By Lindsey James
My first year of motherhood was filled with many exciting “firsts”- Keegan’s first smile, the first time he rolled over, first foods, first words, first steps and so on. I embraced every milestone with great enthusiasm and anxiously awaited the next.
Despite numerous health and feeding issues due to aspiration (choking on liquids), Keegan was right on track developmentally – progressing just as the books said he would.
He was about nine months old when I first expressed concern about his lack of teeth. Our pediatrician assured me there was nothing to worry about. I focused on finding answers to his other issues.
Keegan continued to grow, as did our team of doctors. All of them noticed his lack of teeth but again assured me it was nothing to worry about.
He was 17 months old when he finally started teething…or so I thought. What other explanation could there be to my little ray of sunshine being grumpy and unexplainably crabby for an entire day? I don’t remember if we had any plans that day, but I do remember being relieved it was a Saturday so that I could be at home with my miserable, grumpy baby.
He would burst out in tears for no reason, acting as though something hurt. He was not interested in eating anything but popsicles, he didn’t want to wear clothes, and was a drooly mess. I didn’t mind one bit as I was sure he was FINALLY teething.
Perhaps all of his teeth are coming in at once! No wonder he’s so miserable.
I kept sticking my finger in his mouth to rub his gums, hoping to feel something sharp.
Like every milestone before, I took plenty of photos.
This may be the last day my baby is toothless.
The next day, he was back to his little happy self and hadn’t woken up with a mouth full of teeth.
Being fully aware that teething can last several days, even months, I prepared myself for many more crabby days, but it was actually a year and a half later that Keegan started teething for real.
He was nearly 3 years old when his first tooth came in… and he didn’t fuss a bit.
He simply came to me and said “I feel something sharp in my mouth.” He opened wide and, sure enough, there was a little white “point” peeping out his upper gum.
By this time, Keegan had already been diagnosed with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia and I had enrolled at one of the NFED’s Dental Treatment Centers. Keegan was two years old when we had our first consultation at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. During the visit, Dr. Stanford, who is very experienced in treating patients with ectodermal dysplasia, explained that he feels children who have been potty trained have reached a level of maturity and comprehension necessary for a successful denture experience. I admit, I was incredibly disappointed that we would have to wait, but Dr. Stanford was right. And for us, waiting until the age of 3 was definitely the right choice.
By May of 2011, Keegan’s first tooth had come in. He was fully potty trained and he was more than ready to “get his teeth.”