Thursday, November 08, 2012

On Loose Teeth and Tooth Pulling

It's been a bit, but I thought it would be fun to answer some reader questions today.  Jaci asks "my son is 6 and has down syndrome...I noticed yesterday that he has his first loose tooth. Any helpful tips to not scar him by holding him down and yanking on his tooth? Or tips for him to not swallow it? We are looking for a good book to read to him about losing teeth and hope that will help. He's also our oldest child so we haven't ever dealt with this before at all! Thanks in advance"

Great questions, Jaci.  When we started noticing that Whit had a loose tooth, we taught her to wiggle it for herself.  She would wiggle it with her tongue or with her fingers.  This helped Whitney to see that it didn't hurt to have a loose tooth and that it was something normal.  It also helped the tooth get ready to come out.  

To avoid having to pin your son down, I'd keep an eye on how loose the tooth is getting.  When it seems like it'll come out without too much pulling, I'd distract him with a story book or favorite TV show and attempt to tug it out.  It's tough to gauge how ready that tooth is though.  Once, Melanie and I waited too long and Whitney lost the tooth during the night, likely swallowing it.  And another time we had to pull hard enough that Whit was pretty upset by the time it came out.  Another time I think she just wiggled her own tooth out.

Talking about how the tooth fairy will come to bring some money or a treat may help to help build anticipation and distract from fears too.  Melanie and I didn't really read a book with Whitney about the whole process.  But that's a great idea.  Amazon has tons of children's books on the topic featuring Clifford, Arthur or the Berenstain Bears, among others.

I hope that helps a bit.  Changes can be tough for our special needs kids.  But as parents, we can try to help ease them through.  And Whitney now thinks it's hilarious to smile in the mirror and show off the gaps in her mouth.  Pretty funny stuff.  Good luck!

Got a question about our adventures with Whitney?  Leave a comment or send me an email.  I always love hearing from everyone.  And thanks for reading!

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