Green River Star -

People Editor 

Another new phase


September 13, 2017

Bring on the braces.

My oldest son, Matthew, 7, got braces put on exactly two weeks ago.

He was so excited to get them on and the place I took him to made it a wonderful experience.

After his braces were put on, he was given three helium balloons attached to a pudding cup with a spoon. He also received a draw-string bag with a T-shirt, water bottle and everything he would need to be brace successful, including wax, mouth wash, tooth brushes, flossers and floss.

He was smiling at everybody as big as he could to show off his braces. As a parent, I am just amazed at how much braces have changed since I wore them as a teenager. I recalled getting permanent teeth pulled and wearing my braces for about four years, followed by a retainer for five years.

Now, they can do preventative care when kids are younger to make room for their permanent teeth to come in, which decreases the amount of kids having permanent teeth pulled. To me this sounded like a good option. I don’t look back on having at least four of my permanent teeth pulled favorably. My husband also had to have permanent teeth pulled and braces, so we decided it would be best to try and avoid the teeth pulling with Matthew.

The braces he is wearing during phase one, which is now, will help his teeth spread out and make room for his permanent teeth coming in. This doesn’t mean he won’t have to have braces later, which is why this is just phase one. During phase two, after all of his permanent teeth have come in, he will be re-evaluated to see if he needs braces on again.

It just blows my mind at the things they can do now. I never thought I would have a 7-year-old with braces. I thought it was something I’d be dealing with in their teenage years; and we may still have to.

I have been relearning how to properly brush teeth with braces on them and how to floss them. Because let’s face it, that’s a pretty big responsibility to place on a 7-year-old, but I am teaching him how to brush them and it’s going well.

One positive, was how well Matthew was taking the braces, at least for the first few hours. I, being the smart mom who remembered how it hurt when I first got my braces on, had given him Tylenol before we even went to the orthodontics office.

Once we got home, he showed his dad his new braces and was excited. I then went to the store with my youngest son, John, to pick up some soft foods for Matthew to eat for the next few days. I picked up the usual -- pudding, smoothies, JELLO, ice cream, apple sauce and yogurt. I already had soup and popsicles on hand.

Things were going good and I thought Matthew was doing fine until bedtime. I knew we were in trouble the moment he said “So, How do I take these off to go to bed.”

My mind raced a little bit and I could see I had to thread lightly because he looked on the verge of tears.

I said, “Oh sweetie, you don’t take them off when you sleep. You have to learn how to sleep with them.”

That was it. Matthew started to cry and said, “But they hurt.”

I told him, “I’m not going to stand here and lie to you, they are going to hurt for a few days until you get used to them.”

I gave him some more Tylenol, gently brushed his teeth and had him rinse with mouthwash. We then conducted our regular nightly routine, which consists of each boy picking out a book for me to read to them and Matthew reading one or two to us, and then we say prayers together.

Once they were in bed, I heard Matthew grunting so I went to check on him. He said his mouth hurt, so I got a washcloth ran cold water on it and squished out the remainder of the water. I then sat with him and placed the washcloth on his face. He said it was cold and it made him feel better. I sat with him until he started to fall asleep, then I snuck out of the room. He woke up a couple of times that night, but I was able to sooth him back to sleep. The next morning he woke up sore, but ready to go to school and show everyone his new braces.

That’s just a glimpse into our new adventure. Stay tuned for more stories about his braces.


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