Last week I had a nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. It had been a year since Landon’s last dentist appointment. I had been putting it off because his first visit to the dentist was, let’s just say, unsuccessful.
We didn’t go back and I waited too long to find a new dentist for him. Until finally, last Friday, I reluctantly looked up our dental insurance and started searching for a reputable pediatric dentist. One with a fun atmosphere filled with toys and pops of color. And a staff that knew how to work with kids’ teeth.
I clicked on a random link and noticed they had an after-hours emergency line. I’ll probably never need that, I thought, but you never know. And I put it out of my mind. Since it was Friday afternoon I made a note to call the next week.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon when I received a call from Naaman. When I saw his name come across my phone I knew something had happened. It was mommy intuition.
Naaman told me that Landon lost his grip and tumbled off the jungle gym at the park. He fell smack on his face and lost a bottom tooth. I was shocked. But of course I was asking if the rest of him was okay before caring about the tooth. He assured me Landon was fine and was begging to stay at the park to play even after the accident! So I kept my Girl’s Night Out plans with friends because I guess it just didn’t register to me that it was that bad.
When I got home he was already asleep. Of course I went in to see what he looked like with one less tooth. But when I pulled his lower lip down I noticed the two teeth to the side of the missing one had a huge gap between it. My heart sunk. I touched the teeth and they wiggled back and forth. He grimaced in pain when they moved. Naaman was right next to me and was very upset. I asked him if Landon had eaten anything and he said not much. I knew that the other teeth would probably have to come out.
I surprised myself when I did not freak out. Ordinarily this type of situation would have sent me into a ball of tears with expletives flying out of my mouth left and right. But this time? This time I knew what to do. I went downstairs and looked up the same pediatric dentist that I had found just three days earlier. And there it was. The after-hours emergency phone number. You just never know.
Or do you?
I called and the dentist actually answered at 11:00 p.m.! I was already impressed. She was so kind and told us to come to the office first thing in the morning. We were there by 8:30 and they squeezed us in. Landon was terrified even though the entire office was decorated in dinosaurs. He screamed, cried, flailed about and refused to open his mouth for the x-rays, which meant his mouth had to be pried open with tools. Sure enough, one of the loose teeth would have to come out.
We toyed with the option of an oral surgeon and general anesthesia. Only because he was so upset that we didn’t think they could get through the procedure if he was trying to escape the whole time. But we decided against that approach. Naaman held our sweet boy as they gave him the shot and that part was the worst of it. I’ve never heard him cry like that in his three little years. It was heartbreaking.
Before we knew it, it was over and he was missing two teeth. We decided to keep the third loose tooth in to try to save it. But if it hurts him too much or turns a different color it will have to come out too.
Two missing teeth. Possibly three. And his permenant teeth won’t come in for years. I didn’t cry until he was in bed for the night. Then the tears came.
But Naaman has cried more about this than I have. He feels like it’s his fault. The guilt is really hurting him. And I just want to say (because I know he reads my blog) that you are the best daddy our boys could ever have, honey. It was not your fault. Our child is a daredevil and thinks he is invincible. But you’re a daddy that will always try to catch your sons’ falls. That is ALL that matters.
I am trying to keep perspective. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are like, it’s just teeth. What’s the big deal? Well, I was kind of used to that perfect white smile. He would flash that grin at me and I would just melt into a big love puddle. I am so worried that kids will make fun of him as he starts kindergarten or first grade with missing teeth. I am worried that his language might be disrupted. But I understand that it could have been much worse. Broken jaw or cheek, concussion, eye wound. Ugh, I don’t even want to think about it.
Landon is doing great. He has been so brave and was telling everyone about his “big accident” at school. All the girls were concerned for him.
So the dental drama is over (hopefully). But I keep going back to one thing. That nagging feeling I had three days before the accident. I know not everyone believes that everything happens for a reason. But I do. I always have. It’s like I knew before it even happened that I would need that dentist. That I would choose to click on that link that led me to a website where they just happened to have an emergency dental line.
Three days before. It was more than a coincidence. Landon was supposed to lose those teeth. I don’t necessarily understand why.
But I know his smile is uniquely his. And I still melt into a big love puddle when he flashes it at me.