It's an Instagram moment—holding in your hand your toddler's first lost baby tooth. Then, in all the excitement, you accidentally drop it down a drain. Now what do you do?
Easy—if you're model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen, you call a plumber!
Teigen, the co-host of Lip Sync Battle and wife of singer John Legend, accidentally dropped their daughter Luna's first baby tooth down the lavatory sink. Rather than consign it to the Beverly Hills sewer system, she called a plumber who, using a drain camera, located and retrieved the lost tooth.
Mishaps like these could happen to anyone—along with other potentially tricky moments involving baby teeth. And, that includes when they're coming in too.
Baby teeth sequentially come in during a baby's first years, usually beginning around six months or one year. As each tooth breaks through the gums, it can cause a child a good deal of discomfort during the period it takes the tooth to erupt.
Teething, however, is a normal process that soon passes. A parent's job is to simply make the child as comfortable and pain-free as possible. You can offer soothing relief with chilled (but not frozen) teething rings or washcloths for gnawing, or massaging sore gums with a clean finger. An age-appropriate dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen can take the edge off of any pain.
On the other hand, caregivers should avoid rubbing alcohol or pain medication applied directly to the gums. And, never use products with benzocaine, which can lead to a life-threatening condition in children.
Eventually, the process goes the other way as, one by one, a child loses their baby teeth. Although usually not painful, a bothersome loose tooth—not to mention the incentive of a pending reward from the Tooth Fairy—may prove tempting to some children to attempt certain "proactive" measures to speed up the process.
But before heading to the nearest door with a ball of string, it's better to leave a tooth be until it's truly ready to come out. If it seems close, you can take firm hold of the tooth with a tissue or a clean cloth and give it a slight tug. If it doesn't readily pop out, try again in a day or two.
When it does come out, dry it with a clean cloth and place it in a small container. You can also give an older child the container to carry with them to school, in case the tooth gives way there.
Following these tips will help ensure gaining and losing a baby tooth goes smoothly—and help avoid a service call from your friendly plumbing professional.
If you would like more information about dental care for kids, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teething Troubles: How to Help Keep Your Baby Comfortable.”