I don't care how old he gets, Ethan will always been that eight pound eight ounce baby that I held for the first time on that cold February day. He's the kid who made me into a mom and he'll always be my baby. But in reality, he's a big nine year old kid with permanent teeth in his head and an overly crowded jaw. I took him in to see Dr. Feller this morning (which he thought was awesome because he got to miss an hour and a half of school) for his first ortho consult. Dr. Feller likes to see kids for the first time about eight or nine years old, so I figured he would take pictures, take x-rays, measure, and talk to us about how his mouth looked and what to expect in the future. I figured he would say braces would go on in a couple of years but to come back every six months to make sure things were still coming in nicely. It didn't go quite like that.
When Tammy was taking the pictures, she said "Has his dentist ever commented about his crossbite?" I told her that no one had ever mentioned it. She said "Huh. Interesting." And left it at that.
Then Dr. Feller came in and opened his mouth and poked around and started speaking Greek to Tammy as she put it all in the computer. It fascinates me how they can speak ortho code like that. After he did his thing, he did something that I loved. He started talking directly to Ethan. He didn't talk to ME because it wasn't MY mouth. He talked to Ethan because it was HIS mouth and HIS teeth. And Ethan is grown up enough to understand some things and I love that he talked to him like he had a brain. Obviously he knew I was listening too, but he spoke a language to Ethan that he could understand and pulled up all of his x-rays and pictures on the monitor and showed him exactly what he was talking about.
Ethan's bottom teeth are coming in pretty well, but his top teeth are a nightmare. His canines are coming in at a huge angle in comparison to how they should be coming in...which is straight down. Long story short, if we don't make space for them to come in, we are looking at major oral surgery in the next few years. And because his teeth on that left side are coming in so crookedly, it's pushing his whole jaw over on top. When I looked at pictures of his mouth fully open, I was shocked at how bad his crossbite is. After Feller explained everything, just to be clear I said "So you're saying he has a significant crossbite." He kind of laughed and said "I'm saying he has a VERY significant crossbite."
We talked logistics and weighed pros and cons (and really there weren't any cons other than I am currently in braces and it's going to add a little bit of a financial burden and one more thing for me to schedule with kids) to getting his first phase of braces now. He gets them on April 10th and will wear them for about fifteen months. Then he'll take them off and be in a retainer for a year or so, and then get the next phase of braces again and wear them for a couple of years. This should fix the problem of there not being enough room for those adult teeth to come through.
Ethan is actually excited about getting braces on- probably because he doesn't know what he's in for. But Feller told me that it's not nearly as painful on children because their mouths WANT to move...unlike a teenager or an adult who is fully grown. So by moving things around while he is still growing, it should be an easier and less invasive process.
I dropped the kiddo back off at school and he couldn't wait to get in his class to tell everyone that he's getting braces next month. Let's see how excited he is after they're on!