Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's in a Tooth?

A canal with nerves and blood vessels.

I know this because my just-barely-sixteen-MONTH-old fell, shattered her tooth, and exposed the pulp (canal with nerve and blood vessels).

So, it's just a tooth but it was sooooooo sad. My sweet little 16 month old was doing her daily laps around the living room, dining room, and kitchen when she suddenly fell. She didn't trip over anything, like a toy or her feet. One minute she was up, and the next she was down.

When I picked her up she had little white pieces of tooth on her lip. Of course I didn't know that's what it was at first, until I brushed it away and felt it's 'chalkiness'.

"Oh my goodness! That was her tooth."

There was no blood and she only cried for a short time. I was pacing and making phone calls trying to decide if this was an emergency - almost half her tooth was gone - or something to be taken care of at home. How do you mend a broken tooth?

Suddenly I am brought out of my panic when I hear a huge crash in the kitchen. Before running to my daughter's side I had been mixing bread dough in my mixer. It causes my mixer to shake a little so I usually stand by it to keep it from knocking things off the counter.

Well, it fell and pulled some drying dishes off the counter with it. THANKFULLY, my oldest was far enough away that it didn't hurt her. And, thankfully again, she was standing right by the door and could easily exit the room.

I ran around to see if she was okay. She told me her tummy hurt. I yanked up her shirt and was relieved to see no poking glass or cuts. She was just scared, not hurt!

We made it to the dentist and he referred us to a specialist. We saw her the next day and she pulled the tooth. My poor little baby will have no tooth until she's at least 7 years old. We can have a false tooth put in when she has more teeth in her mouth, but for now she's our little toothless girl.

So, it's just a tooth. It's not a leg or an eye or a finger. Just a tooth. BUT, it was still so sad and tragic to deal with as a parent. I was beside myself. Outwardly I think I handled things pretty well - not fantastic, but well. But inside I was really panicky. I kept wondering why I am so weak when it comes to these situations. Then I realized I still did everything I needed to. I wondered if everyone felt panicky on the inside while handling similar situations?

It's been one week today since it happened, and my husband and I still look at each other and sigh for the premature loss of a baby tooth.


  1. Almost the same thing happened to Gavin when he was about that age. Except it happened when we were on vacation, and about 3 hours before Nathan's sister's wedding. It was awful.

    I don't think I was as panicked as I was sad and helpless. He was bleeding a lot, crying, scared.

    Luckily though his tooth was only slightly chipped, but it was also loose. We thought for sure the tooth would have to be pulled, which I agree is so sad!

    Two years later though his tooth has gotten stronger and is only slightly discolored.

    But I'm sure one of my kids is going to knock a tooth out. It's just a matter of time.

    Like you said though, it's just a tooth. Still sad I agree.

  2. That's really sad! But I think it's sometimes the mom's job to freak out for the child! I can't believe her tooth turned to "dust". Crazy!

  3. That is too bad, and it does sound like you handled it really well! Sean had a terrible bike accident on the sidewalk when he was 3, and had to have his two front teeth pulled. He cried all the way to the dentist, about a 15 minute drive. His teeth didn't grow in until he was 5 or 6. I never handle things like that well at all. I scream and panic, but I get the job done however badly!!!! She will look really cute, and I bet she may get her teeth at 5 or 6.

  4. Oh no! Poor Baby! I hope she's not in any pain.

    Those things can be SO hard on us parents! I ALWAYS feel panicky in those situations, esp. when things accumulate and you have to comfort, and care for more than one person in need.

    When DJ was about her age, he chipped his front tooth while walking on a sidewalk in CL. I felt like it was the end of the world. Doug had to keep reminding me that he was healthy and he could have fallen in a different way and broken a bone, etc....Just not cool at all!