Toothy Drama

We’ve had trouble with our son being a picky eater for years. While he’s been picky, until recently he ate enough healthy foods to get by. About three weeks ago he started rejecting some of his long-time staples and we had a series of serious talks to get him back on track.

My husband and I thought all was fine, until he got a loose tooth.

We noticed it a few weeks ago when we were helping him brush his teeth, but he acted like he didn’t hear us. Then last week, he “discovered it” again and became extremely distraught. Crying, whimpering, not wanting to eat, and my personal least favorite – holding onto my leg like a toddler. We calmed him down, but never could quite understand why the loose tooth was upsetting.

Over the next several days we talked about how loosing teeth is natural and healthy. We even read books about loosing teeth and getting new ones. Every time the subject came up he clammed up and refused to engage in conversation.

Fast forward to last Saturday afternoon. He was sitting in the playroom drawing by himself and suddenly started crying. I went over to check on him and the tears turned into all out wailing. He had lost the tooth. An hour later the tears were (finally) dried up, and he told me he could never eat sugar again. This lead to more crying, and I finally got it out of him.

Somewhere along the way in our discussions of food, and the necessity of fruits and vegetables, either my husband or I said something about too much sugar causing teeth to hurt and fall out. We were talking about cavities, he seemed to think that any tooth falling out was because he ate too much candy and not enough vegetables.

Try as I did to calm him, he won’t believe that the tiny front baby tooth was supposed to fall out (even though he can see the “big” tooth behind it. I’ve explained it several times. So has by husband, the babysitter and his big sister. He doesn’t believe us – and is now on day six of refusing all sugary foods and drinks.

At this point, I’m going with it. Less sugar and more fruits and vegetables? Who am I to complain.





Sarah is a working mom, graduate student – and most importantly – the mother of two young children. Her daughter is quickly transition into the tween years and her son is enjoying his last year of preschool before heading to kindergarten.

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