The Thousand Dollar Out of Pocket Co-Pay Smile

Eighteen months ago, we were such newbies in the world of orthodontics. At that first appointment, the dentist outlined exactly what was going to happen, along with a timeline and various scenarios. Following that were appointments every six weeks, impressions made, spacers, expanders and braces fitted, repairs done, tightening and more tightening, and retainers given.

We got instructions from the get-go. Things like "cut food into small pieces" and "no corn on the cob" and "absolutely no gum or gummy candy." That last one really saddened Luke. The poor kid was a trooper through it all and never once did he sneak any gummy goodness. In fact, he went the extra mile and asked teachers and friends if they could provide him with non-gummy treats when they doled out goodies. But all the while, Luke was dreaming of brightly colored bears and worms. And he reminded me of that promise that I made him frequently.

It's probably a good thing, too, because I tend to forget just about anything of importance.

Luke got his braces off yesterday. Because ten year old boys share good news like this, everyone in his world knew when the Big Date was. For the Kids Club exchange at church, the girl who drew his name got him two bags of gummy candy, and a tin of chewing gum. At the candy store last weekend, Luke overlooked all the chocolates and filled his bag with gummies. He was saving them for The Big Day. His stockpile is enormous. I actually had to ask the dentist how many hours per day his retainers need to be in, because he could potentially be chewing gummy things in all of his spare time for weeks.


I now know why he chose funky colors for his retainers. Nobody sees them when they're in his mouth, so the embedded smiley face and polka dots seemed like a moot point. But now I see the wisdom. With all the chewing he's doing to make up for 18 months of lost time, those retainers in hot pink and camoflauge, are laying around on the counter a lot. (No worries, people. I limit what he eats daily. His teeth won't rot out next week.)


On a side note, the dentist only wears blue shirts. I know this because he's always wearing blue shirts wehn we're in. Plus, he has a Wall of Clients where photos are posted. It's a grid of 72 photos and in every single one of them, he's wearing a blue shirt. I'd love to get him a green one for Christmas. It would just be funny.


Trisha said...

Yeah for getting to chew gummy things again! That is a beautiful smile!

ModernMom said...

What a trooper!! That smile is gorgeous:)