Thank You, Orthodontics.

Because I’m in my thirties and I’m not afraid to be confident in what I like about myself without feeling like I’m just being conceited, I’ll share with you all that I think I have pretty great teeth. Not only are they almost completely free of cavities (that’s something you’re born with or you’re not, I think, for the most part), but they are pretty white and nearly perfectly straight.

kelli also has lovely teeth. and she had braces, too.

But that has not always been the case. Oh no, it has not.

exhibit a.

Let’s talk about a few things. First, I was 8. My mom had cut my hair into an awful half-of-my-head-is-bangs haircut, which is why you are literally only getting the picture of my mouth. Secondly, I had clearly only lost 4-6 teeth in this picture, as on the top, I’ve only got 2 permanent teeth…things went way downhill from here as more permanent teeth arrived. Conjure up an image and I’m sure you’re not far off.

My multi-step orthodontia began, I believe, in 5th grade. A couple of baby teeth pulled, a frenectomy (remember when Bennett gave himself one?), braces, some permanent teeth pulled, and braces again. And then 2 wisdom teeth pulled. It was a glorious few years for me, as you might imagine *eyeroll*.

But, I never doubted it was worth it. See picture above, imagine it worse, and then compound those thoughts with the fact that I was a preteen/teenage girl and a tad insecure, and you’ll know why. I was so thankful that my parents believed that fixing my teeth was a necessity.

Matt often joked that our kids wouldn’t get braces. Until I pulled out an old picture to remind him how bad my mouth was, and asked him, “Would you have HONESTLY given me a second look if my teeth looked like that?”

I don’t remember the exact answer, but I think we all know what it was. And I don’t think he was being shallow…those teeth were a hot mess.

And so it begins for the next generation. For in 3 weeks, Luke has his first orthodontics consultation. He was the one that I thought would need a frenectomy, but he had such nice spacing in his baby teeth that I thought we might escape needing major work done.

Wrong.

The baby teeth came out, 8 permanent teeth came in, some of them super wonky, and here we are, investigating how much braces are going to set us back.

though, you'll notice, he's at least starting out with his much straighter than mine.

Knowing that Bennett’s mouth, minus needing a frenectomy, looks identical to mine when it was full of baby teeth does not comfort me. There is absolutely not enough room in that mouth for as many teeth as he’ll have.

Who knows about Jack Henry. His baby teeth spacing is like Luke’s, but now I know not to get excited about that.

So, to my children, I say: I have this fantasy of turning our current under-utilized office space into a craft room for me. But instead, we’re going to straighten your teeth. You. Are. Welcome.

13 responses to “Thank You, Orthodontics.

  1. I must admit–it sounds like that craft room is going to be colored pearly-white for awhile!! Can’t believe we escaped the whole braces routine for all 3 kids, and neither Ron nor I had them either. While I have a horrendous dental history & still have issues, at least my teeth have always been fairly straight! Orthodontia has come so far, I’m sure, and SOME DAY your boys will thank you if their teeth turn out anywhere nearly as nice as yours did!!

  2. LAUGHING at this because I alsmot commented on FB when you mentioned this — c’mon now, YOUR parents did it and let’s admit, you’re thankful to. this. day. πŸ™‚

  3. This makes me thankful I was the one Schwerman that didn’t need orthodontics. And I was a little excited when I noticed Connor’s teeth look like mine at the same age. Hoping we can escape the ortho stage..

  4. Wasn’t it you, when seeing Morgan last month, that commented on how straight her teeth were? They are nice. For now. I’m willing to bet once those molars come in, things will be quite jammed in there. PS: My Lucas is getting his braces in less than a month. Yikes! Lots of cash. Alex keeps saying, “WHY does it cost so much? What costs do they have?” My response? “Student loans.”

  5. Well, look on the bright side. It’s in the first sentence: you do have pretty great teeth. Now. And so will they. And someday perhaps they will outfit your craft room for Mother’s Day.

  6. I feel your pain! Sam had a cross-bite, so he had (and still has) an expander. Then had to get 6 baby teeth pulled. Seriously, you would not believe the roots on those! ! Not resorbed at allThey most definitely were not going to come out before the permanent ones stuck through somewhere! So now he has braces (just on the top) to close the gaps caused by the expander. But….. those teeth should look mighty fine down the line! I had braces, too, and they do make such a huge difference! Just curious- who’s your orthodontist? I see the Sartins sometimes at our visits, and wondered if I might see you guys, too!

  7. Preaching to the choir here. I had a similar orthodontics history (braces…teeth pulled…braces again), and our dentist has already informed us that Grace will definitely need braces, which I could have pretty much gathered on my own by the looks of her mouth. I’m sure Michael will be the same. I whimper that my children inherited my mouth instead of my hubby’s perfect chompers that never graced an orthodontist’s chair. A cruel genetics joke.

  8. Hi Nicole, our “deck fund” went to pay for straight teeth at our house last fall! Noah had a crossbite, plus other issues….he started with an expander last fall, just in time to start school with…next he’s having teeth pulled so they can switch to a palatal expander…it is crazy how much I have learned about teeth in recent months. Do you have an orthodontist? Let me know, we would recommend Noah’s, they have been really good with Noah.

  9. Just read your post again that you already have LUke’s consult appt – disregard my question!

  10. granted, i was clueless, but i remember WANTING braces or retainers when i was little…. πŸ™‚ i guess i shouldnt be surprised now that i want veneers πŸ™‚

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