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My Baby was Born with a Tooth

 Maya has been waiting a long time for this day to come. Tonight she lost her first tooth! And while this is an epic milestone in a child's life, I had to remind her that she didn't actually loose her first tooth tonight. She lost her first tooth the day after she was born.

After being induced at 42 weeks, and having 25 hours of labor end in an emergency c-section, I had many surprises the night Maya was born. My first surprise was that she was a girl, because we had been referring to her as "Panchito" for all of my pregnancy. My second surprise was that my recessive genes had prevailed and she had blond hair and blue eyes. And my third and greatest surprise was when the medical team informed me that she was born with a tooth!

Approximately one out of every 2,000 to 3,500 newborns come into the world with at least one tooth, and that was Maya. Teeth that are present at birth are called natal teeth and they are relatively rare. Natal teeth are different from normal teeth because they are not fully developed and have weak roots. But they are harmless and usually fall out within the first few days of life. That's what happened with Maya and her natal tooth is proudly preserved in her baby book.

Natal teeth could be supernumerary or a part of the normal primary dentition. Since Maya's was the latter, no "baby" tooth grew up to take that first tooth's place. So she has had a small gap in her lower dental line since infancy. As she got older and entered the tooth shedding era of childhood, people would ask her when she lost that front tooth. "The day I was born," she liked to reply. 

Maya has patiently and longingly watched as all the other kids' teeth in her class began falling out, and in a mixed grade 1 and 2 Montessori class, you can imagine how many kids have already lost a tooth this school year. So although Maya was one of the last first grades to loose a tooth this year, she was actually the first in her class to loose a tooth. 

Here's the proud girl who has now officially lost two teeth!


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