I have to say that the visit was at once harrowing and informative. The orthodontist showed me a plaster cast of my daughter's mouth. I wish I had taken a photo of it. All I could think of was that old joke about "summer teeth." Summer here, summer there. Dr. M told me that although he previously thought braces were a possibility, he could confirm that they are now a definite.
The next eighteen months sound super fun:
- Six months with the expander in her mouth (we have to adjust it daily for the first six weeks or something like that)
- Head gear for 12 hours a day
- About a year with the braces
A few days after my meeting with the orthodontist, I saw my friend Sharon at an event. Her daughter has a palate expander currently. She (the daughter) was such a good sport about letting me have a look-see inside her mouth (not that she's thrilled about the hardware - she made a vague "he's not going to get away with this" threat towards her orthodontist). If you took the metal spiral out of a spiral notebook and bent it into an arc (and then shoved it into someone's mouth and cemented it to their teeth) . . . it sort of looks like that. It goes a lot farther back in the mouth than I would have expected (I think it sits just about where the hard palate meets the soft palate). I'm worried that A will gag on it. I know that my friend and her daughter had a few rough days in the beginning. Only soft foods, lots of Ibuprofen, etc. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it too much. What I'm dreading the most is the whole "wear the head gear 12 hours a day" requirement. I can't even get my daughter to finish a math worksheet or pick up her shoes. The odds of her voluntarily wearing a hunk of metal on her face seem pretty slim.
The headgear will look something like this:
The orthodontist pointed out how one of the adult teeth is pointing in completely the wrong direction. He called it "the path of eruption" which might be the grossest thing I have ever heard in my life. He also said that he thinks she might be missing an adult tooth. She has a dental appointment later this year and our regular dentist will take some of those super-fun bitewing x-rays at that time to confirm.
The expander goes in October 8th so look for a suicide note from me about a day or two after that.