So, lets talk about teeth for a sec. One of the procedures done during Scout’s surgery in September was a tooth extraction. The dentist wouldn’t know exactly what she was dealing with until she was able to really get inside of Scout’s mouth and get x-rays and all of that good stuff. So Gabe and I were definitely expecting some teeth to be pulled. Scout complained daily about her teeth hurting.
I got a call during Scout’s surgery from the phone in the waiting room from her dentist. She said something like, “It looks like I can only save two teeth. Do you want to keep them, or do you want me to pull those too?” I was all like, “(calmly)…all but two.” For some reason this was still kind of a shock to me that THAT many teeth were bad. Of course when that call came, Gabe had left the area to do something at the time, maybe a potty break, helping with Ash, make a phone call or something, I don’t remember, all I know is that I had to make a decision quickly and without him. And so I had another question for the doctor- Well, it was more like an answer question, “…Keep theemmm? I don’t know, what do you think?” Doctor Alex answered quickly, “I think it would be better to keep them, but I want you to think or be prepared about how she will look.” I could answer more concisely knowing it was a cosmetic thing “Keep them”.
So when Gabe returned to the room I took him aside to tell him. Like most things that happen with Scout, it all needs to soak in for a minute before we react and we bring ourselves back to the proper perspective. Our friend Scott had very recently just lost his leg in a construction accident, and another dear friend had a sudden heart-attack at the age of 34 leaving a wife (also dear to us) and two little girls, there was an 8 month old little boy named Andrew, in that very hospital who hadn’t seen the outside world because he was waiting and then recovering from a heart transplant, and our friend Erin and her kids are facing a new life they had never expected. Once we thought about that, it was so easy to say. “It’s just teeth.”
After Dr. Alex was done with her part of the procedure, she had a conference with us to tell us how it all went. Of course Gabe, being Gabe second guessed the decision of keeping the two teeth. Dr. Alex said teeth is bone and she would like to keep that bone there if it’s salvageable. I wondered how Scout would eat, and if there were dentures or something she could wear. Dr. Alex said that there would have to be something to root the dentures to, so no, she will just manage with these two teeth until her adult teeth come in. We talked about some more things, and then she gave us a small manilla envelope that contained the extracted teeth.
Fast forward a few days later. Scout had been released from the hospital. Gabe had looked, but I finally had the emotional strength to look at the teeth in said envelope. He showed me one by one. It.Was.Remarkable. The pain that she must have been in. I cried thinking of how she went through so much pain and how well she handled it. I don’t know how she functioned. Think about when you have a bad cavity and how much it hurts. Now think about just about every tooth in your mouth being absolutely rotton. Some of those teeth decayed all the way down to the root.
Let me tell you. She doesn’t eat candy or chocolate (she likes the idea of them, but won’t really eat them), we brush her teeth (but she would cry when we did because of the pain), and she’s not doing meth.
How does this happen? You may ask. Well I’m not sure, but our guess is that her body just doesn’t make the tooth enamel it needs to protect her teeth. Plus, maybe the daily meds she’s on contribute to that as well. What about her adult teeth? Well, we’ll just have to find out. Of course there is nothing else I know what to do except pray that they are stronger when/if they come in and of course the normal dental hygiene stuff).
It didn’t take long for us to get used to her new smile. It makes me teary-smile back at her most of the time. In my opinion, it’s pretty adorable. We had to figure out how we were going to explain to her why she didn’t have any teeth anymore. She was pretty cool with, “Remember how much your teeth hurt? Do they feel better now? ” I’m not too big on making a big thing about Santa, and the tooth-fairy and whatnot, but that tooth-fairy came to our rescue in this instance. Scout had been watching the Yo-Gabba-Gabba episode about the tooth fairy ALOT before the procedure (on her own mind you). Her understanding on what happens is that the tooth-fairy comes, takes your tooth, she gives you two gold coins, and a kangaroo.
So, the tooth-fairy came. Her cousin, on his own accord, wrote the above letter explaining Scout’s situation to the fairy of teeth. She’s only visited once so far. We don’t want to overwhelm Scout like, ‘here is a mouthful of your teeth, and here’s a million dollars’. Plus she’s three. The only way she would expect lots of money and presents is if we made her think that she should expect lots of money and presents. Don’t get me wrong, Scout deserves the best. And we try to give her the best, but in other ways.
Since her surgery, her speech has improved. I can tell she has more confidence in herself in many ways. And she’s sillier and plays much, much more. My theory is that she was in so much pain before, that she didn’t know what feeling good actually felt like.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers for our girl and our family. We have a big surprise in the coming weeks for Scout and once we let her know about it, then we’ll keep you up to date on that adventure. So mums the word with Scout if you know, K?
Peace, love and light to you all. We are grateful for you. And we are prayerfully thankful for the ways that you all are in our lives and the ways you help Scout.