this isn't about discipline at all. but its all about gentleness.
pretty soon my son might have a molar in the front of his mouth. top front. Its a supranumery tooth (neither a baby tooth, nor an adult tooth, an extra one, a genetic glitch). One of his incisors has been pulled so that the extra one didn't push a bunch of teeth out of alignment on its way down. Right now it is peaking through the gum and it seriously looks like a molar; at least three cusps, maybe four. although the x-ray made it look much narrower--maybe it turned, like a baby in the birth canal ;-P
It will only be there for three years, four at most. Then his adult tooth will push it out. He is almost 4, all of his teeth have been early, so if we're lucky, it'll only be there two years, maybe a little less. one tiny added complication: his other top front teeth have crowns. so it will "stick out" (visually) even more.
so i'm not emotionally worried, i'm more intellectually worried. it was clear it would be at least asymettrical; not the neat square that we expect of incisors. so i brushed aside mentions of pulling it and putting in a temporary bridge.
but let's just imagine, worst case scenario, he grows a molar in the top front of his mouth, that is perhaps, a little crooked. what is the BEST way to deal with this? what do we tell him to expect? how do we describe it (I'm thinking I should quit it with the "funny looking.") what do we say to his teacher(s)? what do we say when other people ask about it? what do we suggest he says to other kids who bring it up? what do we say if he starts to feel embarrassed by it?
how can i minimize the chances that this leaves even the slightest emotional scar?
how does one handle a MAJOR facial deformity?
he's a pretty secure kid. i was not. so i've got some scars. but i'd rather no one had any, ever.
OP, I'm not sure what your experiences have been, but I will share mine in hopes that they may be useful to you.
I was a garden variety ugly kid (heard repeatedly: I have never seen anyone as weird looking as you), but when I was a teen I developed a lower jaw retrusion that I had for a number of years until it was eventually decided that it needed to be surgically corrected. No one was ever direct with me about it. My mom always told me I was beautiful - not in a protective way, but I think you know... mother's love and all that. She really thought I was beautiful even if probably no one else did. She was especially scornful of people who valued physical appearance above character, hard work, or accomplishment. I don't think this was a response to my face, but a happy accident for me that she had this attitude when I looked the way that I did.
I don't know that I carry many emotional scars from the experience. As an adult I feel like I know something of how little it means when people treat you well because they think you are attractive - because they would dismiss you if you were difficult to look at. It was miserable when I was a teen but as an adult feels like a gift.
Based on my experience... I think I would be direct and matter of fact, "Son, you have an extra tooth. It looks different but it's part of who you are. It will go away in a few years." And I would probably tell him on unrelated occasions that I think he is handsome. He might feel like it is a bit of a lie, but in ten years, hopefully he will remember just as I do, "I think mom was [lying, deluded] but I am glad she thought I looked nice."
To other kids? Something along the lines of, "Yep, that's an extra tooth. Everyone's body is different."
I just wanted to post and say I'm sorry to hear about the molar situation. However, if it were my son I would seriously consider having it extracted and just let him miss a tooth until the adult one arrived. My oldest just had a damaged tooth extracted after an unfortunate encounter with a coffee table and it was no big deal. Good luck with whatever you choose.
This is what I'd do. My ds1 had some gray teeth from an injury to them and he took a lot of flack about it. Eventually they abcessed and we had to have them pulled and it has been a lot better for him ever since. So if it is going to stick out that much, I'd have it pulled and just let him be a "snaggle-tooth" (as my dad calls it, LOL) for a year or so.
Wife to an amazing man , mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) , and ds3 (9/26/10) . Part time librarian, full time mommy, occasional chef and maid.
cyclamen--I'm so glad you came through that so well. In a way, I'd like my son to have an experience like that. But I'm worried he might not have the innate gumption that I expect you did/do. And I don't think I want to risk it.
At this point I'm thinking that if we can just pull it, we will. If pulling means a bridge and a massive bill and difficult dental visits then we'll have a tough decision to make.
My dd has an extra front tooth that hasn't come in yet, but within the next year we'll be dealing with an extraction and braces. (She's only 6!) Her baby teeth are loose now, but they want them to fall out before they remove the extra tooth so that the roots aren't damaged to the developing adult teeth.
I'm upset about it too. But here's the thing. It's NOT a major deformity. It's correctable. Kids don't really notice things like that at such a young age. Strangely, my BF's son has two extra baby teeth (and the same extra adult tooth that my dd has). He's a little bit shark-like, and his extra teeth look like molars, right on above his canines, similar to what you've described His dentist won't pull them and is waiting, just like yours. The boy is adorable and the extra teeth just give him some extra spunk. It's not a deformity and it doesn't look like one. It's just different. The boy has never been teased. Kids that age are used to weird stuff.
It's easy for me to say, but I do think you're overthinking this. Or, if you're not, at least wait until the tooth comes through to weigh your options. It's likely not as bad as you think it is.