The Post With The Teeth

If you have any experience with children having teeth out or getting braces, I’d really appreciate any advice, but if you don’t like teeth, or dentists, then you should not read any further than this sentence.

Dentists are mentioned a lot in this post, as are teeth, and photos are included.

DD1 is 11, in Year 6, and has lost all her baby teeth. Most of her adult teeth have started to make an appearance. I say ‘most’ because you don’t have to be a dentist to see that there is simply not enough room in her mouth for all her teeth.

impacted canine teeth upper jaw

It’s affecting the way she feels about her teeth, and she is very careful to smile with her mouth closed in photos. It also makes it hard to brush her teeth properly and if her teeth were left like that she would almost certainly develop cavities no matter how carefully she looked after them.

You can see her bottom teeth are fine, but her top canines have emerged half way up her gum. We first noticed this was happening a couple of years ago, but our dentist said we should go away and come back for another look in 6 months. At her next check up we were referred  and about this time last year DD was finally seen by an orthodontist.

‘Impacted canine teeth’ was the official verdict and they were deemed severe enough to qualify for free treatment on the NHS. DD was going to need braces.

Now, I was brought up in small town NZ and braces weren’t unknown but they certainly weren’t the norm. It seems they are a lot more common these days but 11 is quite young to be having them fitted. She’s going to be the first person in her year with them. I guess this means she’ll have them off early too. DD is fine with the idea of having braces; I think she’s kind of looking forward to getting them.

What she’s NOT looking forward to is what needs to happen before the braces can go on. The orthodontist has decided she needs a couple of teeth out first. And her appointment is tomorrow.

I’m not much help. I had a couple of wisdom teeth out once but was given valium and can’t remember a thing. I don’t even have any fillings but I really, really don’t like dentists. Apparently DD is only going to need a local anaesthetic and no sedation will be required. She’s really anxious about it though and I’m not sure she’ll go through with it when push comes to shove. She’s not good with pain or needles and gets borderline hysterical at the sight of blood.

I’ve told the dental practice she’s very worried about the extractions but they don’t seem terribly sympathetic.

I’ll get her some rescue remedy, even though I think it’s a complete crock of shite but has anyone got any other advice? I know if I can get her through tomorrow, she’ll be fine with the braces etc, even though they will probably be more uncomfortable than the extractions in the long run.

Oh and does anyone know if the Tooth Fairy pays for extracted teeth. Even when the child concerned no longer believes?

13 comments on “The Post With The Teeth

    • my name is Rob. I have been dealing with the same issue that your daughter has sInce I Was 20. All of a sudden one day it just started bursting through my gum. I only have one on the left side top k9. I’m 30 now and I’ve been dealing with having to smile to hide it for about 10 years now. The only solution is to extract the tooth that’s on the bottom of itand pull it down to where it needs to be with braces. I have 3 kids barely even make ends meet. I do have good insurance but in the end it still cost more than I can afford. Get her the help now because trust me she will regret it later on in life as I do. I wish I would have gotten done with it all along time ago.

  1. Oh poor thing! I very much sympathise as I have a dinky little mouth with not enough room for all my teeth. I had two top and two bottom adult teeth taken out when I was about the same age as your DD and then two years of braces – both plates and ‘train tracks’. I think that the only way to get through it is bribery. She HAS to have it done, it will be so worth it in the long run but it is not a wholly pleasant experience. I didn’t find it painful, though the in-gum injections sting and the needle coming towards your mouth is freaky!! I found the worst bit was the tugging when they tried to loosen the roots from the jaw. The teeth came out looking like walrus tusks – quite different from stumpy baby teeth!
    I got a whopping five quid for each tooth (well above the going rate in 1990!) a few days off school with full telly privilidges (unheard of in our house!) and several new books (chosen before extraction) which made the experience a bit more bearable.
    I think my A will need the same treatment soon and I fully intend to pin him down while its being done if necessary as my DHs parents did nothing about his orthodontic requirements when he was growing up and as a result he was embarrassed about his smile until we stumped up a load of cash for him to get braces as an adult – still very worthwhile but a much more lengthy process and quite out of place in a 30 year old!
    Good luck!

    • I know it needs to be done and am willing to resort to bribery if necessary. I’m worried she might insist on a phone though…

  2. The poor thing. I had braces late, and Dd1 at least will need them too…
    I have had my wisdom teeth out under a local. How about H taking an iPod with headphones and listening to whatever she likes (I am thinking relaxing – but I guess it needn’t be as long as it takes her mind off it all). She can have the volume quite high and just try and tune out. She can even wear a sleeping mask from a plane (I am sure you have loads!) if that will help her get into a zone where she feels comfortable.
    I don’t think I’d go with money for extractions. I’d go with a present I think if she tries to be mature about it all.

  3. I had similar tooth trouble and I remember it well! I had four milk teeth extracted when I was 6 (under a gas anaesthetic) and another four adult teeth pulled out when I was 11. The needle is big and it feels sore afterwards. I had two plate retainer braces and top and bottom train track braces. It hurt. There’s no point in pretending it doesn’t but I kept telling myself it would be worth it. I only had to go through the orthodontistry for two years and at least aged 11 I wasn’t into boys or that worried about my appearance!

    My mum always came to the dentist with me. She would arrange the appointment for the afternoon, pick me up after school lunch and then keep me at home for the rest of the day. She always made me something nice for dinner on the day of an appointment (but something soft because my teeth and gums would hurt for a day or two afterwards) and something gooey and chocolatey for pudding! Painkillers were useful, like soluble paracetamol which are easy to swallow.

    I didn’t enjoy having all the work done and now have an intense dislike of going to the dentist. (My current dentist is very understanding and helpful!) However, it was worth it. Top tips – keep smiling and reassuring and make sure that plenty of people are primed to notice and comment on how great the teeth look once those braces come off!!!

    • I don’t think she’s going to need a plate, just some train tracks but I’m not sure. I guess we’ll find out in a couple of weeks…

  4. That’s pretty much exactly the same as I had, braces to pull my canines into place. I had four teeth out though.

    When I had my filling a few months back, they rubbed the gum with numbing stuff before I got the injections so I didn’t feel the needle, not even a scratch. When I had my teeth out at her age I could feel pulling, but no pain.

    My braces definitely hurt when they were newly on, and every six weeks when they were tightened but the pain wasn’t long lasting and paracetamol was enough to knock it on the head.

  5. Here in Denmark braces are quite commen, I had them, my friends did and we were also not very old. She’s a brave girl and will suprise you tomorrow:) Especially with a bit of bribery:)

  6. The tooth fairy pays a premium rate for extracted teeth, quite generous as far as I recall.

    I had teeth detracted for overcrowding but never went back for the braces to be fitted, I’ve always regretted it. Hope it goes well for her, most kids around here have braces at some point so there isn’t the teasing that kids got when I was young.

  7. I agree with the others – a premium rate is paid by tooth fairies for extracted teeth (so long as they are extracted for good reasons and not because they are rotten)

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