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Kouryou-chan Undergoes A Rite Of Passage - Elf M. Sternberg
Kouryou-chan Undergoes A Rite Of Passage

Kouryou-chan's teeth.
Kouryou-chan underwent one of those terrible rites of passage many children her age go through: she got her first orthodontic appliances put in. A pair of maxillary expanders, top and bottom, to shape her jaw into a slightly wider alignment to give her front teeth room to grow.

As you can see from the X-ray, her front teeth have been pushed way out in front and she has a terrible overbite. Part of this was due to her knocking out her front teeth in a sledding accident four years ago; this gave her adult teeth no guidance on where to go, quite literally, when they started to come in.

She was very brave at the orthodontist. The little rubber bands she'd worn for the past two weeks came out easily, and the woman doing the work talked her through the process of cleaning out the space around the teeth, applying the glue to the unit (covered with little pieces of Post-it note to keep the glue from spreading, and the springs were coated with Chapstick so they wouldn't scratch-- very straightforward tech), and then cleaning the excess glue and fixing it with the UV lantern. It only took about an hour for the whole process, and while she complained a bit in the middle she was completely cool by the time it was done.

Omaha and I packed her off to summer daycamp.

When she came home, she said she had no problem speaking (although I can hear a slight lisp), but she couldn't eat very effectively. She had trouble with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, even.

It was really trouble when she went to bed. For the first time all day she had the peace and quiet to contemplate what had happened to her, lying with her head to one side pressed her cheek against the appliance, the cleaning ritual was long and involved, and she finally broke from the stress of it all and began crying.

Since I had had braces as a kid, I was able to tell her all the truths: it was gonna hurt for a few days. It would be over eventually. We gave her ibuprofen, and I put some dental wax, perhaps overly theatrically, on two upper spring mounts and the lower crossbar where her tongue pressed against it. I told her the truth about the aching, that there wasn't anything I could do about it, and that it would go away in a while.

Poor little girl. But, she's tough, and she'll make it through this. After much fussing and attention, we finally turned out the lights and she fell straight to sleep.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
pandakahn From: pandakahn Date: July 8th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)

ow, ow, ow, ow, ow,.... (repeat as needed)

Oh poor baby!

I had mine installed as an adult (20) and they were in for 3 years, with a short break for jaw surgery.

Ah, the pain, the ache, the grinding hurt.

Don't miss it one bit.

Sympathy for the child. I had a hard time as an adult and I have a very high pain threshold.

edichka2 From: edichka2 Date: July 8th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a remarkable image -- the soft, beautiful child's profile in silhouette, masking a mouthful of chompers that Giger's Alien would be proud of....

- Eddie
elfs From: elfs Date: July 8th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's why I asked the woman at the office to email me a copy.
(Deleted comment)
4 comments or Leave a comment