No Rest For The Weary

Lily had to have two teeth pulled this morning. Not baby teeth. Permanent teeth. I swear, I'm begging God to just give her a break. I have a whole post written in my head about prayer and its role in my life, but that's for another day.

Lily has no permanent incisors. They are the teeth that live right next to your two front teeth. The dentist told me it can be hereditary, so we'll just chalk that up to another medical mystery in our kids that we don't know the history behind. Anywho, when you are faced with this predicament, you have several options. Close the gap between her two front teeth, leave the gaps where the incisors should be, and give her a retainer with false teeth for the next several years. Then, when her jaw stops growing (around age 20), she can have a bridge or implants. The other option is to pull two bottom teeth so that all the teeth match up in number and for her bite, then with braces move all the teeth forward to close the gaps.

David and I thought a good long time about this, and there's no right or wrong way to do this. I think different orthodontists and dentists have different opinions about it, too, but in the end we chose the pulled teeth and braces. Well, she would have had braces regardless, but this is to bring all her teeth forward and align them. I just looked at the future and foresaw multiple lost and broken retainers, issues with fake teeth, and Lily not having dental insurance when she's in her 20s if she's not on our plan anymore. Plus, for her sake, we wanted this over and done with. Fix it now in the next two years and not worry about it again.

So after putting it off for as long as possible, I took Lily to our dentist today to have the bottom teeth pulled. At this point in my life, Lily is the bravest person I know. With all her current medical issues, she has every right to chuck some serious rotten eggs at life. But she gets up each day and does her best. The best for her. Taking her to the dentist broke my heart, but she did it! Then, stuffed full of gauze and completely numb from the nose down, we went to Target to pick out some toys and games. I rarely do this for my kids, but can you think of a better reason to spoil her? I can't.

Right now we just finished playing electronic Simon, attempted oatmeal (seriously funny), and plan to watch a horse movie.

Lily, I love you so much!


hotflawedmama said...

Kids are amazing, amazing creatures. At this point I'm just praying for her to catch a break. Love to you.

Vivi said...

Oh poor, sweet Lily. I'm so sorry that she had another thing to deal with. I had 17 teeth pulled as a kid (not all at once)...not the most fun I've ever had.

And in a stretch to find a silver lining... braces "stuff" is a normal kid thing, and maybe it can help her feel a little "normal" today. And, maybe, in all her numbed up glory, she can laugh at herself a little bit too.

Anonymous said...


I enjoy reading your blog periodically as I always appreciated your posts from the old chsfs forum several years ago when we were just beginning to explore Ethiopian adoption (we now also have a son from Ethiopia).

I'm glad that Lily took her dental work in stride and hope she feels better asap. I just wanted to share with you that I had the exact same situation with my teeth as a child and the same treatment - extraction followed by braces to close the gap. I have had zero problems with this route (other than it always confuses the dentists and hygienists when they initially look at my teeth until I explain what was done)! You were very wise to think ahead to something that wouldn't require future maintenance for Lily. I'm glad my parents made the choice they did and I'm sure Lily will be, as well.


cathy said...

Thanks, Lucinda!!! I so appreciate that. I really wanted Lily to just be done with it now. And I'm glad to know that you're happy with the way your teeth turned out. Hooray!

Sarah said...

Cathy, you and Lily should read "Smile" by Raina Telgemeier. It's a fantastic graphic novel that tells the (true) story of a girl who falls and loses her front 2 teeth and the years of dental work that follow. Greta loved it--I highly recommend it!

Bekka-Reeeeeeee said...

From personal experience (as I too am missing those same teeth due to genetics!), having to replace a "flipper" or partial denture every few years is a real PITA. I wish my orthodontist had gone with the "move everything forward" route. It's a permanent solution. The other issue you may see crop up is with your insurer/insurance companies. If you switch dental insurance providers, they won't cover the costs of a denture, bridge or implants due to the missing teeth being a "pre-existing condition". Like I said...a real PITA.