8/27/07

Month 16: It's Just a Baby Tooth

My baby looks like he’s been in a bar fight. He fell on his face going down the front steps and split his lip open. Blood? Lots. Swelling? Picture Daffy Duck. Crying? Only when I tried to put ice on it. Helpful tips about applying pressure with wet gauze don’t apply when you have a child who screams and flails his head about like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”

Miles’ lip was so swollen that I didn’t even notice he had chipped a tooth until later that day when I was tickling him upside down. (You’d think I’d be a little more careful, wouldn’t you?) Yep, there it was -- an unmistakable chip on the corner of his right front tooth. I freaked. I immediately called the pediatrician and then a dentist. Then I called my mom to commiserate.

A tip for all you veteran moms and grandmothers out there: when a new mom calls you, hysterical about a facial deformity her firstborn child has suffered on her watch, it’s not helpful to say, “Oh, that’s only the beginning” or “I’ve seen much worse” or “Oh, cute! I bet he looks like Huck Finn.” This is a BABY we’re talking about, people, not a pro hockey player! And maybe it’s cute for a 7-year-old Little Leaguer to have no front teeth, but Miles is a BABY. He just GOT his teeth!!

At least my mother-in-law had some helpful suggestions, like giving him a Popsicle to suck on instead of trying to pin him down with an ice pack. Wish I’d had some on hand.

So the next morning, we show up at the dentist. Miles runs around the waiting room flinging Dr. Seuss books with no idea what’s in store for him. I’m picturing drills, buzz saws, huge needles dripping Novocain… Instead, the dentist makes Miles a “balloon” out of an inflated rubber glove. Ew. Then he tries to pry open Miles’ mouth but Miles isn’t having it and whips his head away hard enough to knock out his other teeth. The dentist says, “Yep, it’s chipped. It’ll smooth itself out in a couple of days. Take care!”

Huh? I doubt he even caught a glimpse of my son’s teeth. I don’t even know how many he has these days, that’s how hard it is to get a look inside his mouth. And this “smooth itself out” business? What kind of nonsense is that?! It’s a broken tooth, not a piece of seaglass! Apparently, they do NADA to fix baby teeth, even if they break in half or turn gray or fall out completely. Because, you know, they’re just BABY teeth. Who cares if your toddler looks like a snaggle-toothed hillbilly? They’re just BABY teeth.

C. actually thought this latest accident might make Miles a little more cautious. Ha! As if. Since his face-plant, Miles has fallen down the (inside, carpeted) stairs once, run himself over with his wheeled highchair, and pulled a dining room chair over on top of himself. In case you’re wondering what kind of deathtrap we live in, we have baby gates and other childproof apparatus covering every square inch of the house. Makes no difference to Danger Boy. Or should I call him Huck Finn?

TIP O’ THE WEEK: If you have an “active” toddler like I do, stock up on Popsicles. Or buy something called a Boo-Boo Bunny. (Someone actually gave me one for my baby shower and I thought, “What the hell is this for?” Little did I know…) Also, map the route to the closest ER. (1.75 miles for us!)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My little Angel - 18 months - just chipped her first tooth today on my watch in the bathtub! All I can say is THANK YOU so much for this posting. I cried for over an hour about this horrible incident on my watch and everyone treated it like - no big deal.

Mom2Miles said...

Poor baby!! No matter what anyone says, it's a very traumatic thing -- mostly for us moms! They're just so little ... All I can say is, it IS very common, so don't feel too bad.

Gayani said...

My Little baby-18 months had fall yesterday broken her first tooth,it looks so different when she smiles,gives me tears all the time.I'm very worried and upset.I feel so bad leaving her with out me...

Kelly said...

OMG thank you soooo much. My 16 month baby girl feel in the bath last night a chipped her front tooth, she's only got 4 anyway. I cried for hours and i feel so guilty about it. It also looks like she has pushed the front teeth out of alignment, am off to phone the dentist now. Your posts made me feel better, so thanks

Anonymous said...

i feel so comforted by the comments left here, im just back from the childrens hospital as my 13 month stood up in the bath tonight and fell against the tap and chipped his front tooth. I was horrified and feel so guilty but as the doctor said, its very common in young children and apparently my son was his 3rd baby in today with a chipped tooth!!

Anonymous said...

How did his teeth turn out? My 20 month old just busted his front right side.

Mom2Miles said...

His teeth turned out fine. Perfect, even!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they turned out ok! The dentist said it's just cosmetic and we have to leave well enough alone. I keep crying and beating myself up. Did the chip soften up a bit with eating / daily wear and tear?

Trina & Beau said...

Haha! It's been years since you have posted this, but THANK YOU! My 14 month old slightly chipped his front tooth a few days ago and I have been frantic with worry. We are moving so I don't have a ped. dentist for my son yet so OF COURSE this happened right now. I feel so much better knowing how common it is and that even if I did take him to the dentist there isn't anything they could do! Hopefully the little chip will even out over time and won't be quite as obvious. My husband says he can barely tell, so that's good. Thanks again! I feel so much better reading about a mom who has been there!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! My 19 month old fell over and chipped her front tooth yesterday, half the tooth is missing and although she's okay now, she looks so different when she smiles and I just want to cry! I feel so guilty and don't want people to think she's "rough" or not cared for properly when they meet her. We're off to the dentist this morning and I'm hoping they can file it down a little, but I doubt there's much they can do to make it appear better seeing as half her tooth has gone! So upset!

Tammy said...

I just came across this today, and I have to say Thank You. I feel a bit better knowing that I'm not the only one. My 15 month Daughter fell over and chip her top front tooth today and I rushed her to the hospital cause there was blood. Even though she is my fourth child it was really traumatic for me. Than to make matters worse as if I didnt already my husband was more angry and called me a horrible mother.. But after googling this chipped tooth business I feel better knowing that she's really going to be fine. New mom or not you always feel awful when something happens to your child. So thank you again for this and bringing my blood pressure back down.. :-)

Anonymous said...

My two year old just came from daycare with chipped tooth... Omg... I freaked out... For a baby girl it looks horrible...

Kristy said...

I googled toddler chipped and found you. Lol - you are so funny. I feel much better.

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