A few months ago at a routine check up, the dentist said it was time to see an orthodontist. She made the referral and we had our appointment. After x-rays, the orthodontist recommended a Rapid Palate Expander instead of extractions. (Mr. J wouldn't let me take a photo, but if you go to the link it will show you)
I did some research, talked to many people and we decided to go with his recommendation. Last week was the day. I took Mr. J in and he had the RPE attached. I was expecting a 20-30 minute appointment, but I wasn't even finished signing the paperwork and setting up the payment plan before he came out. Less than 10 minutes. I went back with him and they explained how it worked, had me perform the first key turn to make sure I knew what I was doing.
Secret Word: OrthodonticsI will admit that I was a little freaked out at the beginning. The idea of inflicting pain on him wasn't easy to handle. We have to turn the key once a day for 24 days. It has been 8 days so far, and it causes him pain with each turn (every morning). I knew a gap would come between his front teeth, but I wasn't aware how fast it would start. We did advil for the first few days when I would turn the key, but now he is good with a popsicle or freezie.
It's difficult for him to make certain sounds, and it feels like all the hard work he put into speech therapy has been undone. I know it is temporary, but for a little boy that basically didn't talk at school until grade 2 (because he was self conscious), it really feels like a step backwards.
After the 24 turns, we go back to the orthodontist and he will decide if we keep turning a few more days, or if it's time for partial top and bottom braces (on his adult teeth). The RPE will stay in for a year, and then braces will be removed at the same time and then we are moving on to retainers for a while. Once all of his adult teeth come in, he may need a 2nd round of braces for a year.
Orthodontic work isn't new for hubby or I. We both had teeth extracted before having braces. The process has just changed an awful lot in the last 24 years. It's actually quite interesting to see all the advances that have been made.
I keep reminding myself (and Mr.J) that it will be worth it when it is over. I am SO thankful that my parents got my orthodontic work done. I don't want him being self conscious of his teeth as an adult, as I am sure I would be if I hadn't had braces.
August 14th - UPDATE