Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mr. J's Orthodontic Adventure

We were told when Mr. J was 2, that he was going to need braces. The dentist said his jaw was too small, and it was inevitable. Hubby and I both had them, so I wasn't overly surprised.  Fast forward to when he is 8 years old, and we are given a referral for an orthodontic consult.Not only do we find out he needs braces, but first he needs a rapid palate expander.



Rapid Palate Expander Tips:
  • soft foods - chewing will take some getting used to; food may get stuck, a popsicle stick or toothpick can help push it out
  • advil or tylenol about 15 minutes before turning the key
  • popsicle immediately before turning the key
  • know that they will have difficulty with certain sounds as their tongue gets used to the expander
  •  saliva - there will be lots of saliva; remind them to swallow (it will feel weird, so they won't want to, and will drool)
The expander seems much more daunting than it really is. I was extremely worried that I was going to do something wrong, but it really is quite simple.  Some kids might feel a lot of discomfort/pain, and others seem to barely notice it.  
 
the day the braces went on

Tips For Braces 
Some kids get really excited for braces, and others not so much. Mr. J was a bit of both I think. He thought they were pretty neat, and getting to choose elastic colours was really cool. However, he was also the only kid in his grade that had braces - so he felt a little like he stood out, and that made him uncomfortable at first. Once he realized that others had them too (older kids), he felt a little bit better.
  • advil or tylenol before their appointment to get the braces on. 
  • advil or tylenol before appointments where they will be tightening the wires. Remember - the point of braces is to shift teeth, it can be very uncomfortable.
  • Soft foods for the first few days, and the days where they are tightened
  • really stick to the list of foods to avoid - it will save you from extra orthodontic visits for broken wires and brackets.
  • oral hygiene is SUPER important, really push that on your kids 
We finished with his first Orthodontic round in the summer. Now he has a wire retainer on the bottom, and a plastic one he wears at night on the top.  Once all of his adult teeth come in (he only has 3 more baby teeth to lose), then we will know if he will need a second round of braces.  I *think* that he will. I am sure as the adult teeth come in the rest will shift a bit. I imagine we should know by the time he is 12.
We had a really good experience with the orthodonist we chose. He and the staff were all great. Mr. J didn't really mind the process at all, and that was a big concern of mine at the beginning. He had a lot of dental anxiety from when he was little, but the staff were wonderful with him.
I hope that this helps if you are beginning an orthodontic journey with your children. I had braces myself, so knew what to expect on that end, but the palate expander was a whole new thing for me.
 
Braces are off!

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