Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Welcome to the World of Orthodontia
Yesterday Kelsey got a palatal expander. It's an orthodontic appliance that is glued to the teeth with a wide, metal band across the roof of the mouth. Each evening, you use a key to turn the expander so that it will spread the teeth farther apart so as to correct alignment and bite.
About a month ago, the orthodontist took impressions of her teeth and explained everything to her. She was fine, asking lots of questions and generally being her happy, inquisitive self.
But yesterday she was nervous. Kayleigh had told her horror stories of her own expander, which added to the apprehension. Kelsey wrapped her little body around mine and whimpered until the time came to get it done. She dragged me to the exam room. The assistant was very patient and kind. She got me a chair so I could sit where Kelsey could see me. Kelsey asked tons of questions about every tool and squirt of goop on the tray. The assistant answered every one, which was very decent of her. Lots of medical types give you the quick, pointless answer ("That's what I'm going to use to put your expander in") and then tell you to open up so you'll stop asking questions.
Well, it went off without any difficulties. It didn't hurt, the glue didn't make her gag. Once it was in, she rinsed her mouth, and I hugged her. She said it wasn't bad at all, and by evening, she was back to her bouncy self.
But she was talking funny, shlooping spit, and today, finding it hard to chew. They put that thick plastic over your chewing teeth, so it's pretty slippery, and your tongue can't reach your food very well, which makes chewing even harder, and swallowing quite a task. She picked at it with her finger nails and said she didn't want it in her mouth.
Can hardly blame her.