It's Hellooooooo Monday! Today, I'm sharing with you my middle son's journey through nearly two years of orthodontics. Fun, right? Yeah... I know... not the most thrilling subject, but I have been amazed at the difference all the mouth-metal has made.
Recently, he got his braces off, after almost two years of not only braces, but also a rapid palatal expander (RPE) and tongue trainers. He was pretty young to go through orthodontic treatment. It began the summer before he started third grade, and though the braces are off, he's still "in the process" with the retainer. He'll start fifth grade this August.
Below are some pictures that chronicle his journey through the orthodontic process. It's been a lot of trouble and a lot of money, but he has his perfect little smile back!
Here he is in 2008, at age 5, before he began losing his baby teeth. His teeth were SO straight!
This is him, July 2011, age 8. He's lost 8 teeth at this point. The two middle teeth on the top are so spread out that the teeth on either side have no room to come in. His upper palate (hard palate) is so narrow that he doesn't have room for the larger, permanent teeth. Two weeks after this picture, he got the rapid palatal expander (RPE) to spread the bones of his hard palate.
This is him the day he got his braces on, in October of 2011. You can see that his top teeth are still spread too far apart, and those teeth I mentioned above have still not been able to come in. A few months later, he had the tongue trainer installed on the inside of his bottom teeth. This awful looking thing helped re-train his tongue not to push against his teeth when swallowing or talking. (The RPE would come out around the same time the trainer was put in.)
And here he is in June of 2013, at 10, the day he got his braces OFF! The tongue trainer had been off for several months, thank goodness! You can see in the photo on the left, even with his braces still on, his teeth have come together and the teeth that hadn't been able to come in are now perfectly in place! And on the right... his perfect, sweet smile has finally returned! He still has some baby teeth to lose, but with the use of a retainer, those should fall right in line with the lovely corrected permanent teeth in the front of his mouth!
Isn't he handsome?!