bottom permanent tooth is coming in at a crazy angle. I would probably do the extraction now to try to get an upper hand knowing that braces are probably in the future anyway. I assume they will do it under sedation so XBoy won’t remember a horrible dental experience.

    1. I will guess that they will just numb the areas of his mouth and pull them since they are baby teeth. It makes me ache to even think about intentionally scheduling an appointment I know will cause him many tears and pain. Much like when we had to do the ultrasound of his kidneys…I can’t tell him it will hurt since the anticipation will make it worse for him, but I can’t tell him it won’t hurt because then he won’t trust me.

      It sucks.

      1. I have large teeth and a small jaw, and had to have braces. I also had to have 4 teeth removed in order to make room for the other teeth to move. My parents told me about the appointment to get my teeth pulled…oh…about 2 hours before I had to go because they didn’t want to scare me. I really don’t like surprises. My parents did not know me as well as they thought they did.

  6. It’s a tough choice and I don’t know what to tell you. My usual preference is wait and see, but the teasing and potential long term effects indicate that intervention now would be best. Poor Xboy – teeth issues are the worst for teasing, because there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

  7. Middle school sucks. Just make sure the tooth fairy is extra generous and X-boy will forget the whole thing! I had to go under to get an insanely large adult tooth removed before it came in when I was in the 3rd grade. The fear I’m sure I felt has long been forgotten, but I still remember the princess Barbie grandma sent me. In fact I wonder where I put that Barbie?

  8. Go For B!!!

    DaBoy’s school nickname was “Beave”
    He was (& still is) stick-thin. Unfortunatley, he has my sharp tongue/smart-mouth (but not my size nor ability to back that shit up)
    He was picked on unmercifully in school to the point of being chased across the schoolyard & knocked to the ground, breaking his 2 front teeth.
    He wore braces for 4 years.

  9. I would rather re-live these IF years than re-live my years in middle school. If it saves XBoy from middle school hell, I vote for doing the extractions now.

  10. Two of my sons had the opposite issue – second teeth descended fully in front or behind the baby teeth before they came out. At one stage son #2 had 8 bottom teeth in 2 perfect rows. His eye teeth came in sticking straight out.

    Despite the dentist predicting braces, once the baby teeth were gone (most they wriggled out, a couple ended up being extracted), the teeth sorted themselves out just fine. I was amazed at how quickly they moved into the right positions.

    Neither of them were in the slightest bit worried about how the teeth looked, at 14 son #2 is still rearranging his final set. And certainly no children ever teased them about them at all.

    The extractions were not a big deal, the injections were by far the worst of it.

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