Orthodontics. The very word strikes anxiety in my heart and brings back childhood memories I'd rather repress. :0 That being said it, although I loathe any and all dental work (but suck it up for the greater good), I currently and previously have had excellent, kind dental providers. So, I wasn't *traumatized* by having braces, and am extremely grateful to have straight teeth today, but all things being equal, I really wish God would change our DNA such that no dental work beyond regular cleanings was ever necessary. I really don't think this is that much to ask. 😇
Our Henry has been in for orthodontic consults annually for several years now, so we knew that this day was coming. He's 11, has all of his adult teeth, and he needs braces. For his sake, I wish that he didn't, but this is a fact of life for many children. No big deal, I figured. He won't stick out or anything, over half the school has braces from grades 6-8. At the forefront of my mind was how we would budget for it, and that was pretty much it.
Well. Then I accompanied Mike and Henry to the orthodontist yesterday wherein Henry had x-rays, and we sat down to seriously look at what needs to be done for him and discuss a timeline. And I just...
You know how sometimes, with your kids, something just strikes you in a soft spot and you can hardly control the urge to just burst into tears right then and there? I had that moment yesterday. At the orthodontist. Looking at ceramic teeth.
I am so averse to all dental work. Like I said, I do it because it's the right thing to do, but I HATE it. I swear, I'd rather go through labor and delivery. :0 There's something about it that makes me so fearful. But with my kids, it hasn't been a big deal because all they've had so far is just cleanings. And our dentist is sweet and wonderful.
But this braces thing? Henry needs his jaw moved forward. Which means he doesn't just need braces to straighten the teeth. He also needs something to move his jaw forward to correct his overbite. And that's a little bit more involved. There are 2 possible ways of doing it, and I'm not wild about either one. The first one is a retainer, which sounds easy, but it's a 24/7 retainer and will impact speech. My Henry already struggles a bit with speech issues, and the thought of burdening him with all of this extra plastic in his mouth made me want to weep anew. The other option is a device that attaches at the sides of the mouth to the braces. On the upside, you can't see it, and it won't impact his speech, but on the negative end of things it doesn't look terribly comfortable, and it will impact your ability to open your mouth very wide. Cue the sobbing.
I don't want him to have to go through this. Maybe he can just have crooked teeth? I'll be honest, that seems like a very rational possibility to me right now.
*Insert about a thousand weeping emojis here*
I feel all vulnerable and on the verge of clutching Henry to my chest and not letting him leave the house. And he's 11, he would hate that. :0
Are any of you scarred by the threat of orthodontics or is it just me? ;-)
Tomorrow is book club day for Chapter 5 of Live Today Well. And Tea Time this week will be an amusing dance troupe edition!