Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So, back MONTHS ago (like June, maybe?) I took Harlie and Murphy to the dentist.  There is a dentist that I LOVE (Dr. Bortell for you locals) who has an office at our "Children's Hospital".  I quote CH because for those of you not from here, you need to know that it is not a full service children's hospital.  It is an outpatient facility that offers a great feeding clinic, other therapies and long-term care for kids who are medically fragile and can't live at home.

Anyway, I took Harlie there because I thought Dr. Bortell would have more experience and exposure to kids with medical challenges.  And I really like her.  She's easy to talk to and she's good with the kids.  So, I went on ahead and switched Murphy to her, too.

Murphy had a good check up.  No cavities so far.  So that's good.

Harlie's check up always makes me nervous.  She goes every six months.  And I'm always bracing for news that a tooth has a cavity or that she's going to need dental surgery.   And if she gets a cavity, they would pull the tooth (due to her cardiac issues, they wouldn't risk it trying to save a baby tooth).  I know it's coming.  I just don't know when.  She has the same amount of teeth in half the jaw.  And I can't get the toothbrush to reach her back teeth on her left side.  Since her jaw isn't symmetrical, one side opens more than the other.

But, surprisingly, so far, so good!  After about two seconds of looking at her, Dr. Bortell told me that her top tooth is loose.  Hmmm.  Didn't know that.  She doesn't use her tongue much, so she isn't touching her teeth with it, wiggling it around like a normal kid would.  So it is going to take a lot longer to come out.  Of course it's the left front tooth.  I would rather the one on the right side come out first because that's the one that is surrounded by empty space.  Ugh.

And I think I forgot to tell you that her two bottom teeth (two of the ones that she lost during her spinal fusion surgery) have come in.  Which tells me that they were probably a little loose to begin with.  Not that I would have known of course.  That also means that she lost two teeth at four and a half years old, which I think sounds a little early to be losing baby teeth.  I think Murphy was already in Kindergarten and well into five years old when he lost his first one.

And, then she told me that Harlie is already getting her six year molars!  She said that kids with medical issues (especially syndromes, like Harlie) are usually delayed in dental development.  But, yet, she is ahead.  Ugh.  One area where I would LOVE for Harlie to be delayed and she's ahead.  Of course.  And she said that they are going to hurt.  She has no room in her mouth for these teeth!  So, for the first time in Harlie's life, she's putting her fingers in her mouth.  While it isn't good for obvious reasons - I think it's good for her oral motor movement.  So, I'm not stopping her.  I tried giving her a chew tube thing, but she wants nothing to do with that.  I'm guessing she feels more in control of her own fingers.  I don't remember Murphy ever complaining about his molars, but I guess hers hurt more because they're trying to squeeze in.

Okay, that's it for tonight.  I'll have another post tomorrow.


Ann said...

Harlie is just not going to cut you any slack anywhere along the way is she?! Jack starting losing his teeth really early too (around 4-5 years old). Jack has good teeth even though they came in early, but that might have something to do with the fact that he doesn't eat by mouth!

Looking forward to your next post. :)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is why she's not wanting to eat by mouth at the moment.

Lisa B