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.