Last week I took a very excited W to his 2nd dental appointment. He had such a fun time at his first appointment that he was counting down the days until he could have “robot cleaning” adventures again. Our only wrinkle in enthusiasm came from the fact that his dentist’s office and his pediatrician’s office are in the same building. So there was a lot of declarative statements made by W in the days before the dentist appointment, “I am NOT getting a shot from the dentist!”
We arrived at the dentist a bit early so that he could have some quality time with the Pac-Man arcade game in the lobby. I figured he could work out any jitters and anxiety that might have built up in the morning while he was at school telling anyone and everyone that he was going to the dentist. And not getting a shot.
When they called his name back he flinched, but he followed the dental technician to the space age chair and picked out his two flavors. Watermelon for the cleaning, banana for the fluoride treatment. As the technician was doing the standard counting of teeth she asked me, “he’s almost seven?”
Oh ha ha ha. I mean I know my kid is tall for his age, but almost seven tall? That was a first. I laughed and told her W had turned four in the Spring. “Really?” I could see her eyebrows arc up in the exposed skin on her face between paper hat and paper face mask. Yes. Really.
When she was done cleaning his teeth she let W play with the robotic controls of the chair while she got the fluoride stuff ready. “Has he been complaining about any pain or acting out, like he is in pain?” This was so random. So I answered honestly – that W had been a kick-ass awesome and amazing four year old until about three weeks ago when he started being a bit combative and super cranky. She said, “that’s probably from the pain.”
Turns out W has been teething. My four year old has six year old molars. Well, at the time of the dental appointment he had about 60% of the molars. So now I understood the age questions. Gotcha.
I talked about W’s tooth history with the dental team (at this point the dentist and two other tech’s had gathered ’round). I explained how W had started to get his first tooth at three months old, how he had 4 teeth before he was five months old, and how he had, pretty much, a full mouth of teeth before his first birthday. With that kind of background “early molars” starts to make sense and isn’t so weird. The dentist explained that if he had seen molars emerging on a kid who didn’t yet have all of their teeth he would be alarmed. Ok, fine. But that is not the case with us.
ANYWAY. W is getting these molars and this might explain some, um, behavior issues we have been having recently. He has not complained of pain at all. But his sleep has been HORRIBLE.
W shows off his “big boy” teeth: