Wednesday, February 3

Abby and the Orthodontist

It's hard to believe it, but my six-year old now has some braces on her teeth. Abby has lots of dental issues to deal with, but I was hoping we could put it off for another year...or ten! Unfortunately, she has a permanent molar that is erupting sideways just enough that it is caught on a baby molar and it is damaging the baby molar which she needs for another five or six years.

We could have pulled the baby tooth and put in a spacer, but we would have had to straighten the permanent molar fairly soon anyway. So we decided it was best to go ahead and straighten it now and try to save her baby tooth.

After one consult with our local orthodontist, I decided to try the dental school at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland. I am so glad we did! It is saving us thousands of dollars (yes, thousands!) and making it possible for us to get her the treatment. She only has three brackets and a spring on her teeth, but without orthodontic insurance, it is still pretty costly. Also, even though there are only three teeth involved, it is enough to be a bit painful for Abby.

She was a trooper during the x-rays, impresssions, and photos during our first visit. And during the visit where they put the braces on, the student orthodontist said, "I was in two surgeries this morning with patients who were sleeping, and neither of them were as still as Abby!" She did fantastic, as usual.

Back when I had braces we didn't have any choice of colors, but now they have about 25 different colored bands to choose from. Abby chose hot pink, of course!

I think now a week later, she has mostly adjusted to the appliance. She has a callous on the inside of her cheek and the initial pain from the spring has dissipated. Hopefully we can get that molar "unstuck" soon. After we get this paid for, she will be having her four baby canines extracted to make room for her permanent incisors that have no place to go right now. That will buy us a couple years until those adult canines come in!


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