Apr 14, 2013

A Lost Tooth

There are a lot of ways that having a medically complex special needs child takes extra time. Everything takes longer because she needs help with everything but also there are unexpected things that just "pop up". Or pop out as the case may be. Normally when a child has a loose tooth you hear about it, and little else, for weeks prior. Then when they lose it they come running to show you. But when a non-verbal child looses a tooth it's a whole different experience.

Ainsley started getting loose teeth kind of early, at age 4. Even though they were loose they held on and she didn't actually loose the first one until November 2011, when she was 5.  Since then she's lost a bunch of teeth. I thought she'd lost all of the 8 that typically come out first, the 4 front uppers and lowers. Her smile has been quite toothless for awhile.

I was getting ready to leave the house Wednesday when I looked at Ainsley's mouth and saw a gaping hole. I was pretty sure she'd had the tooth the day before. I could clearly see the socket where it had come out. I thought she'd lost that tooth already and that there was decent chance that it was an adult tooth that had been knocked loose. (Recently a baseball player on Adrian's team had his tooth knocked out during a game so I knew they can be reset if you act fast, like within an hour is best.) Of course I had no idea when the tooth had been lost or where it was. So I scrambled to find it.

Ainsley's nurse hadn't noticed so I didn't know if it happened during the night, or the night before or just that minute. I retraced her steps, checked the bedroom and the TV room floor, under the kitchen table but didn't see it anywhere. I called the dentist to make sure he could treat her if it was an adult tooth, but he was with a patient (and the receptionist didn't seem to get that losing an adult tooth is a big deal) so I waited for him to call back. Her last x-ray was from 2011 and too old to be any help.

Then I pulled up the pictures I'd taken of her eating a snack the night before. Sure enough the tooth was there. So I found last night's dinner scraps in the garbage in case it was mixed in with the food she'd spit out. I recalled she had a weird reaction while eating. In this one case I was actually very glad that Steve didn't put it into the compost like he should, considering I'd emptied about 1,000 popcorn kernels and bits from our popper into it the night before, imagine looking for a tooth in that. I picked through Ainsley's left over shells & cheese, chicken nuggets and peas as well as all the trash "just in case" the tooth had fallen to the bottom.  Fun times.

Then I pulled up the blog to see when Ainsley lost her first tooth and moved forward through my photos from there to see which teeth she lost and when. I was able to determine that in fact she'd never lost that tooth so it was a baby tooth and just about that time our nurse found the tooth near a bar stool in the kitchen. I'm assuming since she often pulls herself up into a stand there that she bumped the tooth or the counter top and lost it without anyone noticing. I could also see there wasn't much of a root so it was in fact a baby tooth and the crisis was over. I called the dentist back to let them know that it wasn't one of her adult teeth.

What a relief! But it would have been so much easier if I could have simply asked her about the tooth and she could answer me.

Now Ainsley's smile is becoming much more balanced and I feel better about the fact that the top 2nd over right tooth hasn't come in after so many months, now that I know she hadn't even lost the 2nd over left. I think that probably means that the jaw is now big enough to start pushing those adult teeth down. I'm excited to see her "new smile" as the adult teeth come in.


Just in case you noticed I thought you might like to see a full shot of Ainsley's new bed with her "new to her" Pottery Barn Teen bed linens. I bought them off E-bay and there was a problem. Be careful who you buy from when you buy off E-bay. I fixed the quilt and it is usable so I'm not as mad. In the end I think it's pretty cute. Once I forget about the drama I'll like them better. Ainsley's sleeping more comfortably and I'm glad to be done with it all. The next step is to sell the crib and then I'll be officially moving out of the stage of my life of having babies. Ainsley is a big girl now.

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