Monday, June 3, 2013

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

My son Alex, who is 8 now, has lost a grand total of 4 baby teeth. He has been so excited each time, both because it makes him feel like he is growing up (and me like crying!) and because there is money involved. He has also been a little freaked out, because who wouldn’t be when faced with losing something they’ve had their whole lives?

When I was a kid, I remember my dad taking a tissue and pulling that sucker out. So that is what we have done with him. (By we, I mean Handsome…I can handle the blood, poop, and puke, but I draw the line at pulling bones out of my child’s body!) This latest tooth had us both a bit worried as it was not falling out, even though his adult tooth was coming in behind it.

To the trusty internet I went! I found out that it’s called a ‘shark tooth’ and dentists don’t really know why it occurs. It only happens with about 10% of children, so of course it happened to mine.  This is a child who has defied the odds ever since he was born on his due date (only a 5% chance). Lucky us.
While looking up all this helpful information, I found that it is no longer recommended for parents to pull their children’s baby teeth themselves. Who knew? Now, dentists recommend for parents to encourage the children to pull the teeth themselves.

This is for all kinds of dental health reasons, like pulling the tooth too early can cause damage to the nerve tissue. Pulling their own tooth also gives your child a greater sense of accomplishment and pride.

Personally, I think this is great, and not just because I think it’s gross and I don’t want to be poking around in my son’s mouth (although there may be a tiny part of me who thinks that too!). I am all for bolstering my son’s sense of self confidence and pride in himself.

The shark tooth has been taken care of, but I am definitely doing this next time. Lesson learned…

Did you pull your kids teeth or do you let them do it themselves?


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