Apr 15, 2011

Brace Yourself, Life with Braces

As a mom of three, I should have known it was inevitable...to hear that at least one (if not all) of my kids would need braces.  Given that they are MY kids, the chances are probably even higher.  I DID after all spend pretty much my entire childhood and adolescents in some sort of orthodontic appliance.

It started in third grade.  I wore a palate expander which is pretty much orthodontic talk for medieval torture device.  This thing was attached to two molars on either side of the top of my mouth.  Each night my mom had to turn a little key inside a little box that was connected to all four molars and the result was the spreading apart of upper palate.  The theory was with a narrow plate my teeth didn't line up and it also lead to narrower nasal cavity and on and on.  What it meant to me was that I didn't have to wear head gear.  With the images from the movie 16 Candles forever burned in my skull, I'm pretty sure I would have let them amputate a limb to avoid headgear.  While the severity of the pain from said torture device depended greatly on how many cranks the Orthodontist had instructed for the week, it still usually involved some tears, both from me AND my mom. 

From there I wore a retainer for awhile and then on to literally YEARS of braces...5th grade until my junior year of high school to be exact.  While braces aren't fun, they weren't quite as evil as the palate expander.  But before getting my braces off, I also required some pretty substantial jaw surgery.  The summer before my junior year, when it was believed that most of my growing was done, an oral surgeon cut my jaw in 4 places and reset it and wired it shut for 6 weeks.  To this day I can't walk into the building where the surgeons office was without becoming nauseous. 

 Within a year from my surgery, which I DID love the cosmetic results of mind you, I began suffering from migraines.  It was eventually found that they were the results of TMJ.  And another orthodontic appliance was again part of my life.  It helped immensely! 

However, all this has made me seriously weary of orthodontists and dentists in general.  And in less than quality parenting style, it has even affected my ability to get my kids in for their check ups as regularly as they should!!  But at Timmy's last check up, they confirmed what I knew all along, he has MY bite.  It was suggested that it's time to take him into an orthodontist. 

Since my little man is very much a sports fanatic, I really hoped that the only reason we'd be visiting an orthodontist would be for a sports related mouth guard..  I was pleased to find that places like NYC Orthodontics Do make custom fitted mouth guards for kids with braces since both sports AND braces look like they will be a part of my kids lives for a while!!!

I am participating in a blogger campaign for Park Avenue Orthodontist. They are a New York City-based, Manhattan Orthodontist. I received compensation to facilitate this post. However, the views and opinions are my own.


  1. I hope things have improved in the past generations that his teeth will be able to be helped without all the torture...

  2. I spent most of my afternoon in the orthodontist office with my daughter today! Thank goodness for Wi-fi and and iPad LOL!


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