Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Brace yourself

Tuesday, March 10

I can't believe it, Kyla hasn't even turned eight yet and she had her first visit to the orthodontist and they're ready to start. Be thankful that they haven't sent me the pictures from the visit because I would have been tempted to post them and I think they might look pretty scary. Kyla didn't look very comfortable as they stretched her mouth as far as they could and stuck mirrors inside in order to take pictures from every angle.

It's no surprise that both the girls will need braces as Kevin and I both had them. Kyla's got all sorts of things going on: narrow upper palate, cross-bite, and an ankylosed molar (I'll explain that in a second). Things have sure changed since I got mine 20+ years ago. They do them in two phases now, which makes sense to start early to prepare the way for the permanent teeth yet to come in. Are you ready? The bottom line is 5-6k, x 2 girls = ouch! It's a good thing we weren't thinking about this last year or we may have spent that sabbatical right here at home.

For all you relatives here are the gory details. It's all starting now because Kyla has an ankylosed 2nd yr molar, which means that is it fused to her jaw bone and the permanent tooth underneath isn't growing properly. The more she grows, the more the tooth is sinking back into gums. This means that the first step is to have the tooth extracted by an an oral surgeon. Then she will have a spacer there to keep the other teeth from moving into the empty spot. Next they will put a metal arch across the roof of her mouth to expand her upper palate. She will also get some braces on the front four teeth to help make room for her canines. Phase 1 will last about a year and phase 2 starts around 12 years old. It will be nice that she may be totally done by the time she starts high school. I didn't even get my braces until I was fourteen.

For the rest of the week we're going to forget about all of this and head to the beach so I better get packing. Check back on Thursday to see the photo challenge on texture.

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