Toothless

Brendan lost a tooth this morning.  More precisely, he swallowed it.  I felt a little bad for him, he hasn’t lost a tooth in over a year, and he was very excited to finally have a loose one again.  He was also upset because he was worried that the tooth fairy couldn’t come because he didn’t have a tooth to put under his pillow.  Thankfully, I had anticipated this happening at some point (probably because I swallowed one of my baby teeth back in the day) and we had told him a long time ago that his tooth fairy pillow is what calls to the tooth fairy, not the tooth itself.  So after reminding him about that and telling him we’d put a note in the pillow to explain why there was no tooth, he was content and excited to have lost another tooth.

Tooth loss is such a funny thing in our house.  Matt will have nothing to do with it whatsoever.  He had most of his baby teeth pulled out by a dentist as a child and this has created an unbelievable fear of dentists and anything dental related.  I, on the other hand, have inherited horrendous teeth and therefore have had every single one drilled on at some point or another.  One would think this would also create a major fear of dentists and dental work, but instead I am a big advocate for going to the dentist regularly and getting any issues fixed immediately.  But while the “big bad drill” doesn’t phase me, a loose tooth does.  The thought of sticking my fingers into a kid’s spitty mouth and helping them pull out their tooth disgusts me beyond all reason.

So poor Brendan has learned to fend for himself when it comes to loose teeth.  For a while he feared he would never lose any.  Most of his classmates lost at least one tooth in kindergarten, and those that didn’t lost them over the summer or early into first grade.  Brendan didn’t lose his first tooth until over halfway through the school year, a few weeks after his 7th birthday.  Once that first one fell out though it seemed for a while that he would end up completely toothless.  Every other day there was a new one loose, and once his teeth become loose its only a matter of hours, maybe a day at most before they fall out.  But the permanent teeth weren’t growing in at first, and once they did they grew soooooooo slooooooly.  Then over the summer between first and second grade, he stopped losing teeth.  And that’s how it’s been until he announced last week that he thought this tooth might possibly be getting loose.

Cameron, is funny in his own right.  We have a book about the Berenstain Bears going to the dentist.  I’ve always worried a bit about reading this book to the kids because in it Brother Bear gets a cavity and has to have it drilled on.  Knowing their dad’s ultimate fears I wasn’t sure how the kids would take the drilling scene.  But Cameron glazes over that scene completely.  There’s also a sub plot in the book about Sister Bear getting her first loose tooth, and the dentist pulls it out for her.  We’re due to go to the dentist at the end of October, and all Cam can talk about is how he’s going to loose a tooth when we go to the dentist.  I keep telling him that none of his teeth are loose yet, but he said that dentists take out teeth.

He’s also pretty set on what we will take to the dentist with us.  There is an episode of Blue’s Clues where Blue goes to the doctor for a checkup.  She takes a stuffed animal with her in case she gets scared.  So now Cameron wants to take his snuggle puppy with us to the dentist.  Along with the Bears go to the Dentist book, and our Little Critter book, All by Myself.  At the rate he’s packing things I might need to bring a suitcase to the dentist.  But if it helps him get through the dental appointment, I’ll take anything he wants.

This will be Cam’s third trip to the dentist, and I’m really hoping that this time he will behave.  We never had any issue with Brendan.  We told him to sit in the chair and open his mouth, and he did.  He was never scared, and followed all of the dentist’s instructions.  The first trip to the dentist, Cameron refused to sit in the chair.  It was a complete waste of the dentists time.  The second trip went better.  They let him watch my checkup, and got him to sit in the chair.  He also opened his mouth for the dental hygenist, but once the actual dentist came in he was done.  I know I should be more firm and force him to follow the directions, but I don’t want to have him fear the dentists office.  The kids do not know their dad fears the dentist, and I try very hard to keep it that way.  I figure if I keep telling them what wonderful things the dentist does for them, that they won’t dread the appointments.  I’m even open with them when I have dental work done.  I’ll tell them that I have a broken tooth (or whatever the problem is) and that I’m going to let the dentist make it feel all better.

Hopefully, despite our idiosyncracies, the kids will learn to have a healthy relationship with the dentist and losing their baby teeth.

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