Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The saga of Addie's teeth

I call this picture Carrots, with carrot
 In June 2008, Addie cut her two top teeth.  She was pretty excited about it.  A year later, she still  had them, though she didn't look quite so excited.

Sadly (humorously?), Addie chose this moment to pretend she'd never seen a camera before.

Eighteen months after that, though, her relationship with her teeth took a turn for the worse.
One of the last pictures of her intact smile.  And yes, we always paint her face to match her clothes.
 On New Years Eve, 2011, my brother and his wife were in town.  We look a little trip to Old Sacramento and visited the schoolhouse museum.  Addie sat down at one of the desks in the back of the room, then leaned forward to look more closely at it.  Unfortunately, the seat wasn't bolted to the floor and rocked forward, smashing her upper lip into the wooden desk in front of her.  She screamed and bled.  I comforted her and cleaned her up.  We went home.

 By the time we got home, her top lip had already doubled in size.

 By the next morning, she looked like a character on the Simpsons.
She wasn't sad because her lip hurt.  She just didn't want to be photographed in curlers, or wear them at all for that matter.
 She had a regular check up at the dentist's office within the next couple weeks, and everything looked fine.  But then, a month or so later, I noticed those two front teeth looked rather grey.  I increased her brushing, checked the toothpaste, and finally figured out she must have killed those two teeth when she hit the desk.  Eventually, one lightened back up, but the right front tooth just got darker.
Addie, after the accident.  Also, incidentally, right after we fixed her first "home" haircut.
Though she never said much about it, I noticed Addie started smiling with her lips closed more and more.  Gradually the right tooth developed a dark line toward the bottom.  Then, in the last couple of weeks she started complaining that her teeth hurt.  I considered taking her to the dentist, but then I checked them, saw that they were wiggly, and assumed she'd just bitten something the wrong way.  The thing is, Addie is prone to histrionics, so I have to take any emotional outbursts with a grain of salt.  This time, though, I feel really badly that I didn't take her more seriously.

Addie this summer, proudly sporting the results of her most recent "home" haircut.
Sunday afternoon, Bracken asked me to come take a look at Addie's mouth.  I looked inside and saw what looked like the swollen gums on a baby who is about to cut her first top tooth.  Except it was squishy.  This time I immediately got in contact with a dentist.

Over the last 21 months since she'd hurt her teeth, I'd had the dentist check them several times.  I'd been told that the nerves were dead, but unless there was an abscess or some other problem, there was no need to pull them or take any other action.  Well, the abscess had finally arrived.  Or abscesses, I should say.  By the time I got her into the dentist the next day, I noticed another blister forming over her other tooth.  She wasn't in any pain, but that was normal since the infection had moved to the front of her mouth.

Addie's last morning in The Dead (teeth) Zone.
  The dentist did an excellent job.  Addie was given nitrous oxide before he started.  I was expecting a spectacular performance from her but apparently her head is already so far in the clouds, it did nothing but calm her down.  The teeth were quickly pulled, with no fanfare whatsoever. 

The tooth fairy came last night, and awarded her three gold coins-- two for teeth and one for bravery.  I am triply thrilled that these teeth are out.  Firstly, because her abscess is looking so much better today, and she feels better, too.  Secondly, because I don't have to look at that lovely smile marred by two grey teeth anymore.  Thirdly, because I won't have to endure the process of her teeth getting wigglier and wigglier and sticking out of her mouth hillbilly style until they finally come out on their own.

And also, I know what she wants for Christmas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah Ruth! I miss you and your amazing wit. I'm normally not a fan of reading blogs, but yours is riviting. Keep these blogs coming. :)
Carol Kashefi