The Double Tooth
This can be due to several things. When an adult tooth is coming in, if the baby tooth has not fully resorbed, it can look like there’s a double tooth. This usually leads to a frantic call from the worried parent. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the baby tooth will come out on its own. In my office, I will give the kids a choice as to whether they want me to take out the baby tooth or not. The kids almost always choose to leave it (which ends up bothering the parent far more than the child)! IMHO, giving the child control over their decision builds trust and self-esteem. Over the short-term, no harm will be done by leaving it in.
Also, a double tooth can be seen when the bicuspid (pre-molar) teeth are coming in. In this case, it looks double because the two points of the tooth are protruding through the gum (and gum remains in the middle). Given a few weeks, the tooth erupts and appears as one piece.
In rare cases, a baby tooth does not come out. Usually, it’s because there is no permanent tooth underneath it. Please give your dentist a call and have him/her figure out what is going on if you at all concerned.
The Pink Tooth
This can be caused as the baby tooth is being resorbed – the pink is caused by the gum tissue showing through the translucent tooth. But, If you see pink after the tooth has received a hit, there has been bleeding into the tooth structure (from the nerve). This may eventually cause the tooth to turn dark (essentially a black and blue mark)
Removing Baby Teeth
It drives adults all crazy when their children play with a wiggly tooth for what seems to be weeks on end. Here’s my method to take care of the issue: I will put a swab with Oragel or Anbesol over the tooth and let it stay for a minute – this will numb up the gum. Then I take a piece of gauze to grab the tooth and give it a quick twist/pull. I follow up with a popsicle (the cold is soothing, the sugar is a reward!). Again, make sure you and your child are on the same page here. They will be very upset if you surprise them, just the same as you would be if someone did that to you.
Black Spots on the Teeth
Are they cavities or not? Really, you need the dentist’s eye to figure this one out. Not all black spots are cavities and not all cavities look like black spots.
What About the Tooth Fairy?
Losing a baby tooth is a big deal. It’s really one of the first big bodily changes that a child will experience and remember. There is an amazing range in monetary “reward” for a lost tooth. I’ll let you be the judge of what to advise the tooth fairy – remember that there are 20 baby teeth. The amount often is high for number one and then drops back to a more reasonable level for the rest. If the tooth fairy decides a high amount is appropriate, this is a good time to reinforce a savings habit with your child as it is very special money!
If the tooth is lost before your child can put it under his/her pillow, the tooth fairy will understand and the reward should appear the next day. Sometimes, the tooth fairy will forget to take the tooth (or not find it) under the pillow – it happens – but your child can’t get two rewards for the same tooth. In our house, we helped the tooth fairy by putting the tooth in a plastic bag or box so that it could be found more easily. And of course, if the tooth is accidentally knocked out, it’s still a valid tooth fairy tooth! Your child will get the reward and you’ll have a little more grey hair.
Welcome to dental parenthood!!!