I have reached a pivotal, monumentous moment as a parent.
My five year old has a loose tooth. My baby. My baby who I nursed all night, who we would walk and cuddle, my baby who dramatically and wonderfully changed my life forevermore.
We have reached a point in our journey together where my baby is now experiencing a rite of passage... her first loose tooth!
She has been waiting eagerly for almost a year for this epic moment.
Last year she noticed she was approaching the age where she would be soon experience this strange phenomenon. She was convinced she would be the next kid to get a wiggly tooth.
She would touch her bottom front teeth, willing them to become wiggly.
They started to loosen up a bit. Just a tiny bit.
They stayed like this for a long time.
Then the time came. About three months ago she mentioned to me that one tooth in particular was loose.
I checked it and my eyes widened in surprise!
Yep, that is legit.
My daughter finally has that loose tooth she has been anticipating.
Over the past three months I have been nonchalently giving her apples to bite and carrots to chew. I have also encouraged her to wiggle it. This is the sound advice I used to give to parents while practicing as a Registered Dental Hygienist.
But now that tooth is wildly loose, you know when it can bend horrifically horizontal?!
So this loving Mummy, at the request of my daughter, has been giving her bite size chunks of food, uncharacteristically cutting crusts off bread, and really we have gone back into the land of toddler sized portions of food that are easy to chew. We are eating more hummus that ever, and peanuts, raisins and chopped dates are a fave.
So much for the sound dental advice of biting hard crunchy foods I gave before I became a Mum.
My experience as a mother has definitely enriched my dental hygiene career so much and now I would tell parents to go with the flow, and give your children healthy foods that they are comfortable eating while dealing with a wiggly tooth.
Even though it's uncomfortable to brush and floss around a loose tooth, its still of the utmost importance to brush gently in that area and floss the sides of the adjacent teeth. If plaque or food is allow to stick around where the tooth is loose the gums will get red, sore and inflamed which will complicate things for your child.
That tooth is still hanging in there, flapping while she speaks, but we are loving every second of this.
As parents we are turning a corner, my daughter has reached a milestone that we respect and honour. Our baby is getting big.
Every morning now I wake up in anticipation as it could be any moment now that she wakes up with a gap in the front of her mouth and a teeny tiny tooth by her pillow. That's just how loose this tooth is!
And we know that after this it's going to be an avalanche of tooth fairy visits and very soon our baby will have big teeth to take care of.
A new adventure begins.
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© 2018 Elizabeth Mahadeo