brace face, metal mouth, train tracks, stump grinder, zipper mouth, tin grin, jaws … and I’m sure I’ve left a few nasty names out.
My oldest was born with cleft palate, so we always knew it was a possibility that she would require braces to correct a possible underbite, and sure enough that day arrived.
It’s pretty normal these days for kids to have braces, and even more so in the US where many kids get braces to correct the slightest dental imperfection which may seem insignificant for most – in particular me. For me, braces should not be used for creating the perfect smile. We are all beautiful with the teeth we’ve been given… but some need a little more help than others, and this probably covers a fair few Irish people 🙂
So, when our dentist advised us to have braces installed, our daughter was super excited as she could now get purple fixtures. I’m fairly certain she had no idea of ho long two years actually is.
Minor correction, a dentist does not install braces, that’s done by a orthodontist. I learn something new every day.
It was a 2+ hour procedure and my little dental warrior did extremely well. In fact she was super excited and said it didn’t hurt at all. Little did she know that her gums and teeth would start to ache over time … but the braces look awesome with the green/purple-ish shine.
My biggest headache was the bill that we were presented by the lovely orthodontist’s assistant. He wasn’t man enough to share the news with us.
Despite having agreed a price with our insurance provider and the dentist, the final bill was almost £5000, which was $2000 more than had been predetermined – and this is AFTER the insurance had covered their amount. Merry bloody Xmas!
The orthodontist tried to persuade us that we had chosen an upgrade and as such the insurance company doesn’t support the cost. But, we agreed on metal and metal is what the guy installed!
So, word of advice, make sure that you get all medical work predetermined BEFORE you start any procedure, as this will normally flush out any gotcha or other ‘not covered’ items.
Unfortunately in our case the dentist was a sneaky fecker. They claimed we had opted for an upgrade and the not-so-friendly insurance support assistant also insisted that we were to blame and hung up. WTF was literally my first thought, so I did what we do best, give out to the insurance company.
Lo and behold, my case was escalated within the insurance company and suddenly we received a call from them. They basically confirmed our assumptions and that the dentist is only allowed to charge us the amount predetermined.
A small victory for all dental insured people out there!
Anyway, back to the story about my daughter’s bionic teeth, which by the way look really cool with the various colours.
Over the weeks that followed, we encountered a number of different moods and emotions, and I’m actually not sure whether these were related to the braces or some hormone change. Either way, they were not emotions of joy ‘n happiness.
After the first few days and the novelty had worn off, the next stages were more about pain and “how we could have let her get braces installed. We’ve ruined her life and appearance!” … her words 🙂
I don’t blame her for being rather unhappy, as I’m sure it’s not easy to have these metal blocks inserted on her teeth and attempt to lead a normal life afterwards. Keep in mind, many items from the food pyramid were being completely eradicated from her diet; items any child enjoys such as:
- Caramel and gooey chocolate bars
- Very sticky or chunky peanut butter
- Hard candies
- Chewy candy, taffy, and gummy bears
And use caution when eating other items such as:
- Chewy bread such as bagels – tear into small pieces and avoid the hard bits
- Corn on the cob – will get stuck in all corners of the braces
- Apples and carrots – cut them into tiny pieces or blend
- Soda and sugary drinks – just avoid these to reduce chances of tooth decay
Many of these items can be devoured if you have a decent blender 🙂
We have about two years left of her treatment so I’m sure I’m going to witness many other side effects of having braces, but I’m also confident that these braces will help her and give her a perfect smile … minus underbite 🙂
It’s a bloody science to make meals throughout the day as I now have to determine if something is easy to chew or if can be blended. We’ll solider on and will have fun.