Let the Braces Begin

I keep meaning to post about this, but other thoughts keep getting in the way. TRC has moved onto that loveliest of life’s rituals: orthodontia. (I swear. Just when you think you’ve got the parenting thing down, new experiences keep cropping up.) Since he was the first of our children to tackle this obstacle, we had to do a fair bit of research and driving around to figure out who we wanted to wreck destruction and havoc on his mouth. And by “we,” I mean Denisa. She’s put in a ton of driving time, and there’ll be much more driving in the future.

I’ll admit I’m only loosely familiar with the processes that are going on in my son’s mouth. (There’s a sentence you hopefully don’t have to say too often.) I know there are pistons involved. And cranks. And devices that look like they were used as tools of torture in the middle ages. Also, rubber bands. Because everything’s more fun with rubber bands.

All I really know is that he doesn’t have to have head gear, which is super. Right? Right.

But all of this seemed fairly straightforward in theory. He goes to appointments. They stick stuff in his mouth. They make changes .We’re done in a half year or whatever. However, in practice, it’s been much different. He’s walking around with a whole bunch of metal in his mouth, some of which has to be tweaked at home. You’ve never quite felt frustration until you’re trying to figure out just how this Pyrax thing gets cranked with that little paperclip shaped tool, and having to do it in a way that doesn’t jab holes in the roof of your son’s mouth.

Fun times.

Then on Sunday, we realized the pistons were carving holes in his cheek. Holes. In his cheeks. Think about that for a bit. Sound like fun? So I got online and researched the problem and the solution, ending up jury-rigging some cotton rolls to get the pistons some distance away from his cheeks. It did the trick, though he looks more like a chipmunk now.

Hey–it’s Halloween, right?

Anyway. It’s been an adventure in my household for the past bit, but rumor has it that the cranking is done as of Thursday, so that’s one less thing we’ll be doing.

I had to have a retainer when I was a kid, and I had braces on my bottom teeth, but that’ s about it. Denisa, of course, had perfectly straight teeth (and perfect vision). I’m convinced she’s an upgraded model of the typical human being. So as parents, we’re going into a lot of this blind. Which is kind of par for the course for a first kid, but that’s a topic for another day . . .

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