The tooth of the matter

IMG_0590My boys are losing baby teeth (or milk teeth as the dentist calls them, because they are the color of milk, who knew?). Oliver’s dental dance is following the right sequence of steps, but Victor, well, one of his baby teeth at the bottom just hasn’t fallen out. I was expecting a big boy tooth to erupt behind, like a shark’s tooth, and push out the hanger-on, but instead, the next adult tooth popped up to the side. Hmmm, curious, but I just figured the tenacious baby tooth would eventually get wiggly and give up. But no. However, after weeks and weeks of wiggling, it was clear that damn tooth wasn’t going anywhere. Off to the dentist we went.

Less than 5 seconds into the visit the proclamation was handed down – Victor only has 3 adult front teeth on the bottom, not the not the required 4. I started on horror at the x-ray. The dentist intimated that surely I had already been told and therefore must have known, but I just shook my head and bit my tongue because inside I was screaming, “If I had known, I wouldn’t have taken off work early and lugged my tribe into your office.”

My first question was if this missing tooth was related to his prematurity. The dentist said no, “It just happens.” Apparently, lots of stuff just happens to us.

According to the dentist being short a tooth isn’t a big deal, because when you smile only your top teeth show (unless you have one of those creepy television evangelical minister smiles like Ted Haggard). “In fact,” she added,  and she was so cheery about this, his mouth is small, so this might save him from needing to have a tooth pulled later on.

So, the dentist was okay with it, but Tony and I were not. All day, we muttered about the missing tooth. “I can’t believe it,” and “I’ve never heard of that before,” and “His smile will be weird!” Fortunately, Victor just ignored us.


Over dinner, when Tony and I were still beating it to death, Oliver piped up. “Mom, you just need to get over it. It’s only a tooth.”

Such insight from the mouth of babes.

And so we did. We’ve gotta practice what we preach, because obsessing over something that simply cannot be fixed gets you no where.

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2 Responses to The tooth of the matter

  1. Kelly says:

    I’ve never heard of that before either. The kids are probably right in that it’s no big deal but I think I’d be freaked out too when I first found out. Good for you for trying to let it go and move on. If nothing else, he’ll have a great party story for his teen years.

  2. olimom says:

    I just saw this post and wanted to let you know that I am over 30, a mom, was FT, and I have not one but several missing teeth. This, I understand, is referred to as congenital absences. I cannot recall where they are and the result is you can only tell because I have some spacing and one more prominent gap but seriously it does not look bad. I would prefer a perfect smile but my parents did not go for braces and at this rate I would have to wear braces and then get implants in the back which if I was younger I would do. I justw anted to let you know because it really does happen and not just to preemies. I am a mom of a preemie as well.

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