Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beginning the Metamorphosis

Today was the big day. Or should I say The! Big! Day! Today's the day Sam got his braces. We have hassled and labored and fretted over this boy's mouth since he was in preschool. We knew early on his mouth wasn't quite right. In fact, at the risk of making this a very big TMI moment, my two oldest kids had a hard time nursing as newborns because of their incredibly high palates. Sam's was by far the worst and I swear if he opened his mouth and you hollered ECHO near him it'd reply back ten times, "Echo! Echoechoechoecho...".

When he was barely 5 the previous dentist put a palate expander in Sam's mouth which wasn't worn very long and, once removed, everything crowded right back where it had been. I chalk it up to the fact that the dentist was a doofus, but maybe there were other reasons. (I'm holding to the doofus theory no matter what anyone says.) This dentist also said his mouth was fine, there was nothing that majorly wrong and refused to do anything more than insist the child hold a popsicle stick in his mouth 2 hours a day to "retrain" himself not to bite his lower lip. Sorry, but when your teeth protrude that far out you really have little other choice but to bite your lower lip and I doubt any popsicle stick would ever cure what ails his little mouth. Grrr.

Sam's teeth have since then continued to protrude more and more and of course, because kids are cruel, the teasing at school last year got more and more brutal. And watching the poor kid chew was just enough to make you want to cry. Because nothing matches up right, he doesn't really chew so much as he just wallers his food around until it's mushy enough to swallow. And oh the choking. Makes dinnertime an adventure.

Back in April I made consultation appointments for both he and Abby and the orthodontist said Abby's mouth was fine other than a very minor overbite and crossbite, but she could go the rest of her life the way she was and braces would be for purely cosmetic reasons. But he took one look in Sam's mouth, looked at me and said, "God love this child. That's a trainwreck in there." I nodded and fought back tears, relieved he saw what I saw and instantly I knew that Dr. Doug was going to do what was necessary and not once did he mention a popsicle stick. I hearted him instantly. Besides, his daddy was my orthodontist 25 year ago, so I was already comfortable in the office and with the office staff that had taken care of me back in the day.

Below is a real before picture, considering the child hasn't had a haircut since long before school was out. He was desperately going for the Zac Efron look, but when he got up yesterday morning and I realized his hair was nearly as long as mine and he had no desire whatsoever to fix it or even comb it (ah pre-pubescence) I decided it was time for a cut. Personally, up to that point, I was totally digging the little dude's hair but uhm...he's lazy and I got tired of hollering at him to wash it and comb it and to quit letting homeless people live in it.

So here's today's before pic. I would just about bet his head weighs 5 pounds less.

And here he is this afternoon:

Not only do you get a bonus close-up shot, but you also get a BONUS close-up shot of the ice cream moustache he's sporting. Lucky you!

And now for the picture that makes me cringe. Bless his baby heart, he really did get the worst of Paul's and my mouths. He got his daddy's overbite and my crowded, crooked teeth. I apologize to him daily.

The doohickey going across the roof of his mouth is an RPE - rapid palate expander. I have a key to wind him up twice a day. Yes. Seriously. I have to crank that thing wider twice a day for two weeks. They told me that at the end of two weeks he'll actually have a wider gap between his two front teeth. Can you say OW?

Sam can. Below is him right now this very minute. He's curled up on the couch, doped full of Motrin, watching as much dang Nick and Disney as he wants.

It's the least I can do for giving him crooked teeth.


Okie Rednecks said...

Poor baby! I will be thinking of him...

Melessa Gregg said...

Poor Sam! As the friend of a girl whose mouth looked just like his and whose father wouldn't pay for braces, trust me he will thank you for this someday.

(She had it done herself in college.)

Trishia said...

Bless his heart! Just slip the names of the bullies who would dare make fun of Sam and I'll have Nessa go kick some elementary butt!! Just looking that that gear made my mouth hurt - hope he's feeling better!

Robin said...

that is some serious breakin' of jaws though...right? word verify is bonester.

I kid you not.

Rae said...

I am lovin' your blog!
What an easy-going attitude! Fun, Honest, and very contagious!
One small suggestion-
My old eyes can barely read the black print on the purple background. Any chance of "bold type" next round?

Emjay said...


For when his teeth hurt and for when he has his braces adjusted: bananas, yogurt, jello, and other softy things to eat. Sometimes, teeth are so sore, kids can't even eat reg'lar breakfast, so McDonald's will make a milkshake early in the morning for his breakfast if you explain your dilemma and drive in to pick it up. Not only does it put some food in his tummy, but the coldness will quiet some of the tenderness of his gums for awhile.

Gianetta said...

Poor guy...

Carmel said...

Poor baby. Kids are resilient and he'll appreciate the efforts you are making on his behalf. Doesn't make the discomfort and pain any less now -- yours or his -- but he'll be ok.

~ A Moxie Mom said...

Ahh! My heart goes out to him. My husband just went through this. (I'm sure that he'll probably take it better than my husband though. LOL)

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