The past couple of weeks I have been a little…off. I just could not get my shit together and felt all kinds of out of sorts. I’m pretty sure that several people I encountered during this time were left with the impression that I am a lunatic. Also, I may need to find a new dentist.
My six-and-a-half-year-old twins have lost their baby teeth faster than I can count. Apparently. It’s been tooth fairy madness around here for a couple of years, but I shouldn’t be surprised because I was an early tooth bloomer. I got braces in the third grade and was the freak show of my class for awhile.
About two weeks ago, I noticed a lump in the gum above one of my daughter’s front teeth. A very large lump that was clearly a massive tooth growing in on top of another tooth. In that moment, I was absolutely positive she already had her permanent front teeth and therefore, an extra mutant tooth was a huge problem worthy of a complete and utter freakout.
I don’t have a clear recollection of studying the underlying front tooth to determine that it was permanent. I think my mind just decided it in an instant, but it wasn’t true. I only looked in her mouth dozens of times after finding the tooth, so there really wasn’t much of an opportunity to notice something like that, right?
My son’s front teeth are permanent, so perhaps I simply substituted some memories. As you can see, I have been coming up with outlandish memory substitution theories in lieu of admitting I am a dumbass.
The following is a time line of the events which followed the tooth discovery:
I may have googled “child has extra tooth growing in.” This may have led me to some particularly detailed descriptions of people who have extra rows of so-called “supernumerary” teeth, complete with horrifying dental x-rays. I may have accepted this google diagnosis as definitive.
Further to my madness, I may have told everyone I know that my daughter had a mysterious mutant tooth growing in, and I was worried she would need oral surgery to correct said problem. I may have over-shared my anxiety with the receptionist at the dental office when I made the appointment.
I definitely was extremely embarrassed at the appointment when the dentist explained that the mutant tooth was growing in over a baby tooth, that Defcon 5 dental intervention was not necessary, and that only an extraction would be required if the baby tooth doesn’t come out soon. The dentist wouldn’t really look me in the eye when she explained all this, which is okay because that would have made it way more embarrassing.
Finally, I may have shrieked at my husband when he laughed at me after the appointment and said he knew those were her baby teeth all along, but didn’t want to tell me. Dude can tell that from looking in her mouth once?? Please! He may have actually said he was afraid to tell me. I must have been on quite a roll.
My daughter has had more than her fair share of trouble with her mouth since she was born. At four months old she had surgery to remove a very large hemangioma (benign tumor) from her bottom lip. She has injured her lip in that spot a couple of times since – one instance of which was my fault and I feel actual pain when I think of it.
Then there was the provoked cat attack a couple of years ago which resulted in stitches and a scar on her upper lip. She is going to require at least one more reconstructive surgery on her bottom lip before she is ten and the thought of that terrifies me.
Of course, I now recall quite clearly every tooth that Erin has lost. Nearly all of her baby teeth are gone, just not her front teeth. My memory could never have been otherwise, except during the last couple of weeks when I have felt more unlike myself than I ever have.
In retrospect, I think I went a little crazy at the thought of further mouth trauma for my baby. For that reason, and because all’s well that ends well, I will shake off this humiliation. At least I had not had a chance to tell one certain friend of mine about the tooth drama. She is a great friend and I love her dearly, but she would never, ever let me forget it. Do you have a friend like that? A roaster? I don’t think I could take roasting on this one. Yet.
I’m just kidding about changing dentists. I’m going to have to face all those other people anyway.