I was going to use this picture I shot yesterday to tell you about Landon using all his piggy bank money for the first time to buy a big Lego toy.
But now I’m using it to tell you that my beautiful boy needs to have one of his front teeth extracted on Tuesday.
L has had teeth issues since he was 1 year old. They are the one thing I worry about every day, and I haven’t even had the energy to blog about it. I have been meaning to and have a draft blog post about breastfeeding not causing cavities, but it’s a long story that drains me because brushing L’s teeth is a fight twice a day. Every day.
The two baby teeth next to L’s upper front teeth have strip crowns on them since he was 2. I ran from dentist to dentist when those teeth literally crumbled away all of a sudden, and we were given everything from a false diagnosis at a research hospital that his teeth are damaged because of a genetic defect to the option of pulling the teeth or getting silver crowns.
Those were not options I was willing to discuss. They were unacceptable to me. There had to be something else we could do. I kept plugging on, researching, seeing more dentists.
I thought I liked pediatric dentist No. 4, because he refuses to knock kids out for a simple filling (he had seen a child almost die on the table under anesthesia) and because he said we could save the teeth. And then we met dentist No. 5 in as many days.
Dr. C came into the waiting room to introduce himself and to look at the teeth to get an idea, he was so kind and gentle, and he took his time and answered all of my many questions. And I had tons of them.
Dr. C has been L’s dentist ever since. He teaches dentistry at Columbia, so he has hospital privileges if we ever need to go that route, and he comes to the office we use once a week.
We are extremely lucky to have found the most amazing dentist who is flexible and understands that I want to be in the room with L (I have heard horror stories of moms not being allowed). Dr. C will work on L’s teeth while he is standing in the door if he is too afraid to sit down in the chair that day or while L is lying on me in the chair if that makes him feel more secure. We’ve done it all in the last 2.5 years.
We opted not to do root canals on those two baby teeth and see how long the strip crown will last, and we are really lucky that we’ve gotten this far. I’m diligent about brushing his teeth twice a day and flossing, and he is on a prescription-fluoride toothpaste that I switch with an all-natural toothpaste.
It’s been quite a journey of ups and downs. We had a few more fillings and are also watching his upper front teeth, but thankfully those cavities are stabilized for now. Most of the time we are in and out now when we see the Dr. C , and L has surprised us all with being a very good patient.
So when I saw a tiny bubble on L’s gums above one of his crows last night, my heart sank. I knew what that meant — an abscess. Dr. C had warned me in the beginning that this means the tooth is infected and will most likely have to be removed.
Dr. C wasn’t available yesterday, so we saw a colleague of his. This is L watching TV in that office yesterday. L is going to be on antibiotics from today on and the plan is for Dr. C to extract the tooth on Tuesday.
L has never been on antibiotics and I hate the idea of it, but I feel like we don’t have a choice. I want the infection to be gone for sure, and treating him with antibiotics will assure that the teeth can be numbed much better for the procedure. I have looked into natural antibiotic options, and it’s very involved to get all those herbs needed, and it seems too risky for them to not do the job.
Yes, things could be so much worse and I’m so blessed to have an otherwise healthy child. But I’ll always wonder if I could have done more to prevent this abscess, and I wish we could have had more time before one or more of L’s teeth have to go to the tooth fairy early. It’s going to be another three years before L’s adult tooth will come down and fill the gap.
And I worry about the procedure being traumatic for him — he’s never had laughing gas and doesn’t remember getting a shot for the crowns. After being able to make dentist visits not scary, I hope this trip doesn’t undo all of that work. And I better keep it together; I’m trying to mentally prepare myself as much as I can. Bach Rescue Remedy drops will be my best friend again that day.
I’m so heartbroken.