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I'm a 50 something daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother and friend. I have a husband and a son with my parents living in my basement. Keeping it together through menopause, the teenage years and the golden years. I hope you visit often.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Legalized Child Torture

I never had braces. My dentist didn't think it was necessary. My teeth aren't perfect, but so far they have served me well. When Jake was in 4th grade he had a Buckey the beaver thing going. His over bite was not quite the ability to eat corn through a fence, but he was getting there. He also had gaps in his front teeth that would make David Letterman proud. The dentist sent us to an orthodontist. The treatment room was an open space with 8 or so chairs in it. Dr. Torture (not his real name) would go from chair to chair, smiling at the kids, while telling his assistant what the next "step" would be. The orthodontist never actually did anything to the teeth. He would just look in his mouth, smile and tell his assistant in code what was to be done next. The first thing she did was take a mold of Jakes teeth. This involves filling the kids mouth with what looks like silly putty and telling him it really is ok that he feels like he's choking and can't breath. Once it is determined what needs to be corrected, they add the spacers, braces and rubber bands. These squeeze the teeth together so there are no more gaps. The "fun" part was being able to pick out the color of rubber bands. These were changed every month. Jake would pick the glow in the dark ones. Why would they offer glow in the dark rubber bands for something inside your mouth? Trust me, they don't glow. Can you imagine if they really did? Your kids teeth glowing after lights out at bed time.  A few weeks later we added the strap! The strap goes around the head and is connected with a rubber band to his back teeth. There are holes in the strap and every couple of weeks the strap is tightened to the next hole. Over time, you have moved the bones in the jaw to where they need to be. In Jakes case it was about an inch. During these wonderful months, the child gets to be tortured in another way. Food. You can't eat anything sticky or chewy. This is a pain if it happens to be over Halloween. You can't directly bite into anything hard, like an apple or corn on the cob. This means everything needs to be cut into bite size pieces. It's right back to the toddler days. You can't eat popcorn because it gets stuck under the braces. Jake was lucky. He only had to wear his braces on his top teeth and only for 10 months. Then came the retainer. The retainer is a piece of plastic and he wares at night. It keeps all that dental work in place. The problem is that if you can't ware your retainer for a few nights, the teeth separate. This revelation came after having a loose baby tooth move into a space that the retainer needed to be. The retainer no longer fit. By the end of the week, spaces between the teeth! That's right, the teeth started to move back to their original position. Almost a year of braces and thousands of dollars and in less than a week, spaces. At the last cleaning appointment with our regular dentist he mentioned that Jakes teeth are fine, but he could probably have another round with braces for "cosmetic purposes". I just smiled. I happen to like David Letterman. He seems to have done quite well in life with spaces between his teeth. I think that Jake will be just fine. Take care!

1 comment:

  1. I thank G-d that I never needed braces -- I remember when Phillip had to have them, what a pain!! Literally!!!