Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Adventures in Orthodontics

With braces in her (very near) future, Bear has been crabbing nonstop about how she sees no need for them.

I get that braces aren't exactly something to look forward to, but how can you argue against the benefit of a correct bite and straight teeth? I've talked to her about how your mouth is one of the first thing people notice about you - first impressions and all that, and I've mentioned her uncle, whose bite had to be corrected in his 20's with a horrific surgery that involved breaking his jaw. Still, she crabs on.

Finally, the other day, after a lengthy whine about how unfair and mean we are to make her get braces, I snapped.

"You want to know why you're getting braces? It's so in three or four years, when all your friends have their braces off and have perfect smiles, you won't be embarrassed by your crooked teeth and never smile and never, ever get asked on a date and DIE ALL ALONE."

Not, perhaps, the most politically correct or feminist-minded argument for orthodontics, but she has not brought up the subject since.


Yesterday, Tom and I had The Meeting at the orthodontist's office. You know the one I mean? The one where they show you the x-rays and photos of your children's teeth, then outline the care plan they've developed for each of them. Finally, at the end of the meeting, they slide a print-out across the table with a number on it. A BIG number that makes you flinch involuntarily and hold your purse just a little tighter.

THAT meeting.

We walked into the conference room with the office manager, and as she pulled up various teeth photos on the computer, Tom said (mostly) jokingly:

"I feel like I should mention before we get started here, that based on my daughters' behavior this morning, I'm not going to be willing to spend very much on their mouths."

The woman laughed and said, "Bad morning?"

"Oh, dear God. Bickerfest 2010," I said fervently.

"Well," she said, "It might help if you try thinking of the braces as a sort of torture device."

Tom looked thoughtful. "Interesting. Tell me more..."


Dawn in Austin said...

Your Tom sounds a lot like my Steve. We were blessed that out of three kids, only one needed braces.

A helpful hint, carry a bag of the bands in your purse. That way when you ask if they have their bands (because you know they forgot them) and they say, oops no. You can hand them some from your stash.

smalltownmom said...

Dawn is smart.

They key to my boys acceptance of their braces was not looking like Sponge Bob for the rest of their lives.

Jen on the Edge said...

I'm not looking forward to writing that big check early next winter. We have to make a down payment of one-third, followed by monthly payments until we're done. To be followed immediately by the other child's braces.

Luckily, older girl is looking forward to braces, because a couple of her canines came in really wonky.

Susan said...

Just make sure they wear the retainers. Really. I paid for braces for 2 children who did not wear the retainers and their teeth are pretty much back to the way they started.

Anonymous said...

YES! I like that office manager already.

Sorry about the braces and the whining. Good luck!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Hee hee.
My son WANTS braces in the worst way...and last week the orthodontist told us we can wait at least another year. Happy for us, sad for him.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Now that is a new perspective!