Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Contest

YoungerSon returned from his orthodontic evaluation with the news that he will need braces fairly soon.

I spoke with a couple of friends who have kids a bit older than ours are - friends whose kids either have been in braces fairly recently or whose kids are currently wearing braces, just to find out what kind of expense we are going to be looking at here and whether it pays to shop around (it doesn't). It's a chunk of cash, even spread out over the two years they think he'll be wearing them.

My friend K. had the best advice, though. "Think of it as a car payment," she said.

Not a bad idea. Problem is that we already have a couple of car payments - and we really can't afford a third one.

So here's the contest - it's a race!

They won't put braces on YoungerSon's teeth until all of his baby teeth are gone and the adult teeth are in place. He still has 6 baby teeth (though I don't know how this can be - seems he loses about one a week!).

So - if I can pay off my car before YoungerSon's adult teeth are all completely in, I win! (Well I'll at least be able to just continue to make my car payments to someone else for another 2 years and it will be relatively painless, as long as the car keeps going for another couple of years). If all those baby teeth come out at once and the new ones are in shortly thereafter, I lose.

Either way YoungerSon wins - though he might not think so for a couple of years.


Christopher D. Hall said...

Unsolicited advice:

Years ago, the orthodontist put braces in my mouth around the 4-5th grade years. All was fine, except:

1. Teeth are big, mouth was small. Should have waited until my mouth grew to fit my teeth. Ask about this. My teeth are still crooked.

2. Don't let him talk you into "saving" teeth if pulling one or two will make a big difference. My teeth are still crooked.

3. Make sure the orthodontist checks to see how he swallows. Apparently I swallow "wrong" and by the time the orthodontist figured this out, my teeth were crooked.

Better than they were, yes. But crooked.

Good luck!

Mimi said...

My youngest went through thtat - we did palate expansion. His smile is gorgeous, I have to say.

We did monthly payments, yes.

-C said...

Dang! Another one bites the dust. He lost one of the 6 at supper last night.

5 to go.

Don said...

Father Christopher makes a good suggestion above. My son had to wear a "habit device" for a few months prior to having the braces installed because, exactly as Father says, he "swallows wrong."

He has a tongue-thrust, which forces his tongue against the back of his front teeth when he swallows. The habit device trains the tongue to hit the roof of the mouth, instead.

Such a condition would only work against the braces. It might pay to ask that question (and buy yourself a little more time!).