#Orthodontics When your 8yr old needs braces! #kids #parenting

At Emily's mid-year dental exam, her Dentist suggested we have a consultation with their in-house Orthodontist as Emily is dealing with several orthodontic issues. Apparently, age 7-8 years is the time to begin treatment as the bones in their mouth and jaw have not yet fused together (much like how the bones in their skulls are soft and separate as infants) and treatment is gentler, normally doesn't involve tooth extraction, and can be less painful on the patient.

So, in November 2014, we saw Dr. K and discovered that Emily has a cross-bite, her lower jaw is out of alignment with the center of her face, an overbite, a narrow upper pallet, and her upper middle two front teeth protrude.

We checked with our insurance and, lucky for us, it covers half of her total treatment this first phase. The total? $3,800.



That's a lot of money.

We are responsible for half of it AND can use our Flexible Spending Account to absorb it throughout the next 18 months. I'm very grateful for this at Christmas time is a terrible time to have to write a $1,400 check. :)

In late November, Emily went in for her full work-up assessment which included X-Rays, molds, and  then her first fitting for her new removable appliances (retainers). She loved every minute of it!

Can you see the pure joy on her face here?

She was especially excited that she got to choose the color of her retainers (yes, she has two of them, an upper and a lower): neon glow-in-the-dark pink with gold glitter throughout. The upper has a crank-system that I use a key to turn once a week that will slowly widen her upper pallet.

The rear "ramps" in the upper and design of the lower helps to lock her jaw into proper alignment as her face is resting (meaning not talking or chewing), which will help pull her lower jaw forward and center.

She picked out a case that she will keep them in when she's not wearing them, which is only during breakfast and dinner. She has to wear them during the day while at school and overnight.

She doesn't mind one bit.

All the kids in her class are jealous (what?!?) and wish they had "braces", too. Since Emily got hers, two more kids in her class have gone in for orthodontic wear but chose to do braces and permanent appliances. We chose the removable to give her mouth a break from time to time as I had braces for years and remember how uncomfortable they can be. It's also much easier to keep her teeth clean when you can remove them and brush all over. 

Dr. K will give Emily a break between this phase and the next one, in about 18 months, so that her 12-year molars can fall out on their own. They really hate to pull kids' teeth and we love that! After those molars fall out, she will either move on to another set of retainers or braces and we won't know how long she has to wear them until that time but a good guesstimate is another 12-18 months.

We visit Dr. K every six weeks for adjustments and to see how she's progressing and so far, she's done really well with them. She's rarely in any pain, cleans them twice daily herself, and has yet to remove them and/or leave them anywhere.

Stay tuned!


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