Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Orthodontics Journey Begins

Nathan has gone to the orthodontist for the last four weeks in a row. 

He has a severe underbite and a crossbite. Our dentist told us he'd have to have some early orthodontic work done. Apparently, those things cannot be left alone or it will end up leading to teeth grinding (on permanent teeth) and eventual jaw surgery. 

When we went to the orthodontist for an opinion, they told us the same thing! It's best to fix underbites and crossbites at an early age when the roof of the mouth is still not completely fused together. 

Well, it may be the best thing to do, but it's certainly not easy or fun for Nathan or us. 

1. Week one they put rubber bands around Nathan's back teeth in preparation for putting in a permanent  expander on the top of his mouth. 
2. Week two was trying to get impressions done, but his teeth are shaped a funny way and they couldn't do it. So, they put rubber bands on different teeth. 
3. Week three was getting the impressions done. 
4. Week four (yesterday) was having the expander glued to his teeth. 

The expander fits around all of his top teeth. It is permanent. I have a special "key" I get to turn at night that helps move his upper teeth slowly forward. 

The problem with the expander is it is making it impossible for Nathan to talk normally or eat normally. For the past two days, he's mostly just eaten soft foods. Food gets terribly stuck up in the appliance. He's been crying and crying and saying he just can't eat. It is also making it so he can't talk normally. He always sounds like he's sucking spit. I'm told the spit sound will go away, but until this thing is removed (in 6-9 months) he will not be able to talk normally. I'm hoping he will get more used to eating and will figure out a way to use his tongue to get food out of the way. I bought him a Water Pik so we'll see how that goes. 

ALSO, along with the expander that's permanently in his mouth, he gets to wear this fun headgear to bed every night! Rubber bands hook onto the expander and then this device helps pull his upper teeth slowly forward. He will also have to wear this thing to bed every night for 6-9 months to move his jaw to the proper place. 

The first night, he would not wear it to bed. He went to sleep and came out an hour later crying and saying it hurt too much. 

Tonight, he wore it to bed and seemed to be happier about it. He's been in bed 2 hours now and hasn't come out so we're hoping he won't come out. Poor guy! Who would want to have to do this? 

Update: When I got up this morning, his headgear was on the counter. He said he woke up around midnight and it hurt too much so he took it off. Well, he made it 4 hours. Better then 1 hour! Maybe he can go longer tonight. 

*At this point, Elizabeth's bite is fine! So hopefully she will not have to go through this. 

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