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My Son Has an Extra Tooth?!

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Angela Chee: I just took my son in for his first dentist visit. He's 2 1/2. Many dentists recommend a checkup at a year old, but considering that my son didn't get his first tooth until he was 13 months, I waited. I was a little apprehensive at first, since brushing his teeth at night is always a struggle. But the visit went smoothly, and it was actually fun for him. (Crazy, I know!)

boy's teeth

He played with the toys in the waiting room, got stickers, received a new toothbrush, tasted bubble gum and grape flavors (from the toothpaste and rinse, of course), was allowed to watch TV laying down and left with a balloon. What could be bad? 

OK, I left out the cleaning and X-ray parts, but they actually weren't that bad -- except for one thing: I found out my son has an extra tooth. What?! I had noticed this one tooth in front that was turned sideways, but figured it wasn't a permanent tooth, so no big deal. Well, as it turns out, it's not only sideways, it's not supposed to be there!

I guess having extra teeth is pretty common. Once I told a few people, they were like, "Oh, I had extra teeth, too. One was on the roof of my mouth." (Ew.) So I guess things could have been worse. The dentist says she'll take the extra tooth out once my son starts getting his permanent teeth (around 5 or 6 years old). It doesn't really affect his smile, and isn't it the missing teeth and awkward smiles that make kids so adorable, anyway?

So for now, I don't have to deal with the extra tooth. But I do have to deal with brushing and flossing my son's teeth more thoroughly every day. The dentist says I should do it for at least one minute. Argh -- one more thing to add to the nightly ritual! I know it's what I have to do, but in toddler time, a minute feels like forever ....

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