I Never Knew Two Teeth Could Hurt Me So Much: A Special Needs Mother


When you have a child with special needs, you become prepared for the journey ahead and soon start believing that you know it all and have embraced it all. And then a new issue which you didn’t know ever existed erupts and suddenly your life start revolving around just that one thing. The days and the nights are spent looking at the options, talking to other parents, the internet becomes your bestie  and you start weighing what would and would not work for your child.

The same happened with me. A few months ago a friend of mine noticed Aarshia’s two new lower front teeth emerging. I started getting panicky at the sight of those tiny grain size teeth because these new teeth were placed exactly behind her baby teeth and the baby teeth were not only strong but they were as firm as the teeth are supposed to be. She was about seven and a half and by now most of her typical peers in her class had already got new teeth and she has been little late but the fact that her baby teeth were so reluctant that it frightened me to think about taking her to the dentists and her fear of everything related to doctors.

After talking to another parent who is also a great dentist, I realised a few things which were pretty new to me. One, if your child has had a history with heart problems, it is extremely important to consult the cardiologist. Apparently the bacteria from the teeth can travel down to the heart and can cause a lot of other issues so in order to get to those teeth we had to go to the cardiologist. And as any parent would agree, it is never easy to take your child to a place filled with white coats, we had a little difficult time but once we got a green flag from her cardio, our real struggle began.


I was told to get an X-ray done of her teeth. I tried explaining to her how the x-rays are super exciting and how we’ll see her teeth in a photo but all went in vain when she was told a hundred things to take care of while standing on that mean machine. I hated that giant piece of equipment where she was told to stand straight with a film in her mouth while the machine would rotate around her and she was not allowed to move her head at all. I explained to the guy there and asked him to be a little patient but guess the patience is a rare virtue. Five minutes into it and this man became too restless and told us that it wasn’t going to work and that we should take her someplace else. I felt like requesting some more but I was clearly seeing Aarshia’s discomfort. She was trying but this machine was too much for anybody. We came home without an X-ray but the machine left a deep impact on her and anything to do with teeth was met with strong reactions and pursed lips.

A few days later we tried again, this time with the parent dentist who was kind enough to help Aarshia get a feel of his office without really doing the procedure. We went there 3-4 times to sensitize her and our dentist friend helped in every way he could but on the day when we thought we’d be able to pluck those naughty teeth out,  she didn’t cooperate and we had to postpone it again with a suggestion of getting it done under general anaesthesia which caused another few hours on internet and the phone.


A few months had already passed and each passing day meant that her new teeth would not take the place of old and that would mean future dental procedure. Fearing all that we made up our mind to get it done one fine day when Aarshia was in a good mood. We went to a nearby dental hospital and told them all about her case.  Thankfully this lady doctor was quite patient but after hearing our complicated ( according to her) case ! She advised us to come back when her senior doctor was there as she afraid Aarshia would be a handful. We were pretty disheartened since  hubby dear was flying out again and would not be back before 2 months and I could not think of getting that done all by myself.

We were just leaving when the doctor’s assistant came to us and asked if we really want to get the teeth done? I looked at him like he was crazy and he explained that he would help hold Aarshia if we both can help without getting too emotional. We looked at each other and both nodded together. The doctor was ready so the ordeal of both Aarshia and the parents started.


The gel that was going to numb the gum area was applied and the fact that it  could be done without much trouble gave me some hope but when the injection ( local anaesthesia) was to be given, all hell broke loose. Two big guys were holding her and I had put my hands on her eyes, she was shouting and was not allowed to move, it took all of 10 seconds but that had already killed something inside of me.  After the injection she looked at me weird and that made me feel even worse. After 5 minutes , the doctor asked us to hold her again as the anaesthesia had started working and the teeth were to be finally pulled out. We held her the same way we did earlier and surprisingly after a little resistance she became calm. This whole process took another 5 minutes. Our sole mission of last few months was accomplished but something saddened us more than the fact that we finally got the teeth thing done. We were deeply hurt. I could see it in my husband’s eyes . Why does she have to go through all this? He asked me and I told him not to go there! otherwise we will soon be at a place where we don’t enjoy going to.

Sometimes you know whatever you do is for the good of your child but who knows how badly does it affect the psyche of his innocent mind. If two people that a child trusts the most make him helpless, how can it not shock him. I held her for a long time after we came back home and she slept within a few minutes but I couldn’t sleep and today it’s been almost 4 days but this feeling is not leaving me. Did I betray her trust? Will she remember this incident and will not trust me again when needed or if she knows deep inside that it was for her own good and that her mom and dad would never hurt her otherwise. Guess all the incidents are not motivating or encouraging. I wanted to take it all out and share with you all.


Thanks for reading.


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  1. This was an awesome post. I often feel this way holing down my sweet Samara for some medical procedure. You put it perfectly.

  2. Ive a daughter who will be 7 in a couple of months with DS…we also faced the similar issues ..like not being able to get the xray done ..despite repeated attempts,she was scared of huge machine and to keep the head in the middle of rotating giant..also we noticed permanent teeth coming with temporary teeth firmly on its place …so tooth extraction was the only option…but I didn’t feel so much guilty …though she cried a lot …before taking her to dentist I explained to her several times what her doctor is going to do …showed her pics of dentist removing rotten teeth of kids….she knew something fishy is going to happen to her..still she cried inconsolably…
    Even if we do this to a typical child of this age,the reaction would be the same …so please take gentle on yourself