I love my kids’ gappy mouths. I love the way you can measure time through the changes in their teeth. I love how quickly they go from a double gap, to a bit of tooth showing, to a full tooth showing with a partial tooth next to it… Then those teeth are big and another gap or two appears. Each photo of their rapidly changing mouths is a moment in time. When they are changing quickly, it really captures them for just a week or two before they start to look different again.
I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to photograph and remember this unique time. Yet a while ago, a colleague, whose two daughters are exactly the same age as my younger two, said: ‘I haven’t got any recent photos of the girls because they’ve lost their teeth’. I didn’t get that at all. To me, my children are unique and beautiful with their gappy mouths. To her, they were ugly. She didn’t want any photos of them until they looked ‘normal’ again – proper fully grown teeth and no gaps. I suspect she had rather a long wait.
Currently my younger two, despite there being nearly two and a half years between them, are in exactly the same place. They have both lost eight teeth. They have four fully grown big teeth at the bottom, two fully grown teeth in the middle at the top, with gaps either side. The new teeth are starting to grow in the gaps.
My younger son knocked his top teeth out when he was nearly 6. His teeth were destined to come out late, so he had a really long time with a double gap at the top.
My eldest is spitting teeth out like there’s no tomorrow at the moment. He’d lost 10 teeth, then nothing for a couple of years until recently. The teeth don’t seem to wobble, but suddenly they just fall out in his hand and the new tooth is already growing. He’s lost SEVEN so far in 2013, including two in one day – one of which fell out in his sleep!
They’re molars of course, so he’s passed the gappy stage and just looks normal. It’s usual for kids to lose all their teeth by the time they’re 12, so he’s clearly playing catch-up at the moment as he heads for his 12th birthday.
What do you think about gappy smiles? Love them or hate them? Do you photograph them or do you want to wait until they’ve gone away?