Well it is official, we are on to our third child in braces.
This time it was Tyler’s turn.
When we adopted Tyler I was tempted to check out his bite, much like an old time horse trader. Having just stepped into the world of orthodontics with Grace I knew how expensive a cute but crooked smile at age 6 could end up costing at age 12, but despite the potential orthodontics seen in the tarot cards we took the plunge, fully and completely smitten with that little man and his crooked smile. 😉
Tyler, now down to two baby teeth left in his mouth, was ready for an evaluation at the orthodontist office, and while Dr. Gulland has been our go-to orthodontist in the past we found ourselves in a different situation with Ozzie and Tyler because their health insurance (the health insurance they brought with them as previous foster children) does cover the cost of braces, but only through certain orthodontist offices. This gave us the financial incentive to consider someone other than Dr. Gulland for the boys’ orthodontic needs. I hated to say good-bye to the incredible staff at Dr. G’s office but couldn’t justify staying, simply out of loyalty, at a cost of $6000 per kid.
Luckily one of the approved providers on the list was Dr. Spokane, an orthodontist just minutes from our house. Two months ago we made our first visit to his office and found the 8 minute drive far more convenient than the 45 minutes we drove to our Dr. G appointments in Hermitage.
That appointment confirmed all that our dentist had been saying. Tyler, indeed, was a candidate for braces. In fact they deemed it medically necessary due to two impacted adult upper canine teeth that are turned sideways and unable to come down on their own.
Once the treatment plan was sent to the insurance company and approved we scheduled Tyler’s appointment to become Brace Face #3 at Patchwork Farm.
Yesterday we arrived at his appointment at 11:15 am. He was excited and a bit nervous as we waited for him to be called back. The days leading up to the appointment were filled with inquiries as he peppered Grace and Rusty (the braces experts at our house) with questions about what life would be like as a “brace face.”
He was then called back and while I waited a staff member went over all the information I needed to know as a Spokane family. She walked me through the appointment reminder system, showed me how to navigate the website, and explained the reward system they use with patients that allows the kids to earn gift cards by making good decisions during their orthodontic journey. Much like Dr. G’s office, they are rewarded for things like good oral hygiene, arriving on time for appointments, and wearing their Spokane t-shirt. They also are offered other fun incentives to earn points that collect and can be cashed in for gift cards to places like Amazon.
I was soon called back to check out Tyler’s new smile and boy was he cute!
The staff member then went over the guidelines and directions for braces care with Tyler and I and gave him his kit of supplies that held things like braces floss and wax to place on the metal where it rubs in his mouth.
We left with our next appointment scheduled for 6 weeks out, when Tyler will return for his second appointment, and Ozzie will be seen for the first time for his initial evaluation.
When we left Tyler was feeling great. The doctor encouraged us to grab some lunch right away before Tyler’s mouth started hurting and to get some pain medication in him at the same time.
As we drove home Tyler kept admiring himself in the mirror, loving his new colorful smile. (He chose red and white bands.) He informed me that he now matched his buddy Carter and that his other buddy, Jonathan, would be getting braces soon as well.
“And then we will all be Braces Bros,” he declared with a grin.
By nighttime he was feeling the effect of having a mouth full of metal pulling on his teeth. Dinner consisted of a milkshake, as chewing was too painful. Grace and Rusty were helpful and encouraging as they explained that the pain and drooling would be short lived and in a few days his mouth would get used to the braces. After a second dose of pain meds he was able to finally fall asleep.
Another monumental day at Patchwork Farm packaged in pain and drool!