Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tooth #4

My son's front tooth has been doing it's own thing for the past month. At first, we noticed it must be loose because one day it was crooked. For the last few weeks this front tooth is more noticeable, more pronounced. I've been following its progress, but generally, have not concerned myself about tooth #4. I've named it #4 because I'm hoping it will be my son's fourth baby tooth to depart from his mouth.

I mentioned my husband left on Saturday for a week work trip? All hell has broken loose (except this tooth!) and I consider this tooth thing high on my list. Why? Thank you for asking.

Yesterday, something happened at the school during recreation time. My son was playing near the slide, and this is where the story is murky, but something hit his chin and caused the top and bottom jaw to slam into each other. The result.. a bloody mess. That pesky tooth #4 was jetting out even more than usual and near the gum it was bloody. The school called. The teacher was concerned that tooth #4 was cracked or broken. .....It's a baby tooth. Do I really need to worry? ... I kept wondering when she was talking to me. I brushed off her concern thinking this tooth would fall out that night. It didn't.

My concern was raised this morning because the tooth hadn't fallen out and my son was miserable -- but he didn't want me to touch the tooth and he really didn't want to go to the dentist. He just sat at the breakfast table -- not wanting to eat and he kept making this sucking sound around his tooth.

Since it was Wednesday, my son had a half day at school. I picked him up at lunch and the teacher asked me what my plans are with the tooth. I told her I'd called the dentist, but he only had one time available all day and we just couldn't get to the dentist at that time.

In the afternoon I called my friend who is married to my dentist. She said that most likely, if I take my son to the dentist he will just pull the tooth out.

At dinner, I asked my son how school was today and he said the teacher was not happy that he disrupted the class with his sucking noises. He confided, in hushed tones, that he really did want the tooth out but didn't want me to hurt him. So I tried to get tooth #4 out. First I kind of pushed his mouth near the tooth. Nothing. Then I actually touched the tooth. Nothing. My son is wigging and moaning by this point. What am I doing wrong?? Finally, I actually used two fingers and tried to pinch the tooth out. It moved, but I couldn't pull #4 out. By this time my son is miserable. He's screaming. He's crying. It was terrible.

Eventually, my son calmed down. He's not happy he went though all that stress and I didn't even pull the tooth out! I'm calling the dentist again tomorrow and taking my son out of school if necessary.

I have so much respect for single parents. How do they do it? My husband is gone only for a week and I'm falling apart.

* Update: We went to the dentist this evening. An x-ray was taken. Tout va bien. Everything is fine. We can leave the tooth to come out on when it is ready. I can't tell you how relieved I am -- and so is my son. Thank you all for your comments of support. I really appreciated them!

-- said Auntie M in Paris
9:20 PM



Poor Auntie M. I am sure you were in almost as much pain as your son was when you tried pulling it out- certainly just as much agony. Your son's teacher sounds charming. What kind of a classroom does she run that a bit of noise like that is a disturbance? C'est pas si grave que ca!

I have no idea how single parents do all that they do; they are amazing. I do think the children of single parents must be a wee-bit less fussy than the children of parents who have more time to lavish on them. I find ways of running out of time, patience and intelligence and being a mother is my only job (yes, yes, an important, difficult job, but just one all the same.)

# posted by Moms' Style : 10:54 PM  

PS I am sure this tooth will be very dear for Petite Souris.

# posted by Moms' Style : 10:57 PM  

I was able to pull all my own teeth out. I think I had a twisted sense of enjoyment with it... Actually I think it had a lot to do with seeing what happened to a few friends of mine back in the first and second grade. They never pulled their teeth out, and so a few of them had their permanent tooth growing in from behind the baby tooth, with nasty looking results.

I know what it's like though, Auntie, believe me. I've been recruited to help pull my little brother's teeth (he's 9) It's kind of unnerving when you're dealing with someone else's mouth and they're moaning and squriming all over creation. I mean I knew I could take the pain, but I couldn't stand the sight of that.

Anyway, I'd definitely do what you're doing and get your son to the dentist pronto. I really wouldn't care if he missed school (I'm sure he's a bright young guy anyway!) If it's disturbing him so much he won't learn anyway!

I'm only the brother, but being the oldest one I've been able to share in the joy of helping out and it's sort of been at times like I'm a de facto parent. When my mother and stepfather aren't at home, and I'm the one that's left to make all these pressing decisions... I sort of get a feel of what it's like to be a parent. No head in the clouds outlook for me. I certainly know what I'll be getting into someday! (Perhaps that's why I'm not exactly rushing either...)

# posted by Joe : 4:13 AM  

Sometimes teeth are just stubborn. You didn't do anything wrong. You're doing great. Think of the relief that will come when the tooth gives up. Good luck!

# posted by The Complimenting Commenter : 4:26 AM  

Oh man, that sucks. My daughter had some teeth problems like that and had to have most of them pulled by the dentist. It's so much easier when the dentist is the bad guy and not mom or dad.

Good luck, I hope all ends well and it comes out painlessly.

# posted by BohemianMama : 4:44 AM  

"Patience et longueur de temps font plus que force ni que rage."

= Patience & time work better than force & rage.

In other words, WAIT for the tooth to fall by itself & let your son make his sucking noises, it gently helps the tooth get looser.

Frania W.
(an old hand at raising kids!)

# posted by Frania W. : 6:40 AM  

holy shi-! my blood pressure went up just reading about it!

# posted by louie : 7:32 AM  

Hi Auntie !

I definitely agree with Frania about patience and anger. (smile)

The French Social Security System has, of course, numbered each tooth in the mouth. Hence if you speak of your Tooth Number Four to the dentist, he/she might look at you strangely, since there's a good chance that Four is not Four, given the French nomenclature.


# posted by L'Amerloque : 8:06 AM  

Once that sucker is out he'll feel much better! let's hope that it's soon!

# posted by Flare : 11:01 AM  

I linked to you today, your entry sparked a funny memory I had of my parents and baby teeth. And today I'm having teeth issues too. Good timing! :)

# posted by Flare : 11:35 AM  

you're doing a great job Auntie M. i was raised by a single mother who would put a thread around my teeth and tie it on the handle of my room's door and slam it! true story. i know how hard it is when the husband/father is absent. i am with you all the way. my husband is going on a week business trip tomorrow and i feel already exhausted. yes, how do single parents do?!!! good luck with the dentist. i'm taking both my sons to the lung specialist tomorrow by myself. soyons fortes!!!

# posted by irene : 1:07 PM  

Thank you all for your kind comments. I was feeling very bad last night. We go to the dentist tonight to check the tooth and the permanent tooth next to it to make sure no damage has occurred. I will feel better after we see the dentist!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 3:26 PM  

Is this what I have to look forward for? Hmm I think it;s mean for teachers to complain about your poor boy's sucking noices. What a sweetie he sounds!

# posted by mrsmogul : 3:38 PM  

Mom's style, I forgot to mention that my son was very brave during the whole episode. I asked my husband last night if he could have pulled the tooth out and he said no. That made me feel a bit better. I so wanted everything to be back to normal for my son. And yes... my son is expecting some serious cash for this tooth. Last night between screams of pain he was screaming that for all he went through he doesn't even get any money!
Joe, You sound like quite a character pulling out your own teeth! Bravo!
CC, How nice to be a complimenting commenter. Thanks for your visit. I needed the pep talk.
BM, It's a big fear for my husband and me... both of us had lots of teeth get pulled by the dentist. Our baby teeth never wanted to leave our mouths.
Frania, Thank you for the words of wisdom. As soon as the dentist says there is no damage to my son's permanent tooth or his gum I will gladly let my son walk around with his crooked tooth!
Louie, Wait till you see my son!
L'A, Very interesting. I'll try to remember to ask the dentist what number this tooth is for my own reference.
Flare, I know you are right, but in the interim.... I will check out your post, thanks!
Irene, All these small decisions really add up when the husband is out of town! I know you know.... thanks for your note. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Good luck!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 3:40 PM  

I've already been alerted that when it's time for the teeth to start coming out, it's squarely my job to handle it. thewife doesn't do teeth - it just skeeves her out.

Funny what trouble they cause, isn't it? I remember being oh-so-ready for all the Little Tyke's teeth to come in, as that process caused much anguish and crying (and that was just me). Then, they've gotta come out - it's always something.

Thanks for dropping by.

# posted by jg : 5:11 PM  

Oh, you poor thing! You and your son. I think you're probably one of the most conscientious and loving parent I've come across, from the way you write and take care of your children. They're lucky to have a mom that pays such good attention to them.

As for that tooth, pesky stuff teeth. I highly recommend visiting the dentist. In the meantime, maybe some ice on it with help numb the pain, though you're probably at the dentist's as I write this. Too bad you can't just run to the pharmacy and grab some anbersol. Good luck!

# posted by NARDAC : 5:55 PM  

My Mom used to tie a piece of dental floss around the tooth and let me yank it out. It has worked with my kids and my grandkids, too. When they can yank on it themselves, they feel in control, and the pain is less, plus there's no element of surprise to scare them.

# posted by kenju : 7:10 PM  

Oh gosh, I've got chills running up and down my spine thinking of it. I am no help - and have no recommendations but am sure you will do the right thing. I know, it's the event that's the doozer here. take care, Terry in sf

# posted by Anonymous : 8:57 PM  

Losing a baby tooth is like having a baby: do nothing & it will come out by itself...

Frania W.

# posted by Frania W. : 3:05 AM  

Ow... I had two of my baby teeth pulled by the dentist because the permanent teeth had fully come in behind them, one not being that loose. It didn't really hurt but was kind of scary. I remember he gave me a shot and took this weird metal tool and kept pushing hard on the tooth in every direction to try to get it out. It's the grossest feeling, though feeling pushing in your gums and knowing your tooth is being taken out. Finally I felt the tooth drop. I got a cute little treasure chest. I hope the tooth comes out!

# posted by Anonymous : 12:41 AM  

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