Stuck in the Gums!

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He’s chewing on his toys again. We’re in the car, and he’s chewing on his toy! There’s not much I can do until we stop the car.

He goes into a screaming fit … before we even stop the car and before I even try to take the toy away. He’s screaming that it hurts. We park. I get out to check him. He’s gotten a piece of the toy lodged in his gums. He’s crying so hard that he begins to hold his breath. I frantically search the car for some floss. YAY! Got it!

I gently try to floss out the tiny little piece of plastic. It won’t budge. He begins to calm a little, but you can clearly see the piece. I get down on my knees and tell him to open as wide as he can. I look up and see that the tiny piece is bigger than I thought and is stuck in his gums and between his teeth. But, I was able to gently scratch it out with my fingernail. He stops crying and tells me in his 3-year-old, matter-of-fact voice, “I am NOT chewing on that again! It hurts!”

This was the perfect opportunity for me to talk to him one-on-one about why we don’t chew on toys. He still asks why, but I tell him because something like this can happen — you getting a piece of it stuck in your teeth and it hurts really bad. He agrees and says, “Yeah, it hurts really, really bad!”

So, maybe our little goat has finally decided to stop chewing on things. We will see. It might just be a minor speed bump. Well, I’ll take it!

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of two rambunctious kids and a new baby!

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