Recently we had to make a big decision as parents. Probably it’s not a big thing for some people, but at least for me, it was really heartbreaking, hard decision.
About a week ago, I noticed Nico often touching his front tooth. I thought some food was stuck but when I saw it, I noticed that his front tooth had a crack. He used to like rice crackers or apples, but when I gave him those, he started crying after one bite. I told Paul about it and he said maybe Nico did that when he bumped his face on ground in front of our house when he was playing with a ball with Paul. Because Nico was crying so hard after eating something hard, we decided to take him to a dentist. She told me his front tooth was split and we have two choices.
1. Pull out the tooth and not worry about it anymore.
2. Fill the root with medicine and put crown over the remaining tooth, which leaves some possibility for infection and when it happens, it’s worse.
The dentist told me it’s totally our personal decision, but from her explanation I knew what’s best for Nico – pulling out the tooth. When I imagined Nico having no front tooth until 6 or 7 years old, that made me cry. He’s not even two yet!! The dentist said that it’s normal and I was a good mother. She said I cried because I care about Nico.
I told her that I’d talk to Paul and make a decision.
I wanted to keep his tooth. He looks cute with his tooth. I don’t want him to change - so I tried to think of a good excuse to keep it. “I feel sorry for him if he didn’t have his front tooth in all his childhood photos.” “He might be teased at kindy." "If he worries about it, he won't want to show his teeth, so he might not smile. ” I told a couple of people these things, but their reaction was “small kids don’t care about those things!” --- and then I realized I wanted to keep his tooth for myself, not for Nico.
I didn’t want to feel sorry for him when I saw him with no front tooth. People might think it’s strange that he has no front tooth. We might not get any more compliments about Nico’s looks.
Paul’s way of thinking was more simple. He didn’t care about Nico’s looks or those things. He only cared about Nico’s health, so he preferred pulling tooth out. I knew it.
Paul said to me that wanting to keep Nico’s tooth is not a selfish way of thinking. He said that some parents might choose pulling out the tooth only because they don’t want any trouble or it’s cheaper. But I knew what’s the right thing to do.
We don’t need to think about what other people would think about Nico’s looks. The most important thing is Nico’s health. Besides, to us he’s the cutest little kid even without his front tooth!
So we made a big decision. He has to go to hospital for the procedure and have general anesthetic. It’s going to be a big thing for his little body. I’m pretty sure that we made a good decision – but when I see him laughing with his mouth wide open, I probably can’t stop thinking about his cute little tooth.
I still remember when we saw this white thing in his gum for the first time. From teething, he (and I) had some sleepless nights. I was really annoyed when he bit me with his sharp teeth when I was feeding him. But now those things are very good memories. I love every part of Nico and I really love Nico’s little front tooth.
When I was looking at Nico’s old photos, I noticed that he looked super cute even when he had no teeth. It’s really heartbreaking for me, but I will be okay. At least I can be proud of myself making the right decision.