On the Orthodontic Tip

It’s been a busy couple weeks for two of our girls’ teeth.

M officially graduated out of her orthodontic practice two weeks ago. She had her braces taken off back in June but while her teeth emerged beautifully straight, her gums were “angry,” to quote her orthodontist. He floated the idea of some minor laser surgery to clean them up but wanted to give them more time to heal on their own first. Fortunately by mid-February the natural healing process had done its thing and she was given the all-clear. We do have to remind her to use her retainer on occasion, but for the most part she’s done a good job with it.

With her out of braces, it was C’s turn. She had her first visit yesterday and got her uppers put on. She was not thrilled with the process.

We had actually planned on switching practices to one closer to our new house and school, but that office couldn’t get her in until April. I called our old practice last Friday, they had an opening Monday, and I signed her up. C was disappointed that she didn’t have more warning the visit was coming and that she’ll have them on over spring break. We kept telling her that if she gets them on now, and everything goes well, she’ll have them off before she begins eighth grade. That helped a little but she was still giving me side eye much of the drive to the office.

The aftermath of her visit has been a reminder of one of the big differences between her and M. M is a whiner. When she got her braces first put on, and any time they tightened her wires down, she would whine about how much they hurt. Like endlessly. We knew it was legit pain – or at least S did since I never had braces – but after a couple of hours your sympathy runs out.

C, on the other hand, is a crier. She bit something kind of strangely during dinner and that kicked off tears round number one. Despite a healthy dose of Motrin and melatonin the pain kept her from going to sleep, so she came into our room around 1:00 in tears. And this morning she was a mess between the pain and the lack of sleep. I’m hopeful she can power through the school day, and the next couple, until the pain calms down a bit and she figures out her new normal.