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Return of the Tooth, Part 2

As I posted yesterday, Lily’s twice broken tooth was in danger of being yanked from her wee little 4-year-old mouth, resulting in a redneck gap in her mouth for 2-4 years until her adult tooth arrived. The diagnosis was made over the phone by the all-knowing dentist Friday, but our appointment for him to actually see and diagnose the tooth in person wasn’t until Monday.

By the time Monday arrived, I was absolutely positive that I would be up close and personal in the observer’s perspective of a tooth extraction. I had gotten over most of my superficial fears (but let’s face it, I was sad every time I looked at her beautiful mouth and tried to picture it less one prominent front tooth). I was terrified of Lily’s pain and almost equally scared of my nightmare view of watching what was sure to be a brutal dental procedure. If I wanted to see more blood and gore in my life, I would have become a doctor.

When we got to the dentist Monday, the dentist immediately saw that he was right in his diagnosis that Lily’s tooth was infected, but a miracle occurred. The x-ray revealed that only ONE root was dead and infected. There was enough living root left to save the tooth!

Our nightmare was far from over as Lily needed to endure what looked like a torturous (but really really inexpensive considering! YAY! #badmomthoughts) pulpotomy (which as far as I can tell from my layman’s knowledge is basically a kid version of a root canal). Lily cried and struggled a few brief times, but was really amazing given the circumstances. The procedure looked miserable and I’m extremely impressed with her ability to NOT scream and struggle the entire time. I mean, that’s what I’d want to do and I’m an adult! I can’t imagine what it must be like to be 4 years old and go through all of that insanity.

Things went well with the procedure, but the tooth is still in danger. We are going back for a recheck in 2 weeks. In the best case scenario, the tooth will last 2 more years before something else needs to be done… but at that point Lily will be 6 years old and 6 is a perfectly acceptable time to lose a tooth.

Because Lily was so incredibly brave, I got on the phone with the tooth fairy when we got back to the car to tell her that she should bring Lily a present even though Lily hadn’t actually lost her tooth. The tooth fairy had previously told me on the phone that she would bring a movie for Lily to watch during the day and then bring her a present while she was sleeping. We have a VERY generous tooth fairy when it comes to horrific dentist-induced tooth losses. Also, did you know that I have the tooth fairy’s direct phone number? I DO.

Lily: What is her phone number, Mommy? I want to call her!

Me: Only mommies and daddies get the tooth fairy’s phone number. Otherwise kids would be bothering her all the time!

The tooth fairy told me she’d leave Lily’s present in the basement before we got home. Coincidentally, I’d put all of the kids’ Hanukkah presents in the night before. These two things were obviously totally unrelated.

The tooth fairy brought Lily “Shrek 4″. Man, that tooth fairy is psychic as to specific things Lily has been asking for. It’s almost as if she lives with Lily or something.

So, Lily got to keep her tooth AND she got a visit from the tooth fairy. What a lucky girl. Except for the part where she had to have a yucky dental procedure, I mean. That part sucked.

Will this be the end of Lily’s tooth saga? Man, I really hope so. If I have to spend another dime on that baby tooth, I might yank it out myself (though, interestingly enough, the pulpotomy cost $20 LESS than an extraction. What’s the deal with that?).

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Return of the Tooth, Part 1

Remember how Lily broke her front tooth TWICE? I naively hoped the second time we had her tooth fixed and therein paid at least a combined $400 to ensure the tooth’s well-being that that would be the end of Lily’s front tooth whoas. I mean, once you invest $400ish into a tooth, surely it must survive? And that unless she broke it again, this would be the end of it?

Here's a picture of the second time she broke it. It actually seemed cute that time.

Wrong. I really did hope that would be the end of our tooth saga, but as you can probably guess, it wasn’t. About a week and a half ago, I noticed what looked like a pimple above Lily’s previously maimed front tooth. I wondered what it could be. The “pimple” looked like it might have puss in it, but I worried I was a hypochondriac (which is silly because since I had kids? I’m almost always right.). I also thought it might be a weird canker sore, so I decided to wait and see what happened. Maybe the pimple would go away on its own. I decided if it started to look worse or if she complained about pain, I would call the dentist right away. If she didn’t complain (and she didn’t), I would wait a week.

You can see the offending gum "pimple" here. No, not the scab on her nose. That's another klutz story for another time.

I waited a week. It stayed about the same. Sometime during the week I thought “Hey, that’s above the tooth that she broke. Could that be related?”

Yes. Yes it could.

It turns out, one of the nerves to Lily’s tooth died and became infected. The “pimple” was actually a pus-filled fistula that was being fed by the infection in her tooth. When I finally called the dentist, they immediately said the tooth would almost certainly need to be extracted.

That’s right, they diagnosed her tooth over the phone and preclaimed its almost certain death. I kept saying “But how do you know? You haven’t even SEEN it!” And they were like “Based on her history, yada, yada, yada. We’ll take a good look at it Monday to make sure, but we’re probably right. We are dentist GODS.” Two dentists had looked at her chart and agreed. When I looked up the diagnosis on the internet, I saw pictures that could have been taken of Lily’s mouth and realized they were probably right. Lily’s tooth didn’t have much hope.

I spent the rest of the day trying not to cry. I also went to Build-A-Bear, because that’s what you do in a crisis situation at our house.

At first, the superficial part of me was devastated over the 2-4 year loss of Lily’s tooth. She would have a gaping hole in her smile for YEARS. YEARS! I kept looking at her beautiful smile and wondering how I could bear seeing that hole for YEARS. I know kids with missing teeth are cute, but I like her teeth. I want them to come out for HEALTHY reasons like getting adult teeth, not because of klutziness resulting in infection. I kept getting mad at myself for not being more upset about what LILY would go through at the dentist, but all I could think about was how much I loved her front tooth.

As her appointment neared, I accepted the loss of the tooth. I kept telling myself it would look cute after a while and she would be FINE. Then I got more and more upset about the trauma LILY was about to go through and how much pain she would be in after the tooth came out. I was worried about how much she would cry during the procedure and how awful it would be for her. And, honestly, I was really freaked out about having to be in the room holding her hand and WATCHING this go down. Would I be able to handle seeing that gruesome stuff? What if I freaked out in front of her?

It was a trying 72 hours. I dreaded the appointment more and more. All the while, I had to put on a false smile for Lily and tell her that if she lost her tooth, her friends would all think she was SO cool and jealous that she got to do it first. And the tooth fairy would come! And losing your tooth is the coolest thing ever ever EVER!!!!

Except it’s not. Not this way, anyway.

Did Lily lose her tooth? Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 and what I can only hope will be the thrilling conclusion of Lily’s Tooth Saga.

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Inaugural Swing Set Injury

The swing set wasn’t even finished yet when Lily decided it best to Christen it with its first injury. I mean, it wouldn’t REALLY be a swing set until somebody got hurt. Although, come to think of it, our old, unstable, rotting, UNSAFE swing set never hurt anybody and we bought this swing set so the kids would be safe. Irony. Go figure.

After we ordered the swing set and showed Lily a picture, she immediately told everyone she knew that her new swing set had a telescope. When you are a future engineer/scientist, telescopes are VERY exciting, way more exciting than having your own clubhouse with windows that open and shut.

So when the swing set was nearly complete, we brought out the telescope and let her play with it. It seemed harmless enough. I mean, it’s just a plastic tube with no sharp edges. There didn’t seem to be any reason why she couldn’t play with it before it was attached.

Apparently this is a foreboding picture.

Little did I know…

Lily was looking at Rose on the swing through the telescope. She was a safe distance away from the swing so I didn’t think about asking her to back away. Unfortunately, the telescope was NOT at a safe distance. Rose kicked the telescope and it hit Lily in the mouth.

She started crying. There was blood. And I screamed “OH. MY. GOD. DID IT HIT YOUR TOOTH? DID YOU BREAK YOUR TOOTH AGAIN?!

And Lily spit out a big chunk of tooth. She broke the exact same tooth she broke LAST TIME. The prostetic patch of tooth came right out and took little bit more with it. She looked exactly the same as last time. It was total deja vu.

The second time around, seeing her tooth like this was not at all shocking.


In fact, it’s total deja vu. Although I witnessed her breaking the tooth this time and have no idea what happened last time, the situation is eerily similar. When she broke her tooth in March, we were supposed to leave to visit her paternal grandparents 8 hours away the next day. That was the last time we planned a trip out there. We are supposed to go to her paternal grandparents house on Saturday!

Is the tooth cursed? Is she going to break it every time we are supposed to visit her grandparents?

This time they were able to fix her tooth right away.

Breaking your tooth is so much fun! She told me all about how Peppa Pig ALSO broke her tooth.


She was very lucky because the root was not damaged even though the tooth has suffered two injuries in five months. This time she didn’t fight the dentist and this replacement looks way better than the last one did. I joked that maybe she broke the tooth because she wanted a better replacement. The dentist was not amused even after I explained I knew the shape of the old tooth was due to Lily’s lack of cooperation. He couldn’t get it the perfect shape last time while she was kicking and screaming.

Nitrous Oxide Addicts are so cool.

To add insult to injury, we learned that our dental insurance only covers one broken tooth every two years. Because we all run around breaking teeth on purpose. I know I always check my calendar and my dental records before I set out to break a tooth. Breaking teeth is so much fun! I’d hate to miss my chance to break a tooth while it’s partially covered (still very expensive).

Since she broke THE SAME tooth only 5 months ago, we had to pay out of pocket for this repair. The swing set’s inauguration set us back another $245.

I can only hope the tooth fairy will be paying us back for that $500 baby tooth.


I wouldn’t expect anything less out of an expensive new toy. You can’t buy anything that costs more than $500 without having some other major cost pop out of nowhere. The office manager is going to try to submit it as a medical claim, but she doesn’t sound very optimistic about it.

Anyway, I hope since we started out this swing set with such a big bang that our major injuries are out of the way.

And that Lily stops breaking her teeth every 5 months, because seriously. Not cool.

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Big Tooth

Lily got her mysteriously broken tooth repaired last week.

Silence of the Lilies

Considering it was her first dental experience and she is only 3 years old, I think she did a really great job staying calm as the dentist put his giant hands in her tiny mouth and poked at her with weird instruments. However, when the dentist tried to shape the new part of her tooth with a loud vibrating sander thingy, she freaked out. I don’t blame her. I find dental work torturous.

(In my opinion, that’s Steve Martin’s most undercelebrated role.)

After she started yelling “NO! NO! STOP!”, twisting away and crying real tears, the dentist wasn’t able to finish shaping her tooth. I can’t imagine why not. I can’t get clothes on her sometimes, but we’re supposed to expect her to allow some stranger to put a sharp loud precision tool in her mouth? Yeah, didn’t happen.

Needless to say, the new tooth ended up being a little big compared to her other teeth. It’s not even that big, though since it was new it was shocking the first time I saw it– like the biggest tooth on earth. It’s been a few days and now I barely notice it. It’s better than the crooked gap and definitely better than the pain she was having biting into food, but it’s not as nice as her original tooth by a longshot. The dentist said he would try to fix it when we came back for a check-up in a month.

Can you even tell which tooth is bigger? Probably not, but you know how things feel in your mouth!

Well, on the drive home, Lily got really upset while feeling her new tooth with her tongue and said the following heartbreakingly hilarious statements:

“I just want my little teeth back. I don’t want big teeth.”

“I like my little teeth. I’m little and I have little teeth, not big teeth.”

“I want my new tooth to be the same as all my other teeth! It’s not the same!”

“It’s too big! My new tooth is too big! Now I can’t watch ‘Team Umi Zoomi!’”

I told her she could still watch “Team Umi Zoomi”.

“No. My tooth is too big! I can’t watch ‘Team Umi Zoomi’ with a big tooth.” (she repeated this worry A LOT.)

I have reassured her a lot that the tooth isn’t that big, we’ll probably get it fixed soon and it doesn’t matter since it’s a baby tooth anyway, but she is still very concerned her “Team Umi Zoomi” rights have been taken away, among other things.

The second we got home from the dentist, I turned on the tv and was in luck because “Team Umi Zoomi” was on right then. I let her watch it. Apparently people with big teeth are usually forbidden from watching it, but I’m a nice mommy who breaks the rules.

We are not going to make her wait a month to get her tooth shaped when she’s this upset about it, and hopefully by the time this posts she will have a “little cute baby tooth” again.

Share your funny kid stories on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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Da Tooth: Story of an injury mystery

*I made the pictures giant in this one because baby teeth are too tiny to see what happened in the standard size.

Lily almost gave me a heart attack the other night.

We were in her room getting ready for bed and she says to me “I’m getting bigger. My tooth came out.” her finger was in her mouth.

I said “Yes, you are getting bigger, but you won’t lose your teeth for a while.”

Then she moved her finger and I saw that a good chunk of her front tooth was missing at a jagged angle.

“My tooth came out.”

When you first see something like this as a mother, it looks so much more giant than it actually is.

After I died of shock, I explained to her that her tooth hadn’t come out because she was getting bigger, it came out because it was hurt and broken and it would have to be fixed. She said it hurt a lot, so my husband took her to the emergency room at 9 pm on a Friday and was turned away with numbers to a dentist.

This angle, though far off, shows best how insane the break is.

We are baffled as to what happened, and that’s the “kids play” part of things here. Lily had been running up and down the hall with her 20-month-old cousin chasing and throwing beach balls. They’d been giggling and having a blast. We never heard any big bang. We never heard any crying. She just kept playing and having fun. This whole tooth fracture remains a giant mystery.

If you see her tooth fragment on the floor in this picture, let me know. We never found it.

Lily is only 3 1/2 years old and while she talks well, it’s still hard to get her to tell us what happened. When she does tell us things, we’re never sure if what she’s saying actually happened, she imagined it or she’s just saying it because we mentioned something similar. Three year olds are just too suggestable! If we asked her if she broke it blowing bubbles, she’d probably say yes.

After a lot of questioning, we THINK she fell in the hallway and bumped her tooth on the floor, it hurt, but she got up and kept playing because she was having too much fun to be bothered by complaining about some silly tooth pain. There’s a good chance that we put this story into her head and something else entirely different happened. There’s even a chance it happened the day before and it didn’t register to me when I looked at her.

I was really surprised she remembered her teeth came out when she got older, but I was more surprised when she kept correcting us when we told her the doctor would fix her tooth.

“No, not the doctor! I need to go to the dentist!”

Indeed.

I spent a sleepless night freaking out that the dentist might pull her tooth or leave it in there jagged and painful looking for the next 2-4 years until she gets her permanent teeth! I know kids with missing or chipped teeth are cute, but I wanted her beautiful perfect little mouth back!

I hope this beautiful little mouth is more than just a memory.

Tiny Lily sat in the giant chair like a superstar even though it was her first time there. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck waiting for the x-rays to develop and hoping she wouldn’t bite the dentist. I’ve been negligent in making her first dental appointment and now her first dental experience is THIS?! Will there be a dental phobia for life?

I was so relieved when we found out she not only gets to keep the tooth, but they will fix the chip next week because she fractured it so close to the nerve. You have no idea how relieved I am about this! Well, not the part where she fractured her tooth close to the nerve and will have a sensitive tooth for a week, but the part where we get her perfect smile back. Thank goodness.

That beautiful little smile will hopefully make a return appearance Tuesday.

Four days into this thing and the chip tooth is kind of growing on me as cute, but still! Nice healthy-looking teeth are preferred.

Gapped tooth kids are definitely cute once you get over the initial shock!

I was about to say that this was Lily’s first major injury, but then I remembered the ER trip for a concussion following her plummet from her crib at 17 months. Somehow, I was more freaked out about this tooth thing than I was about her head. God, I’m vain! Though in my defense, she was acting fine with the head thing so I was fairly certain we were at the ER just as a precaution. This broken tooth had visible and potentially semi-permanent implications! (VAIN!!!!)

In any case, this was our first injury mystery. I am sure there are many more to come!

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