Monday, January 14, 2013

Tooth or dare

Three years ago after Lesley-Anne's PSLE, we brought her to have her braces done. It was the ideal time as she had practically three months of holiday before secondary school, without any major event happening - ample time to get used to braces.

As luck would have it, both my kids ended up needing braces. Andre has a pretty bad overbite, meaning his top teeth extend too far outwards over his bottom teeth. According to the orthodontist, a normal person's top front teeth are 2mm from the bottom teeth. Andre's gap is a whopping 8mm, which has implications on his gum health and jaw growth.

We were hoping to bring Andre to the orthodontist after his PSLE, as with Lesley-Anne but he still had a baby molar that had not erupted, so we thought braces couldn't be done. This was a mistake on our part. When we finally brought him in end December, we were told that he could have fitted the braces earlier, even with that baby tooth intact.

Never mind. We consoled ourselves that he had at least enjoyed all the holiday feasting without pain.

Also unlike Lesley-Anne, Andre needed extractions. His jaw was too small to contain his massive teeth and this led to them growing like weeds in haphazard fashion, occupying whatever gaps they could find.  Instead of prolonging the pain, he chose to have all the extractions done in one sitting, to get them over and done with. So on 31 December 2012, he had five teeth removed altogether - 4 permanent and the last baby tooth.

It was incredibly brave of him - I couldn't have done it myself. I was squeamish enough watching the extractions. After the extractions, he had the brackets and wire fitted before returning home with a mouth full of gauze and metal.

Despite being in a lot of pain and discomfort for the next two days, Andre barely complained. What a trooper!

I did get a scolding from my friend though who called me a bad mummy for making Andre go through the misery of braces just when he had to adjust to a new school and new routine. "Obviously you've never had braces!" Alright, guilty as charged.

Despite the inopportune timing, Andre seems to have adjusted remarkably well so far. Perhaps it's early days yet but he hasn't felt the agonising ache Lesley-Anne experienced with each tightening of the wires. After about a week of liquids and soft foods, he is back to his usual fare, albeit taking a longer time for each meal.

Fingers crossed! Meanwhile, Andre's smile has become especially cheeky - broad and blue-tinged. Love it ♥


thinkingmama said...

Hi, I am also looking for a recommendation for an orthodontist for my daughter. Would you mind recommending the one you have chosen?

monlim said...

Perhaps you would like to ping me on FB?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Kudos to Andre. He's very brave!


monlim said...

PL: Yes, he is :)

Shuo said...

I heard that invisalign is better than braces. More comfortable too. Did you consider this option before?

monlim said...

Shuo: Invisalign is waaaay more expensive than regular braces. Already, this is costing me a pretty penny :P

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