Toddler Teeth and Raising a Mutant

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I have spent more time than I should worrying about Norton and his developing toddler teeth.  Fortunately, I have a few tools in my arsenal to help peel me off the ceiling when new toddler teeth concerns come up: a friend from high school who was a dental hygienist and now makes complicated dentures (thank you, beautiful!), a fellow high school band geek who is now a dentist, and a good dentist of our own when Norton’s toddler teeth need examination in the flesh.

My first worry that Norton might need braces came up because he had a lateral incisor (not the very center tooth, but one that should be beside it) grow in where a canine should be.  There was a huge gap, and it took a while for us to get used to it.  And I worried that we’d need to put Norton in braces.  Fortunately, my friend convinced me that what was happening with his toddler teeth had little to no bearing on what happened when his adult teeth came in.


I was okay and stress free until a tooth started coming in that gap.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I thought would happen with that gap in the first place, but yeah.  I thought it was the canine growing in the spot where the lateral incisor came in, like his teeth were somehow switched around.  What the heck did I do about that?!  The verdict from the dental queen and the dentist was: nothing.  It’s rare, but not unheard of for teeth to grow switched in.  The dentist said that he’d seen it three times in his career.  And again, these are baby teeth, so it’s entirely possible that the adult teeth will grow in the right order.

Okay, great.  I felt better again.

But then that little tooth kept pushing through the gums.  And I realized that this wasn’t a canine.  This was another lateral incisor, giving Norton five incisors instead of the usual four.

What the heck?!

So, fine.  Extra teeth aren’t unheard of in my family.  I have an aunt who grew another central incisor after knocking one out.  I had to have my left canine pulled twice because another tooth was trying to grow in without the first one falling out.  But usually we have those extra teeth just come in the same place as a previous tooth, not in addition to other teeth.

That time, we ended up going to the dentist.  And the verdict?  Yeah, that’s an extra lateral incisor.  However, Norton wasn’t about to let them do much more than get a quick glance, so x-rays and such to figure out the positioning (and quantity) of adult teeth just wasn’t possible unless we had him put under general anesthetic.  So we’ll wait another year and see what happens.  Until then, I can just be relieved that Norton’s teeth seem to take after my side of the family.  Extra teeth, but still straight.

Did you ever have any dental oddities with your toddler teeth?  How did it work out?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

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