HELP 3.5yo dd knocked out her front tooth--looking for advice or BTDT - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 10-11-2010, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there. Yesterday, my 3 and a half year old dd was running down the hill at our house and fell on her face and knocked out her front tooth. It was very traumatic--for her, certainly, and also for me. I'm having flashbacks of it and feeling very guilty and worried for her, so I'm trying to be as proactive as possible (and also to just accept that what happened is just one of those things and to let it go!).

So first of all, we live in our university's graduate student and family housing. There are lots of doctors and dentists here and her fall happened right between our house and our neighbors'. The dad there is a doctor so he instantly helped calm her down, clean her up and assess the situation with me. Meanwhile, his wife went to *their* next-door neighbor's house, who is a dental student. He said to take the tooth and go to the ER just to make sure everything is okay. I also called the dentist's emergence line and they told me that they would not attempt to re-implant a baby tooth and just to clean her up and give her ibuprofen, etc. and to follow up at some point with a visit to the dentist. I opted to go to the ER just to make sure everything was okay. We put the tooth (which came out in one piece, root and all) in a baggy of milk and headed out.

At the hospital, we saw three different doctors, all of whom said they would not/could not re-implant baby teeth. They indicated that eventually the dentist might like to put a spacer in to make sure there were room when the adult tooth came in, but they weren't sure. They basically told me, you know, her tooth came out in a more traumatic way than most kids' baby teeth do, but that the end result was really the same, and not to worry.

But I am! At the moment, her lip and face are all cut up and her mouth is very swollen. That is going to go away, though. What is not going to change, apparently, is that she is going to be toothless! At least for another 2.5-5 years! I worry about how she will look, how she will feel, how it will affect her speech and her ability to eat as she did before.

I made a follow-up appointment with the dentist today who also assured me that that they do not (cannot) re-implant baby teeth. I did not ask anything else but I will at her appointment, which unfortunately is more than a month away.

I wonder, then, finally, if anyone else has experienced this. Are there cosmetic alternatives? If not, how did your child manage? I'm just so worried about my little girl. I keep stressing that she's like a big girl now (she has some older friends in the neighborhood who are all losing their teeth), and that she is beautiful, and what character this gives her, etc. But not everyone is going to be like that.

TIA for reading through all this and for your thoughts, advice!

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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#2 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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DD1 knocked her two front teeth loose at age 3.5, we weren't able to save them so they were pulled. She is now 7.5 now, one of those teeth came in early this year, the other one is coming in right now. Her speech did change slightly, some words became harder for us to understand, today she has no issues. As far as eating, I remember her eating corn of the cob the next week. It never slowed her down. She ate often on the sides of her mouth when she was gnawing on something. Only once did we ever have anyone tease her about her teeth. Most kids never really asked or if they did, they thought it was awesome that she had lost teeth, like that some how made her older. Adults often did assume she was older and had lost them naturally, she is average sized so she always has looked her age.

The only issues she ever had was when her other teeth started falling out, she was really toothless there for a while, and then eating became more of a challenge because she was missing so many teeth. I had to start cutting apples off the core, corn off the cob, etc... And now when those teeth are finally coming back in, the gums are HARD after so many years of no teeth being there, those teeth really bother her coming in.

I do understand, I would look back on old pics of her with all of her teeth and feel sad about her gappy grin that was just different. It never bothered her, she could of cared less less, but it bothered me. We were always told the same thing, there was nothing to do but wait until her adult teeth came in. I did research partials in children, which can be done, but after speaking with several pediatric dentists, none of them suggested it because they said it was so difficult to do on children. It would involve multiple procedures, they had a higher failure rare in children, and they would have to be sized frequently due to children growing so quickly. I didn't want to put her through that just for cosmetic reasons for me, I was the one that had a problem with it, not her. Today I am glad that I just let it alone, yes she was missing those teeth longer then she had them in but in the scope of things, it wasn't a problem at all.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#3 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Peony! That was just the kind response I was looking for!

I have spoken now with seven dentists and they've all told me the same thing: there is nothing they can do. Today is day 3 and the swelling has gone way down and she already seems relatively untroubled. I'm glad to know that it was a non-issue for your dd all those years.

Also: she looks pretty cute with that missing tooth!

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#4 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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Im not trying to rain on your parade, but I wanted to chime in.

I was four when I fell and knocked out my two front teeth. I had braces for 3 years from 9-12 when all my adult teeth came in. My adult teeth were a MESS, and it all stemmed from not having those two front teeth there to guide in the rest. This was a long time ago, though. (1984-89) Hopefully they have better means these days to try to avoid that type of situation.

Good luck. You will get some darned cute christmas pics out of her this year, thats for SURE!
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#5 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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DD inherited my grace, and over the course of several spills managed to kill the front, top 2 teeth before she even had all of her teeth in yet. They're discolored and hanging in there but are wiggling their way out prematurely, so she'll also be toothless for a few years. Like you, I felt lousy about it; but multiple xrays and dentist visits later, I've been assured that this is pretty run-of-the-mill for adventurous kiddos.

I also lost and/or had pulled 6 front teeth by the time I turned five, and my teeth, speech, eating, etc. are fine, with zero therapy or orthodontics!

Kids are built to survive even their most daring endeavors!

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#6 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Im not trying to rain on your parade, but I wanted to chime in.

I was four when I fell and knocked out my two front teeth. I had braces for 3 years from 9-12 when all my adult teeth came in. My adult teeth were a MESS, and it all stemmed from not having those two front teeth there to guide in the rest. This was a long time ago, though. (1984-89) Hopefully they have better means these days to try to avoid that type of situation.

Good luck. You will get some darned cute christmas pics out of her this year, thats for SURE!

I lost mine at about 3yo. I'm not certain of the exact age. I was supposed to have a spacer but my brothers kept stealing and breaking it, so after the 3rd one, I didn't have one. Not every child requires a spacer even if they have lost their front teeth but it is more common in these cases.
My brothers teased my constantly, singing "All I want for Christmas" year round...

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
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#7 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post

I lost mine at about 3yo. I'm not certain of the exact age. I was supposed to have a spacer but my brothers kept stealing and breaking it, so after the 3rd one, I didn't have one. Not every child requires a spacer even if they have lost their front teeth but it is more common in these cases.
My brothers teased my constantly, singing "All I want for Christmas" year round...
Thank goodness dd is the oldest, I guess, and her baby brother is only 2 months old!

Sorry Jacqueline R. and Barbie64g for what you went through. The dentists have all told me (I've now spoken with seven of them ) that they only do spacers for molars. They also said that they can't know whether or not there will have been damage to the adult teeth, really, until they come in. Her dentist might try to do an X-ray but it's a tricky area at her age and they said it might not tell them anything conclusive anyway. But they thought there was a good chance that her adult teeth would be fine...

Dd is already doing much better and proving that she's gonna be fine. Today one of her neighbor friends asked her what happened to her face and she smiled widely and said, "I fell down and I LOST MY TOOTH! Wanna see?!"

Thank you all once again for sharing your experiences--I'm feeling better! It's just so hard to see you baby hurt, you know?

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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#8 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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My little brother knocked his front tooth out when he was 18 months old (born in 81). He was fine: eating, talking, never teased, etc-. He never had a spacer and he did need orthodontia but he probably would have needed it anyway (other problems on the bottom and top). He has lovely teeth now as a grown up. He doesn't remember knocking that tooth out but I sure do!
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#9 of 12 Old 10-12-2010, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 2xand2y View Post
My little brother knocked his front tooth out when he was 18 months old (born in 81). He was fine: eating, talking, never teased, etc-. He never had a spacer and he did need orthodontia but he probably would have needed it anyway (other problems on the bottom and top). He has lovely teeth now as a grown up. He doesn't remember knocking that tooth out but I sure do!
THANK YOU! I think it's so important to remember (in general, really!) that the things that seem like a big deal in the moment, well, that their importance really recedes with time, right? The potential 2.5-5 years in which dd could be toothless seems like a big deal right now, but it's really not, is it? Especially since this missing tooth is probably not going to cause her a bit of trouble!

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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#10 of 12 Old 10-13-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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You're welcome. I know my mama carried tremendous guilt. My brother leaned out of his umbrella stroller and fell because he wasn't buckled in. Even years later she really hated for us to talk about it. I don't want you to feel like you feelings aren't valid but there are certainly multiple perspectives. I know when my 10 month old broke her femur I appreciated the stories that allowed me to see things from a different perspective the most. ((hugs))
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#11 of 12 Old 10-13-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by La Sombra View Post
Dd is already doing much better and proving that she's gonna be fine. Today one of her neighbor friends asked her what happened to her face and she smiled widely and said, "I fell down and I LOST MY TOOTH! Wanna see?!"

Thank you all once again for sharing your experiences--I'm feeling better! It's just so hard to see you baby hurt, you know?
I'm glad she's doing better already.
I hate to share stories which aren't encouraging but I do feel it's necessary for you to be prepared for the possibility that this will impact her teeth in later years. The dentists said the same thing about my teeth. They cannot tell if the trauma to the gums was significant enough to effect the growth/development of permanent teeth. In my case, it wasn't. But it was, combined with the later loss of a molar, enough to change the spacing for my teeth.

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
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#12 of 12 Old 10-13-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
My brothers teased my constantly, singing "All I want for Christmas" year round...
Lord if I had a nickel for every time someone sung that to me.
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