We've had someone in braces for about 10 years. It all began with my husband. When I married him he had crooked teeth. His teeth were white, he only had one tiny filling and they were pretty crooked. His uncle had been his dentist. I asked my husband why hadn't his uncle and parents had his teeth straighten. His response... a shrug and an "I don't know." Crooked teeth being a minor thing he was a catch and I married him. After we married I asked him if he had ever thought of having his teeth straightened. "Not really," he answered. After all they were his teeth and they were very healthy. He was still a very handsome man and I determine they were his department and said no more.
We were married about 7 years when at a Renaissance dinner with delicious roasted pork skin he broke a bottom front tooth. The dentist was able to bond it and make it look as good as new. 2 weeks later it broke again. Thinking the bond was faulty the dentist fixed it. 1 week later it broke again. My husband went right back to the dentist. This time he came home with a referral to an Orthodontist. Between the dentist and the Orthodontist it was determined that over the years hubbies crooked teeth had shifted just enough that his upper teeth were breaking off the bottom tooth. Dear hubby was very discourage with this news. Mainly because we really didn't have the money for this kind of expense. It would be around $3500 to put braces on his teeth. I looked at it from the point of view that it wasn't a luxury item. It would be a medical expense. If he needed an operation no question we would do it. I felt if his teeth needed adjusting we would adjust the budget and do it. I think he felt much better looking at it from a necessity point of view, which it clearly was. On went the braces. The broken tooth wouldn't be fixed until the braces were done adjusting his bite. He came home discouraged again. Why I asked? He said, "Just look at me I'm going to have braces and a broken tooth for the next 3 or so years!" I said, "Good thing you're already married and you don't have to impress anyone." He and I chuckled and life went on.
Just about the time his braces were to come off my son needed to get them put on. When my son was about 6 the dentist said that he might need braces, because of how his jaw was in relation to the teeth. We got a consultation from our friendly Orthodontist and he said yes he'll need braces. The Doctor said what usually happens to cause problems is kids get their father's teeth and their mother's jaw. That was good and bad for my kids. Good in that my DH has strong teeth mine are riddle with fillings from my childhood. Bad in that I have a lot of jaw pain, because my teeth aren't aligned correctly for my small jaw. Wouldn't you know it ... both my kids had the small jaw. So, both kids were to get a phase one and phase two of braces. Doing it this way would eliminate the possibility of them needing surgery on their jaw later down the line.
So, the years of food deprivation began. Years of adjusting food, so someone with braces won't feel completely left out. Then there were some foods that they all just had to skip, because there was no way to eat it and not break a brace. With my son I started something called the "Crunch Party." Anytime he pined for a food I say, "Go put it on your Crunch list." Parental distraction at it's best. The idea was when his braces came off we would have a party where all the crunchy, gooey, gummy foods would be allowed. After phase one we had his Crunch Party. We had such a good time. Party goers were instructed to bring one of their favorite crunchy, gooey, or gummy foods to share. There were Nachos, popcorn, peanut brittle, red licorice, Gummy bears, to just name a few.
While my son was in between phases my daughter began phase one. By now we were pros at what one could eat and how they could eat it. My daughter started her crunch list. When her phase one ended there was a glitch in our Crunch Party plan. She needed a permanent retainer glued to her teeth and once again she was on food lock down. No Crunch party for her. I just told her to keep adding to the list as we'd have a huge Crunch party for her at the end.
As she ended phase one my son began phase two. By the end of his sophomore year the braces were off. He now had freedom and beautiful functioning teeth. By now he was a teenager and wasn't interested in a "Crunch party." I was a tiny bit disappointed, but reminded myself he's a teenage boy and he can celebrate his freedom however he wants.
Now it's my daughter's turn. Her phase two braces came off today! A month ago when we found out her diligent work with the rubber bands on her braces earned her a 9 month early release from her braces I asked if she still wanted a Crunch Party. She said, "Heck yeah!!!!" She'd lost her crunch list years ago, but promptly began work on another crunch list.
I'm so excited that the braces are off for everyone. I'm off to make caramel apples the number one thing my daughter said she wanted to bite into when the braces came off.
2 hours ago