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Pulling Teeth: Nightmare or No Big Deal?

My daughter was a toddler when she had an accident in a bouncy house. Another jumper accidentally kicked her in the mouth mid-jump. The other jumper went away with two indentations of her front teeth on the bottom of his foot. My daughter, on the other hand, was bleeding from her mouth like crazy and her gums started to turn blue.

Needless to say, this incident merited a trip to the emergency room where they did xrays and determined there was no damage to her head. The next day I took her to see her regular dentist and we were told to wait and see what the teeth did, but if they started to turn gray or ache then it would be time to pull them.

I never had my own teeth pulled before so as far as I knew it was a mysterious process that involved lots of pain and misery. Really,  when I think of getting teeth pulled I usually think back to Steve Martin’s character in Little Shop of Horrors. So a few months down the road when my daughter started complaining of her front tooth aching and discoloration appeared, I was quite nervous about making the appointment to get her tooth pulled. I pictured a horrible process with my daughter kicking and screaming while I held her down so Steve Martin could pull her tooth out.

Okay, so my imagination does sometimes get the better of me.

The days leading up to the appointment were mostly filled with me fretting that my daughter was about to experience something horrible. I did tell her that she would get her tooth pulled and I did tell her that it might hurt, but I didn’t pass along my sheer panic.

Pulling Teeth: Nightmare or No Big Deal?

Guess what? Tooth pulling isn’t what it used to be. My daughter was led to a private room and was allowed to select a show to watch on a TV suspended over her head. The doctor let her select a scent for her “giggle gas” and gave her sunglasses to wear. The entire process was over so quickly that I walked out of there feeling quite silly that I had spent so much of my time worrying about the procedure.

So here are my tips if your child needs to get a tooth pulled:

  • Tell your child what’s about to happen and don’t make it sound like a trip to the ice cream parlor.
  • Splurge on the giggle gas. Our insurance didn’t cover this expense, but it was worth every penny.
  • Stay in the room. Many parents don’t want to watch something like this, but it can be scary for your child and your absence will only make it scarier.
  • Follow the post-procedure instructions (such as no straws for 24 hours) from your dentist because this will ensure your child heals quickly and properly.

Above all, don’t panic! I wasted so much time fretting about this procedure and it turned out to be quick and much less dramatic than I envisioned.


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