Clara and the Case of the Chipped Teeth

23 Jun

It began like any other day.

Well, that’s not true, but I can’t tell you why just yet.

At any rate, it was Friday morning.  Clara woke up early and was playing in her crib when I went to get her at 7:30.  Who knows how long she’d been awake already.

When we’d finished up our morning activities, Clara and I went over to my friend Heather’s house.  Clara and Lulu love to play together, and after all the kids had eaten and settled down to watch a movie (or so we thought), Heather and I chatted about life for a bit.

Until we heard a sickening thud.  I just knew it was Clara.  She is a terrible klutz.  Kind of like her mommy.  She trips over her own feet all the time, and I think that is what happened this time.  In the 2 seconds it took me to jump up and run over to her, she was already crying hysterically, and blood was pouring from her mouth.

This is my worst nightmare. Played out before my eyes.

I saw a little piece of tooth on her lip.  And I just about lost it.

After scooping her up and carrying her to the kitchen, and reminding myself not to freak out and to keep breathing, Heather and Neal helped me calm her down and get the bleeding stopped.

I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I’d been alone.

From the little bit I could see, it looked like her top two front teeth were chipped in the middle, but with the hysterical crying and all the blood (I’m not kidding, it was a lot of blood), I couldn’t really tell.  Since she’d never been to the dentist before, I didn’t really have anyone to call, so I called the dentist I see.  They don’t handle pediatric emergency cases, so they referred me to another office that was supposed to be open on Fridays.  Why do dentists get to work a 4 day week?  And why do emergencies always happen when doctors and dentists are closed?  Seriously.

Anyway, I called the pediatric dentist, and while they are normally open on Fridays, their doctors were all out of town, except one.  And she was only on call.  Seriously?  After 15 minutes on hold and telling the story about 5 times, I finally got the go ahead to come in to their office.  The on-call dentist would come in and meet us there.

Heather graciously offered to drive us down there so I could sit in the backseat with Clara in case her mouth started bleeding again or she needed something.  So she and Neal got all their kids loaded up, and she drove my car, while he followed in theirs, until we got to the dentist’s office.  Clara did fine in the car, even falling asleep when we were about 5 minutes away from our destination.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen her point to something specific and tell me that it hurt.  So sad. But she would keep pointing at her mouth and saying that it hurt.

At the dentist’s office, the front desk lady kept apologizing for being in her workout clothes – honestly I did not care or even notice what she was wearing.  The doctor took a look at Clara’s teeth, decided to do a couple x-rays to be sure of what she thought.  Clara just does not like any kind of medical tests.  She’s been a little traumatized – between her surgery and her emergency room trips last year, who can blame her?

After a few tries the dentist finally got the x-rays she wanted – not without Clara freaking out – and it confirmed what she thought.  Clara managed to only chip the outer one, possibly two, layers of her teeth.  No damage to the nerve.  The roots looked fine.  We could even see her adult teeth forming on her x-rays.  No future problems expected.  The main issue is just that she will be uncomfortable – she managed to bang up both of her lips pretty well.  They were very swollen at the time.  No treatment at this time, except tylenol/ibuprofen and soft foods.  They wouldn’t do much of anything anyway – they said that if she complained of them being sharp, they could buff the teeth down to make them a bit more smooth, and when she gets older, perhaps bond some material to them to get them back to the proper shape.

Honestly, I think I knew this going in.  They weren’t going to do anything.  But I needed someone who knows what they’re talking about to tell me that she was going to be fine.

I remember having to pause several times throughout the whole thing, remind myself to breathe and stay calm.  When everything in me wanted to freak out, but I knew that I needed to stay calm – that was one of the hardest things I’ve done as a parent.

Joel took her home, and I went off to get some extra baby tylenol and ibuprofen for her.  When I finally got home and saw her running around and acting normal, I just lost it.  All of the stress I couldn’t get rid of before just came pouring out in the form of tears.

We had one minor incident around dinner time when Clara’s mouth started bleeding again, but it was short-lived, and everything is fine.

Today, she seems tired, but is actually eating a little and drinking a little.  She’s by no means back to normal, but considering yesterday’s events, all is well.  I, on the other hand, every time I close my eyes, I see her crying hysterically, with blood pouring from her mouth.  It might take me a while to get that image out of my head.

For now, my little girl is just a fat-lipped snaggle-tooth.  And pretty cute at that.

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