Monday, June 27, 2011


When Thing One showed up 8 weeks early, and had surgery and all that accompanied that I assumed as I took her out of the NICU that most of the over head of that was behind us when I walked out the door. I was so wrong and though I expected a few things here and there, sometimes it seems like Thing One just got the wrong end of the stick. Do not get me wrong, things could be a lot worse, but sometimes I just wish she could be carefree and not have to constantly be working on this thing or that.

We have been on a journey with Thing One’s mouth for a little over a year now and though it seems to be progressing as it is suppose to we have hit a pretty big milestone. She got braces last week and yes, she is only 8. When she was 4 we were told she had a cross bite and if it didn’t resolve we would need to see an orthodontist, earlier than most, “What the heck does that mean?” I know I have great responses to these things.

At 7 the dentist told us it was time for Thing One to see an orthodontist, things were not resolving and her mouth was small which would start becoming a problem when adult teeth started coming in. This seemed somewhat logical and I figured that checking in with an ortho would be advised, I didn’t expect what happened next. There is an ortho right next to her school and she had been there on a field trip and I figured if we were going to be seeing these folks a lot just as well they are close. One morning early, another thing I love about the ortho 7 am appointments, we toddled off not quite realizing what was in store.

Thing One was ushered in the back for a full mouth x-ray and a physical assessment of her teeth. She was amenable and with her cute little self all went well, after she was done we were ushered into an office. We were told that yes indeed she had a cross bite that needed to be fixed soon as possible; the palate is malleable for only so long. The thing we didn’t expect to hear was that her lower jaw had shrunk due to teeth extraction a few years earlier and her jaw over all was way too small, approximately 3 adult teeth for every one spot. We got all the information, I talked with the Hubs on the phone and a decision was made. We would start the process then and there of fixing her teeth. She got molds for upper and lower expanders and we started talking cost. When they said ‘phase one’, I asked if we would be buying the ortho a boat or just a trailer for the boat. They said they didn’t know overall, but phase one would cost X, the goal would be to put the expanders on get as much space as possible and get the cross bite fixed, put braces on after that to get the adult teeth that came in during the expander phase organized and then pull it all off and see. “See what?” I asked. See how the rest of her teeth come in and where things will need to be fixed. There was no way around it; we would be doing braces twice.

Over the last year we have been using the expanders to resolve the cross bite and fix the lower jaw issue. We quickly saw results and Thing One has a lot of space and not a lot of teeth. I understood about 3 months ago that braces had to be coming soon, there was so much space her teeth were starting to turn in, and she barely needed to floss since she could shove her tooth brush bristles between her teeth. I pushed for braces to go on during summer so we wouldn’t be strained with school at the same time. Now we go to last week where in an hour time frame they slapped on 8 brackets, 4 top and bottom, put a wire through and used the expander rings in the back to attach the wire, and presto braces. Thing Ones teeth hurt when they touch, I had forgotten that sensation, but generally she is doing really well. She was disappointed that the expander on top didn’t come out, but they explained it had to stay in to keep her mouth in position. She quickly decided braces were not cool and no fun, which means getting them back on when she is older will be a treat. Thing One though seems to take it all in stride and has again adjusted to the way her world is for the time being. Thankfully a boy at daycare told her, he thought she looked cute in them, that always takes the sting off a little.

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