First In, First Out

Back in September Eddie had his biannual dental cleaning, and the hygienist surprised both of us by telling us that his bottom two front teeth were loose. Eddie looked shocked, but proud. If I wasn’t trying to keep Charlie from touching all the dental tools, I would have had more of a reaction. But I just smiled and said, “cool, right Ed?” He nodded.

Later at home when Charlie was down for nap, Eddie and I got out the mirror and scrutinized those two teeth. We took turns trying to wiggle them. They were definitely loose, but barely.

He was pumped to start work on wiggling those suckers right out of his mouth.

My heart skipped a beat.

Those two teeth were his very first teeth.


I remember those teeth popping through. Suddenly my little baby wasn’t so little. My guy had teeth! Throughout the process of those buggers cutting through I was sad that Eddie’s little gummy smile was about to be gone, but once those little toothers popped though, man, his smile got even cuter.

I also remember the first time I stuck my finger in there to feel them and he bit me. Ouch.

That little chicklet teeth smile has always been one of my favorite things. Tiny little teeth all in a row.

I thought we had at least another year before loose teeth. First graders lose teeth, not Kindergarteners.

But there they were. Two loose teeth.

The first one feel out at bedtime just under a month ago. Cortney came upstairs with a teeny, tiny little tooth in the palm of his hand to place in the little pillow with a pocket the dentist gave Eddie two-years ago when he first started his cleanings.

I couldn’t get over how small it was.

Eddie gently placed it on the nightstand next to his bed (so the tooth fairy wouldn’t wake him up looking for it. He had school the next day, you know).  Before we went to bed the “tooth fairy” visited, grabbed the tooth and left a gold Sacajawea dollar behind.

I had full plans to dump the tooth. Not too long ago we found a tiny box of baby teeth at my parents’ house and were totally skeeved out by it.

But that tiny tooth in the palm of my hand was one of the first ones in my Eddie’s mouth.

I had a dilemma: did I follow my gag-reflex and dump the tooth, or did I give in to my mother emotions and stow the tooth?

Yes, the tooth is in a baggie in my jewelry box. What?

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About a week later, that tooth’s neighbor jumped ship while Eddie and I were headed out to run some errands. Again the tooth fairy stopped by leaving Eddie another Sacajawea.

And yes, now I have two teeth in my jewelry box. I even gross myself out with this. Really.

But Eddie is so proud. It is the first thing he shows people, and if someone notices his chest puffs up and he tells the stories of how those teeth came out.

We have even spotted an adult tooth coming through. OMG it’s HUGE. My baby is going to have monster-sized teeth. Cortney assures me that is “normal” because they are “adult” teeth. What business do anything “adult” have being part of my son?

Cortney also took one look at that tooth coming in at a weird angle and said, “That is also what ‘braces in our future’ looks like.”


Excuse me while I faint from how fast time is taking my little boy away. First it’s a lost tooth, next thing you know he is getting marrying and leaving me.

Who knew a dang tooth could send me into emotional turmoil?  This does not bode well for all the future milestones does it?

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I remember when the dentist told Cady that about her first tooth too. I felt the same way. “Oh no. This is way too young.” But the day before her first day of kindergarten it popped out. It was way too much all at once. Thankfully, James’ stayed in until this year. Now his great big teeth are growing in and it just, sigh, so big. I did not, however, save the teeth. I may have a few tucked in a drawer somewhere, but not on purpose. I couldn’t get past the gag reflex.

  2. My oldest just lost her first tooth… a month before she turned FIVE. I was having a hard enough time with her being “one whole hand” that the tooth nearly sent me over the edge. I vividly remember making fun of my mother when I was a teenager and came across 4 kids worth of baby teeth in her jewerly box… but I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND NOW and kept that tiny tooth. My husband was grossed out, but it’s not like I’m having jewerly made. Probably.

  3. Not too long ago, CJ mentioned that his tooth felt funny. So we looked at it . . . and one of his lower front-teeth was loose. But, right behind the tooth was a dark, scary looking spot. We went to urgent care.

    Urgent care put him on antibiotics and ordered us to make the first appointment possible at a periodontist.

    The periodontist, the very next day, looked & said “yep, that’s just new teeth coming in – sometimes they get a little infected, he’ll be fine.”

    I now have two baby teeth sitting in my cufflink container. CJ has a dollar bill and a $2 bill (the rest will be presidential coins, but the plan was to always start with a $2 bill and the second tooth came out before I could secure presidential dollar coins)

  4. I can’t get over how big the front top teeth are that Rachel is getting in. She was so dang cute with no teeth up there. I keep the baby teeth in my jewelry box as well, but by now I have no idea which ones belong to which twin.

  5. Aww. My tiniest babies are now sprouting their first bottom teeth and I’m all air-sucked-out-of-me. But I’ll be further gut punched when my oldest starts losing them (he’s nearly 5 1/2 and nothing so far). I will say though, teeth do kinda gross me out too. Heh.