My daughter went from expanders on the top and bottom teeth to braces this week. Years ago when the mouth was too small for large teeth they went ahead and took some out. For me, eight teeth were pulled in total. Then to braces that pulled and straightened them.
Nowadays, thats a no- no. First they expand your palate to create a larger inside within the upper part of the mouth. This starts as young as first grade because they say everything is malleable. Then to braces and no teeth pulling.
When we went to our first consultation trying to explain to an eight year old girl that she would have a much bigger smile then her mom just didn't seem to make sense.
She thought of a big mouth baby frog or those exaggerated images where the smile was way out of proportion with the head. A caricature of sorts.
The orthodontist was patient with her in explaining the process although hard to grasp.
This week was the transition of the expanders to braces. Instead of trusting that the kids will keep their mouth wide open the teeth specialists have a plastic device that will guaranty this and a small fan to quickly dry the pearly whites right in time for the fast set drying glue. Then the silver metal squares turn into your choice of colors. Some get their favorite team colors and others just choose different shades of blue, green, or red. They also have glow in the dark which apparently doesn't work to well because you have to be near a light source to transmit the glow.
Its a different world of gadegedtry and on this occasion I sure do feel like a dinosaur. My husband always tells the kids that they could become an orthodontist. They pay well and the world will always need someone to fix the crooked teeth.
A smile will last your entire life.