Nothing says love like jaw modification

A few days ago I finally made a call to the orthodontist here, figuring that it would take a while for them to get us in, but also figuring that it wasn’t a big deal. You may remember our first orthodontic visit and the subsequent tooth extractions, lingual bar insertion, and gum graft; really, poor Chickadee has had enough dental trauma to last a lifetime, already. But mostly, now that all of that is done, we are “watching and waiting” and so I knew there was no rush to get her in to be seen. What comes next is braces, but not for a while. However, I knew we needed to get established with care, and also now Monkey is growing some seriously wonky-looking adult teeth, so I made the call.

“We have a cancellation. How about Thursday?” the nice lady on the phone said. Oh. Soon! Okay, Thursday is fine. So yesterday it was off to the orthodontist.

Both children had eaten their weight in candy and cookies in celebration of Valentine’s Day, so I made them spend an extra long time brushing their teeth before we went.

This office is much like the one we went to back up north—video game stations for the kids, coffee and other beverages for the adults, and the stink of every family that comes through the door having forked over entire college funds. I looked around and sighed with resignation. The children were too busy playing Playstation to notice.

I briefly considered just buying a Playstation for home, instead. Seems like it would be cheaper….

We waited and waited and waited, and just about when I was ready to ask if they’d forgotten about us, they called us back. I handed over Chickadee’s file and the nice assistant clipped it to her chart, then talked to us a bit about how they use a different kind of braces that require less pressure and shorter treatment times, and I don’t know if that’s true or not, but halfway through the informative video Chickadee turned to me and said “I want the DAMON braces!” So at least we know their marketing is rock-solid.

The orthodontist came in and Chickadee got up into the chair. And then I was treated to a rundown of why I am the worst mother on the planet.

Ha! Just kidding! The nice orthodontist would NEVER do that! The guilt was just a fringe benefit to hearing how OUTDATED and DANGEROUS the other ortho’s treatment plan was, and how the extractions and gum graft could’ve been avoided with a more MODERN and GENTLE approach. I think there was more, but by that time I was busy staring deeply into the orthodontist’s eyes and offering him anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, to make it all okay and wipe my memory of Chickadee’s gum graft, which frankly was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever had to sit through.

Eventually he peeled me off of him and concluded that Chickadee will get her braces on within the next year, and after two years of treatment she should be all set. “So she’ll be out of them before high school?” I asked, in disbelief. He nodded.

Chickadee pumped her fist in the air. “YESSSSSSS!” Apparently she has big plans for once boys are no longer icky, and they require her to be braceless.

Then Chickadee hopped down and Monkey got up, and I reiterated (having already explained to the assistant) that I know it’s early for him, but I just figured why not, since we’re here, and maybe he needs a little something for the crowding, but maybe not…?

The orthodontist began barking codes and tooth numbers at the assistant, who commenced typing with gusto. After a minute or two of this, he turned his attention to me.

“You’re at a crossroads, here. Action must be taken now to avoid the same problem—which ended with needing a gum graft—that your daughter had. Now, I’ve already explained to you why I think the sort of extractions she had is just a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. You’re only taking out benign teeth to steal some space, and now you potentially run into problems when the permanent teeth come in. The other option is to reshape the jaw and let nature take its course.”

I nodded, not sure what we were talking about, exactly, but knowing that it sounded sort of expensive.

He gestured for me to come closer, and he began pointing out various things in Monkey’s mouth. “See the crowding here… and here… and there’s no space here at all, but there’s a tooth that needs to come in. And you’ve got this second row of teeth, here, plus the crooked descent of this tooth is entirely due to lack of space.”

I nodded again. Monkey lay placidly in the chair, trying to smile at me around the orthodontist pulling his lips this way and that.

“He’ll need treatment right away, and hopefully that will head off future issues,” he finally concluded. “My assistant will outline the treatment plan for you.”

And then he snapped off his gloves, shook my hand, and was gone.

Leaving the assistant to tell me that my sweet little boy needs BOTH upper and lower expanders, and that will be $3500, please, and how would I like to pay for that?

Oh, but you know I’m exaggerating. In reality she kindly told me I have AN ENTIRE WEEK to determine how I’d like to handle payment.

It was good she explained that part up front, because once she started talking about how I’m going to have to get all up in the roof of Monkey’s mouth every single night to turn a key that will help break his palate in two, I stopped retaining information.

Happy Valentine’s Day, son! How does a semi-permanent oral torture device or two sound?

Monkey was quite stoic while he was taken to another part of the office to have some spacers inserted, and that was really nice, because I didn’t have the heart to tell the nice ladies that when they take his mouth impressions next week he will almost certainly gag and retch. Monkey’s sensory issues are pretty well under control, but he remains VERY sensitive in the mouth (perhaps he was a bird dog in another life?), and any feeling of “too much” causes him to heave. Good times.

After what seemed like forever (but was actually just two hours), we finally headed home. I had thought Chickadee might be a bit put out that her brother had gotten so much attention, but she skipped down the steps and twirled in gleeful little arcs on the way to the car. My mom-radar went off.

“What’s with you?” I asked her.

She cackled. Yes. CACKLED.

“Now Monkey can’t have gum anymore, either! Or sticky candy! Just like me! NO MORE SKITTLES, MONKEY!” And there you have it: proof that misery does indeed love company.

I held my breath. Monkey shrugged. “That’s okay,” he said. “I want to make sure my teeth look good, and that stuff probably isn’t healthy for me, anyway.”

She sagged, just a little, and I bit back a laugh. In fact, the whole exchange was so entertaining, I was a little bit sad that I’m going to have to sell her into slavery to pay for his expanders.


  1. kris

    Poor Monkey! My sister had to have one of those palate expander things when she was about his age, and it was way more painful for my mom (turning the key every night) than it was for her – it didn’t bother her at all!

  2. blairzoo

    Oh poor you! We did the palate expander on my son a few years ago.He mostly did fine with it (just a few sore days), but the horrors of cranking your kid’s bones apart, well, that doesn’t sit too well. DH and I used to flip for who’s turn it was. YUCK! It does sound better than a gum graft though, so I guess it’s the better option.

  3. RuthWells

    Poor Monkey! I’m taking the 12 year old to the ortho on Monday and am very very frightened. I may end up needing Skittles to recover.

  4. Megan

    Mir, I honestly love reading you but could you STOP with the GRAPHIC TEETH posts? See, I have this tooth issue (I’ve got cold shudders running down my back right this very minute) and while I totally love the part where Monkey completely deflated the gloating Chickadee I had to read through TOOTH stuff to get there. The fact that I did is a sign either that you’re just that fun to read, or that I have some significant masochist issues to work through. Not sure which.

  5. All Adither

    That sounds positively medieval. But better than the jaw surgery my husband went through which left him wired shut for six weeks and unable to even eat an omelet after the wires were snipped.

  6. janet

    *shudder* yer killin me here.

  7. Kristi

    Um, I don’t even know what to say except for OUCH. And that goes for the pocketbook too.

  8. dishes and laundry

    Aaaaahh! My 8 year old is getting the jaw expander next week. He’s a cranky kid by nature, so I’m dreading anything that will make him more so.
    Good luck!!

  9. saucygrrl

    I used to work as an Orthodontic assistant (changing wires and assisting in the application of the brackets and taking molds and all that stuff). Those dentists are sweet talkers aren’t they? Not knowing much about DAMON braces, but knowing plenty about the original kinds, they do look like they could reduce plaque (oh man there nothing more gross than changing the elastics in a 12 year old’s mouth…) but there is also nothing dangerous about the traditional kind of braces. Palatal expanders… not so much fun. I feel for you there. But he will have a nice, wide smile which is all the rage these days. ;)

    Don’t worry, everyone gags. We even gave everyone a little, um, bucket. Just in case. Poor Monkey!

  10. Leandra

    Hmmmm…gum surgery or palate expanders. Kind of the lesser of two evils, isn’t it? Or the devil you know versus the devil you don’t. I’m sensing a theme here and none of it is pleasant. I’m starting to be even MORE pleased that our dentist loves all the wide open spaces in Bubba’ mouth!

  11. ImpostorMom

    Holy Crap! Note to self, stop with all this college savings and start a dental savings account for Boog. After all they have low interest loans for college.

  12. Lindy

    Hey, I had those! I’m sure technology has changed a lot in the past 15 years or so, but really, it wasn’t that bad. The entire process was a nightmare, it occasionally hurt like a sumbitch and was usually kinda gross (I’m not sure which was more gross, though – the food that got stuck in the stupid thing or the jungle of grey chest hair exploding out of my orthodontists golf shirt).

    I remember, though, the day when I realized it was all worth it. My gums had been hurting more than usual the day before, and when I woke up the next morning, I discovered my two front teeth, which before had been tight together, had at least a half-inch gap between them. What made it so awesome was when I discovered that with very little effort I could hide raisins (or peanuts or M&Ms) in my cheeks and secretly shoot em from between my two front teeth and nail my little brother in the back of the head from at least three feet away, and I could totally get away with it. It was a novelty, really, but it was in fact hilarious, and the teeth did help with the aim quite a lot.

    The gap closed up on it’s own went after a month or so, but you know, every cloud has a silver lining. And when you’re eight, that lining might just be a greatly improved aim when secretly spitting small foods at your siblings.

    Oh and after all that and four years of braces, my teeth are nice and straight too. I’m sure Monkey will be fine.

  13. Bob

    so – you have a job opening for an Igor, familiar with torture devices. I do believe Igors know all about turning screws. thumb screws, rack screws – palatal expander screws shouldn’t pose a problem. I might have a reference or two around, Igors-R-Us, TI (torturers international), Gomez Addams might still be around.

  14. Randi

    This is a good thing to remember…my son’s dentist has said that there is a 99.9% chance that he will have to have some teeth extracted in order to fit them all…my husband has said taht he had that procedure done and had braces…I’d MUCH rather go with the damon braces, so thanks for the info! Have a great weekend!

  15. Jennie

    I had a removable “appliance” (doesn’t that sound fun?) with the screw in the middle. It actually wasn’t that bad… but it does make your teeth a little sore. Also, (and i hope they’ve made a tonne of inroads in this regard) the mass of plastic sitting on the roof of my mouth made talking a bit more difficult. I particularly remember sitting in grade 8 English and having to read a passage out loud… something about someone “sitting”… of course with the speech impediment that accompanied the appliance, what i actually said made the entire classroom (of 13 year olds) erupt in laughter. It was virtually guaranteed every time we had a substitute teacher that this would happen. Look forward to good times. ;)

  16. divrchk

    I had a rapid palette expander when I was little which needed to be widened daily with a key. It wasn’t that bad and that’s the only thing that I ever had to have done. No braces or anything else ever! Good luck with everything.

  17. Aimee

    Break his palate in two?!!! Aieeeeeee!

    Oh, man. Tequila may help. Cuervo be with you.

  18. Rachel May

    I had one of those palate expanders. My palate split in the middle of the night, waking me up with the sound. It didn’t hurt, though, it was just a really loud POP. It even woke up the girl who was spending the night with me!

    I have gorgeous homecoming pics of me with this stellar gap between my teeth because of that. :P

  19. StephLove

    I have never heard of that procedure, and oh man, I wish I hadn’t. Feeling a more than a little nervous about my son’s crooked front teeth now…

  20. Sara

    “Perhaps he was a bird dog in another life?” BWHAHAHAHA!! I often have nightmares wherein my teeth crumble and chip or I fall and land on my teeth, but these procedures of which you speak? Well, you’ve just added a whole ‘nother scary dimension to my dream catalogue. Good luck!

  21. michelle

    At least you take them now, because my teeth came in fairly straight as a child no one relised that my lower jaw is smaller than my upper. Now I will need braces and jaw surgery. And braces cost a lot more as an adult.

  22. Mother Chaos

    Crap. All three of our girls are on their way to orthodontics…and I am a certified coward. Cannot stand pain and suffering, my own or anybody else’s.

    This is not going to go well…

  23. jennielynn

    I honestly feel I might pass out.

  24. Amy-Go

    Thank you for convincing me that my plan to continue “forgetting” to take Jack to the Orthodontist is the right way to go. LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU…

  25. Donna

    I hate dentistry. How do you know if they’re feeding you a line. They spew out numbers that mean nothing to you and all you can do is nod, agree, and pay. I went a few years ago and the dentist listed all the teeth I needed done. I kept asking which tooth was which number, but the more they went over it the more confused I got. Needless to say, the second visit she was going to fix two teeth. Finished the first one and started the second one. That one? didn’t need work. It was a front tooth that’s filling didn’t fully match my tooth color and she wanted to ‘fix’ it. That was a few bucks I could have saved if I’d known.
    Oh, well. Teeth are important to health and we need dentists. In my opinion, they’re up there with the gas company.

  26. Fancypants McGee

    *Shudder* This was way too much for me to take in. I am terrified of the dentist. This scared me.

  27. Chuck

    Yargh, this brings back bad memories of my teenage years. And I ended up getting some gum grafts as an adult anyhow…and THOSE were fun, let me tell you.

    Good luck with the spacer things. My oldest neph had to wear one for a while and it didn’t look like much fun.

  28. Radiationman

    Call me a wuss, I don’t care – but the thought of those pallet expanders has me all skeeved…

    I’m not sure I’ll be able to work on anything now!


  29. elizabeth


  30. The Other Leanne

    I got braces when I was 30yo and this post just makes my mouth hurt all over again.
    I’m with Megan on this one.

  31. tori

    Impressions! Yes, that is its own sentence because I remember them well. I was a gagger and remember them yelling at me and holding me down and finally some nice assistant told me to focus on the birds nest outside the window and breathe slowly through my mouth. She counted it down for me and finally we were done. I was maybe 10 when I had it done and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

    We have an orthodontist like your new one, who believes in fixing things without pulling teeth. It makes it more expensive and take longer/start earlier, but it is nicer, right? My twins are going to start in a few weeks and my oldest has had headgear and other things for almost 3 years. I think I will be in more pain than they ever will when I need to pay for both of them (plus the one I already paid for and the youngest who will eventually need braces too) at once!

  32. Cassie

    I had friends in junior high and high school have to deal with the key-turning thing that you described for Monkey. It’s not actually as bad as it sounds, don’t worry, pretty Mir!

  33. Heather

    Wow Monkey was just very mature in that last little bit! Way to go, buddy! :)

  34. Velma

    I come from a family of narrow-palated freaks, and while the expanders are no fun now? He’ll be gorgeous as a grown-up, and when he hits old age and still has all (most?) of his own teeth? He’ll light a candle for you. (I’m assuming you’ll be dead by then. If not, he’ll buy you some flowers or some nice lime jello.)

  35. Tootsie Farklepants

    Oh brother! And I was just complaining about the $380 dollar trip to the dentist for my boys. I will SHUT UP! That $3500 price tag hurt to read.

  36. Jess

    Hey, I’ve lost track–how old are your kids? I ask this because I was told by my FIVE YEAR OLD’s dentist that “it’s never too soon to start saving for orthodontia”.

    I mean… yes, she’s clearly going to need braces. I just need to figure out when.

  37. Grete

    Good luck with that! I had a palette widener in middle school, and it was torturous. For the first month, my tongue constantly had sores from trying to figure out how to suck the food from between the top of the device and the roof of my mouth. When my mom cranked the key, I’d get a headache for the next 24 hours.

    It DOES work, though.

  38. dad

    You usually warn: “Dad should avoid reading beyond this point,”when you are writing about this kind of subject matter.
    I started to get nauseous half way through the post. By the time I got to the end I was totally unconscious which makes commenting much more difficult.

    And I thought you liked me!
    Monkey will likely do much better than me.

  39. Jennifer

    we went to the dentist yesterday too although it wasn’t nearly as eventful as your visit. My daughter has beautiful straight teeth, but my son?? oh. . . it’s gonna be so bad, and so expensive. We are on the way to the first ortho visit within the next couple of years and I’m already dreading it.

  40. Vane


    I’m thinking my princess might need this done as well … not a happy thought :(

  41. Headless Mom

    Headless Girl had the expander-she hated it and Dad couldn’t stomach hurting her so I got to do it. Joy. But she now has the MOST beautiful smile, I suppose she now thinks it was worth it.

    I had about $10,000 of dental surgery/ortho/etc done when I was a kid. Wouldn’t you know it, both boys inherited the problem. Headless Dad may divorce me for this one….

  42. Fold My Laundry Please

    I did the RPX thing back in JR high. That was in the late 80’s, so I had hoped they had come up with something a little less archaic since then. Oh well, at least Monkey’s pain will only last for about 2 weeks. Acetaminophen and copious quantities of ice cream should help with that. I recommend vanilla, or french vanilla if you wanna get fancy!

  43. Kristen

    My lower jaw is a totally different size than my upper jaw. If I chew gum or eat anything chewy I run the risk of having my jaw pop out of its socket. Painful and not really all that enjoyable. If you put your hands right in front of my ears where the jaws connect and let me open and close my mouth you can feel the jaw trying to pop out. I am so much fun at parties.

    I had two top teeth removed and braces put on when I was 11, 12, somewhere in there. I wore them for 10 months (I was supposed to wear them for 2+ years). My orthodontist said that he had never seen teeth move that fast.

    The braces weren’t such a big deal. The fact that my orthodontist was 250 years old if he was a day was a problem. The man shook so much that when he would clip the excess wire after replacing it that he would cut the interior of my cheeks and miss the wire all together. And he looked so damn fragile, like he’d fall over and break something any second.

    The one thing that I was terrible about was wearing my retainers after the braces were removed. When my wisdom teeth came in at 15, they shoved my bottom teeth together, so they don’t look much better than they did prior to the braces. Stupid impacted wisdom teeth. Stupid 15-year-old me who didn’t like to wear her retainers at night. I’d spank her if I could, really.

    Oh, and the breaking of the palate? My friend had that done before she went off to boot camp. She was annoyed by it, but it was just really sore. She later said that it was no worse than the feeling that you get right after the orthodontist puts a smaller wire in your mouth. But the visual that I have of it? Completely gross.

  44. Stacey

    The palate expander sounds MUCH WORSE than it is. I, too, thought it was a midievel torture device, but it actually didn’t hurt my DD at all. It was no big deal. Unfortunately, it was phase one, and now we’re in phase two, six years later (cha-ching) which is more painful and uncomfortable, but what can you do…it’s not like anyone really lets you feel like you have a choice.

  45. Angela

    I agree with Stacey. Its really not horrible. I had one for a nice long time before braces. And aside from the huge gap I got between my front teeth for a while it was fine. Couple tylenol or advil and he’ll be good. You could always start selling your plasma. Thats a good $40-50 a week. And after 70 weeks (not including interest) it would be all paid off. Thats a great savings plan right?

  46. Jamie AZ

    Ugh, dental work and it’s associated costs! Dental “insurance” sure doesn’t pay for much anymore, does it? Sorry about Monkey’s treatment plan. I loved his quip back to his sister though – smart cookie there! I don’t look forward to orthodontic work for my boys. Hopefully they’re like their dad and have naturally straight teeth. So unlikely though!

  47. Bobbie

    My son got a palate expander when he was in sixth grade. I dutifully watched the orthodontist insert the key and turn it. She watched me as I did it myself. Fast forward to the next day: even with my reading glasses, I couldn’t get the stupid key in. My (disgusted) son ended up turning the key by himself EVERY DAY. He’s 17 now and has BEAUTIFUL teeth!

  48. Shalet

    Man oh man! My son has already been through his first bout of orthodonture – a chin cup, braces, permanent retainers, etc. (Like mother like son). Middle daughter is currently impersonating a great white shark with her permanent coming in behind the babies. She needs a work-up. I’m terrifed to take her in for exactly the reasons you outlined here. But, they’ll thank me when I’m old and grey, right? Yeah right! Hang in there mama – you’re doing good things. :o)

  49. hollygee

    I gag when I have xrays taken, then an xray tech gave me a little table salt to put on my tongue and let melt — that and the breathing through the nose and concentrating on something outside the room that Tori talked about have “almost” eliminated my gagging.

    Good luck to you and your bank accounts.

  50. Sue

    OMG! I am completely freaked out and need a drink. A BIG one! My Big Guy is Chickadee’s age – maybe I should take him to the orthodontist? Or maybe not – holy crap! I could NOT be the palate-expander screw turner AND I’m pretty sure I don’t have that much money in my checking account right now anyway. (And I will not click on the gum grafting link until I have had the aforementioned drink. *shudder*) Brave kids, you have there!

  51. Mary Anne

    My four children all inherited their fathers small jaw and my big teeth. One was subjected to extractions and another surgical exposures. The two youngest had expanders and a very brief time in braces. Six years later the two eldest are looking at once again needing braces due to shifting and crowding, Ali and Mike look great their jaws grew into the teeth and have given us no further problems. The expander is a wonder tool as far as I’m concerned.

  52. carolyn

    Except for the fact that you live in Georgia and I live in SC, I had that EXACT SAME conversation with my kids’ orthodontist last year. And yes, it was expensive. and yes, I am still paying. They tell me it will be worth it. To whom?

  53. Daisy

    And amidst my sympathy for you and my sympathy for Monkey, my most vivid memory is throwing up on the orthodontist and thinking later how much he’d deserved it. (No, my children do NOT go to the same clinic I did.)

  54. Chrissie

    We did the palate expander thing with my stepson too. And headgear. He still has the braces. It’s been… well, at least 2 years now because i remember taking him to appointments when i was hugely pregnant and said child will be 2 in April. Step-son was in grade 5 when all this started and someday we might see the end of it.

    My point? I feel your pain. And thank GOD for 100% orthodontia coverage between my husband’s and my work insurances. :)

  55. mama speak

    hmmm…I am wondering about things to come now. I have a small mouth & perfect teeth until 18 (as soon as my parent’s dental coverage dropped me) when my impacted wisdom teeth decided that even though they weren’t coming up, they wanted to recognized too! I had them removed (that’s post for later, I have one of those horror stories) but not before damage was done. Mostly my bottom teeth were affected. It’s been fine until the last 5-10 years and now the teeth that are crowded make it hard to eat a lot of foods: popcorn, corn on the cob, berries (seeds get stuck), lately leafy greens are getting in there & not coming out w/out a fight. At 40 there’s a good chance I’ll be getting braces. My DD (4) has a small mouth w/PERFECT teeth, which the denist says it not a good sign because the adult teeth won’t fit so well. He did not mention the key turner thing and I’m wondering about it now. I may bring it up next time we go. (I’m all for avoiding removing anything if you don’t need to.)

  56. Brigitte

    Eck, I have issues too, which have only grown since a few years ago when the dentist ruined my previously perfect bite with a crappy-fitting crown that he put in. I think maybe I’ll go with Amy-Go’s plan with regards to my own and my daughter’s orthodontic needs!

  57. Erin

    I had three different types of expanders when I was monkey’s age. My mom had such a hard time bringing herself to turn the key in them, but after a few weeks she got over it. You will think you’re going to make his teeth pop out of his head, but it doesn’t hurt and it makes it easier when it comes time to have braces on. Have him take ibuprofen half an hour before you turn the key and he should just have some mild discomfort.

    As someone who was in braces and expanders for 6 years, I suggest you purchase a sonicare toothbrush. Those bands that hold the device around the back molars will be magnets for food and grime and you don’t want to have to remove the stuff to fill a cavity and then put it back on.

  58. barb

    DS #1 made his first tenative steps along the road of orthodontics yesterday at the tender age of 6! Seems he has something called a Class Three Crossbite – his lower jaw sticks out significantly further than his upper jaw AND is sort of skewed off slightly to the left. He gets the pleasure of sleeping in a chin cup – think wrestling head gear, only tighter – for the next 3ish years while we watch his grown up teeth come in. After that we may be looking at a palate expander. Absolute worst case scenario? Major jaw surgery after age 18 to shorten his lower jaw and make it match up with his upper one!

    I don’t know how this child makes it through the day with a smile on his face! Every single day of the world he faces:

    4-6 finger pokes to check blood sugar levels
    3+ shots of insulin (3 on a normal day, more if sick)
    eczema that itches to the point of madness
    bifocals (those were new on Thursday)
    chin cup (new on Friday)

    I looked at Hubs in the ortho’s office yesterday, nodded at DS #1, and said “you know, it s-u-c-k-s to be h-i-m!”

  59. Katie

    My twins both have palate expanders, no problems here at all (one also has braces because she sucks her thumb). I’m just commenting because we’re moving out of state over the summer and I’m dreading the first visit with the new orthodontist. And we really got a deal with our current one and paid up front… Crap, I guess I need to get my money back? Or maybe it’ll just be cheaper to fly the twins back out monthly.

  60. Little Bird

    I have to share. I had what might have been the worst orthodontist in all of history. He didn’t place them on the tooth correctly, so they were up so high on the tooth I could not get a toothbrush to the top portion of those teeth. That resulted in 14 cavities on my front 6 teeth. Then, he did something wonky with the wires so they came unwrapped at the back, and turned the insides of my cheeks to shredds. I was told by a dentist when I was a little older that the mess the orthodontist left me with was actually grounds to sue. That I had an actual case that I could have made stick. I didn’t sue.
    The one good point? The last visit before the braces came off, the good doctor slipped a disk whilst torturing me.

  61. Katherine

    My son had the palate expanders, top and bottom. They really looked worse than they were, it seems. He complained the first few days, but then he said it really didn’t hurt anymore. He refused to take any pain meds for it. I think it probably helped that we didn’t do the turning on top and bottom at the same time – top first, then bottoms a few months later. He clearly needed something – his upper canines got pushed out (by adult teeth, but not the canines – the ones next to them) at about age 8 – new ones haven’t come in yet – 4 years later!

    Teeth problems definitely inherited from DH – he had the same crowding as a kid and didn’t have the palate expanders. Had to have braces all over again as an adult and permanent retainers, still. His twin brother had expanders and has beautiful teeth still.

    I had gum surgery last year – it was FAR, FAR worse than any orthodontics. I would do a LOT to avoid that!

  62. Kristi Ottmar

    You are not going to believe it, I live in Idaho and my kids go to Dr. Damon who invented the Damon system. But each of my kids were 4200.00 a piece. I should have lived where you do. We had the expanders and didn’t pull teeth rather moved every other thing so that they had big bright smiles.

  63. Mom101

    Yeah, give her a month. She’ll be chomping on ice cubes and wrestling her way through Sugar Daddy’s like nobody’s business.

    Or wait, that was me.

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