- Category: News
- Published on 11 September 2012
DUDUZILE Sibanda has to be extra careful when she breast feeds her baby boy. Baby Mkhuseli Ndiwena was born with a big, strong and sharp tooth!
The unusual but healthy baby weighed 3,11kg when he was born at 8.50am three days ago in Benoni, east of Joburg in South Africa.
"I breast feed him, but it took a little while to get used to this tooth. But now everything's okay," said Duduzile (26).
Everybody was amazed when her baby was born with a gleaming tooth in his lower gum.
"Nurses asked me, ‘did you see you child's mouth? I said yes as I was already aware that my child had a tooth," she said. Mkhuseli's older brother, Darlington (5) couldn't believe his eyes. But doctors and nurses at the local hospital where he was born said there was nothing wrong with him.
"Some people advised me to take out the tooth which I was planning to do," she said.
But then she changed her mind. Duduzile said her in-laws believe the tooth signifies luck.
"I'm from a Zulu family in Pongola, KZN, and my parents say it has never happened in our family before. My husband, Sibakhululi Ndiwena, is a Ndebele from a royal family in Zimbabwe. His family believes the ancestors are trying to send a message to the family, a happy message."
The baby's tooth is not painful and he sleeps peacefully. The tooth looks normal and neat. According to The Bump, a parenting website, teeth like this are called natal teeth. The National Institute of Health says that one in every 2 000 to 3 000 babies has them.
The teeth are normally on the lower gum and are attached with soft tissue and don't have strong roots. They're different from neonatal teeth, which can grow in 30 days after birth.
Some doctors remove baby's teeth just after birth if they are loose. There can be problems in nursing if the teeth get in the way, or babies bite their tongues. The gums should be cleaned daily with a damp cloth. A dentist should keep an eye on the baby.