The tooth-pull procedure went amazingly smoothly. We have an awesome pediatric dentist, and he explained everything to Allie and demonstrated on Allie’s hand before he did it so she didn’t get scared. For example, before he put the pliers in her mouth, he held her little hand up and put it against his, and said, “See how big my hand is? It’s a lot bigger than your hand. Your tooth is tiny, so I have to use this tool to help me hold on to it. My fingers are too big to hold the tooth.” Then he took out the pliers and demonstrated gently on Allie’s fingertip what it would do on her tooth as he described what he was doing. The entire procedure, like he said, from laughing gas (she didn’t laugh or seem to even respond much to it) to Novocaine (used the topical numbing gel first, then when the needle went in she didn’t move an inch, but did smack her mouth around a bit with her tongue like a dog eating peanut butter when she went numb) to tooth extraction probably took about 2 mins, not including the time spent idle waiting for numbing stuff to kick in.

The dentist warned us that after she leaves, she may complain that her mouth or tooth “hurts,” but that she’s not really experiencing pain — it’s just the only word she has to describe the weird numb sensation she’d never felt before. Sure enough, that happened and she was a bit whimpery over it.

Our other concern was that Allie shouldn’t suck/use straws for 24 hours hours after the procedure, or she’d pull the blood clot out. But she sucks her thumb when she falls asleep. She ended up resisting her nap, which was fairly soon after her her procedure, so we went with it and took her to the Irvine Spectrum to distract her instead. She rode the Ferris Wheel, the train, had ice cream to make her mouth feel better. Although she was still a bit whiny and periodically would complain her mouth hurts, she was good about not licking the area (cuz we told her not to) and it kept her from sucking her thumb. At night, we put her to bed early and advised her not to suck her thumb to keep her tooth area safe, and skipped brushing her teeth that night. She fell asleep without sucking her thumb, altho by the time she would habitually thumbsuck in the middle of the night, things were already fine. The dentist said the thumbsucking doesn’t create enough suction to be an issue after the first hour of the procedure, and she wasn’t bothered enough by discomfort to have the middle-of-the-night thumbsucking wake her all the way up or disrupt her sleep, so things went fine.

Here’s a video of her the same afternoon after her tooth extraction. You can see she’s fine.

It’s now been a few weeks since the procedure. Allie hasn’t really missed a beat in her lifestyle/habits, and still eats well, although biting things like tomato slices are a bigger challenge. She just slides the food to her right side and bites pieces off that way. The other day she pointed out to Mr. W that the hole in her mouth where her tooth had come out is still there.
Mr. W: That’s because your tooth hasn’t grown in, yet. It won’t grow in for a long time. Maybe when you’re 7 or 8.
Allie: What color will it be when it grows in?
Mr. W: Your tooth? It’ll be white, like your other ones.
Allie: Oh. I was hoping it would be pink. Or purple.