7/23/09

Braces
Yesterday was a big day in our household. Lily got braces! Bless her heart, Lily has a few medical issues she's had to grapple with in her young life, and a mouth full of dental drama just adds to her plate. This girl is going to be tough, for sure, but David and I have to work extra hard to raise her self-esteem and get her to see the incredible value her life has despite the obstacles in her path.

A year ago I asked the dentist why her permanent incisors (the teeth on each side of your two front teeth) had not grown in yet, despite the fact that it had been months and months since she lost her baby teeth. Also, her front teeth had an enormous gap between them that was just growing wider--like Moses parting the Red Sea. The dentist did an x-ray and then pulled me aside, as if to comfort me while he broke the news that I will be shelling out thousands and thousands of dollars to an orthodontist. No permanent incisors exist in her mouth. He said it happens, though it's more unusual for both to be missing. We found an orthodontist we really liked and discussed our options. What David and I decided to do was get those braces started as soon as possible so that her front teeth could be moved together before kids teased her about it. Lily calls her front teeth her "special teeth", and adores the fact that she can fit a straw between them to drink. She was a superstar at her appointment, and picked blue for her color. Braces without colors is just sooooooo 1995. But I have to hand it to Carver for being a great big brother. Lily asked him to come to the appointment with her, and he sat by her chair and watched in fascination (remember, this is the kid who wishes he could blow stuff up) and kept saying things like, "Oh cool, Lily!" or "Lily, it's looking great!" and even "You're doing a good job, Lily." He held the mirror up at certain times so she could see what was happening in her mouth, and just made her feel good. To be honest, I felt very unnecessary, except to write a big fat check to Dr. Johnson.



12 comments:

Old Men Reflect said...

Must be hereditary. Ask your Mom about my teeth.

cathy said...

Hereditary, yes... but not from us, ya ding-dong!

Bekka-Reeeeeeee said...

YEAH!!!!! Not that it's a grand thing to be excited about, but it's nice to know that I am not the only one in this boat! I too am missing BOTH my permanent incisors...they just don't exist - never formed. Although I went thru braces, I will forever have to wear a retainer with false teeth on it (called a "flipper") or a partial denture because of how my orthodontist arranged my teeth. Lily is a beautiful gal and I am sure that this is nothing that will hold her back!

Chatter said...

I had the gap between my teeth when I was little. And while I'm not missing my incisors, one of mine is "stuck" up there. I need braces to pull it down. Unfortunately my dentist pulled my tooth when I was 17 and I've had a gap ever since. I wish my parents would have done the braces. I didn't want them at the time but I still dislike my teeth. One day I hope to get braces.

Lily is such a beautiful girl!! You guys are doing a fantastic job :)

Chatter said...

One more thing, Carver is an awesome big brother!! I loved hearing about him going with her. Great story!

hotflawedmama said...

Great choice on color. I had braces and liked to switch mine up. I'd go with purple and green, every other one. Just a thought. She is so precious, so is Carver. Oh so precious!

Old Men Reflect said...

I have met Buddy the dog. Lovely creature. Fit for the princess that wanted him

Old Men Reflect said...

I like Ding Dongs

Mark and Sarah said...

Cathy, you have a gorgeous daughter on your hands. I chose turquoise for my first braces color too--great choice, Lily!! And Carver, can he mentor my little ones? He sounds like such a good big brother...I want Ashen and Torin to be just like that with their little sister.

Vivi said...

Welcome to the world of orthodontics! I had mouth full of jumbled teeth that didn't do what they were supposed to do and did the whole braces thing too. Lily is once again blessed to have parents willing to make sacrifices for her...but more importantly, work hard to give her a healthy self-esteem. And chits to Carver too...nothing like kind words from a big brother to make everything alright.

AnnMarie & Nick said...

Great story, I was blessed with teeth that seemed to just be thrown into my mouth. Think fangs, seriously. Anyways, I thank my lucky stars every day that my parents spent good money on my teeth when I was younger.

Oh, and I was doing this all in 1995 when gray was about as funky as people went.

findingbabyg said...

after four years of braces, and the dentist pulling four permanent teeth to make room for the rest, I definitely appreciate all the pain and suffering--the final result is definitely worth it. We were told our daughter was going to eventually need braces when she was only 3 years old---apparently the x-ray showed some giant permanent teeth :)