Our elder son had impressions taken today following a week of wearing spacers between two top molars. Next Tuesday he will be fitted with his upper brace that will be adjusted once a month for the next 4-6 months to expand his upper jaw. His eyeteeth are there ready to come through but are lying over the roots of the teeth next door, & have therefore begun to dissolve them. Thankfully the treatment is not as invasive or expensive as the full on metal work that many kids, & adults wear these days.
The process in which we got to this stage has been pretty impressive. Not only did the orthodontist take regular X-rays of his face, but they also took digital photos & subsequently a 3D scan (at the bargain basement price of $500 thank you very much). The scan was not part of the ‘free’ consultation of course, they said the regular pics were inconclusive – I think they probably say that to everyone frankly. However, I have to say it was very clever the way they built up a picture of both upper & lower jaw in order to help us see the problem. Then they split the screen & presented how it should look, explaining along the way what would need doing to correct the problem.
The joy of modern technology, very different to the way in which it was sold to me 30 years ago, & it was very uncool to have braces then (needless to say I declined & have slightly regretted it ever since. As it happens you won’t see my sons, his will be fitted onto his upper palate, initially causing some slightly altered speech until he gets used to it.
So far every appointment has involved him. He has had questions directed at him first; they have not been in any hurry during the appointments allowing plenty of time for both myself & him to ask questions; the waiting area has something for everyone – half decent coffee & in date magazines for me, & an interactive touch-screen games table for patients or siblings; each patient gets their own rewards card that they can eventually redeem the points for gift cards, the kids can also sign themselves into their appointments with the card when they arrive. The points are gained by being on time for their appointments, good brushing, following instructions etc.
What more can I say, over the years this has turned into a very positive experience for everyone, especially children & teenagers, giving them the incentive to take some responsibility. Already my younger son is experiencing this positivity by observing his older brother going through the process. If, & when because I’m sure he will also need some work in time, he will already know what to expect & hopefully be as confident & mature as his big brother.