I spend about an hour at the orthodontist every two months. By my estimation that will equal roughly 72 hours by the time my third child is finished with all the equipment. And yet, no matter how often I come, I am tormented by the same thoughts
1. Did I apologize for being late? Again?
2. I know they explained it all to me, but does my kid really need all this stuff? His teeth looked fine to me.
3. Cookies? Should orthodontists serve cookies? I wonder if they will ever put in a frozen yogurt bar like my friend’s orthodontist has?
4. My orthodontist was so mean and now my teeth have returned to their pre-headgear state of an overbite. That better not happen here.
5. I love this orthodontist. I can trust him.
6. How come everyone here smiles all the time? Is there nitrous oxide somewhere? Can I have some if there is?
7. What kind of genetic joke means that all three of my kids need braces and my sister’s kids won’t?
8. Is it crazy to get my son’s braces off for his bar mitzvah? Yes, it’s crazy. But think of the pictures.
9. Do I need to get a better job just to cover the cost of orthodontics?
10. Seriously, I love this orthodontist. He just spent five minutes explaining to my son why he should wear his retainer. And he didn’t yell or threaten once.
11. Those before and after pictures are so good. I wonder if I should get Invisalign.
12. Seriously, it looks better than a facelift. Maybe once my third child is done…
13. I sure will miss it around here.
I know that I am not the only mother twiddling my thumbs while waiting for my kids’ orthodontics. Braces are a rite of passage for many teens—according to the American Association of Orthodontists, approximately 4.5 million teens had orthodontic work in 2012.
But at least I know my kid will not be taking the DIY approach to orthodontics. This is a scary new trend of people using the advice and services of questionable websites to alter their teeth.
So that’s parenthood, saving our kids’ teeth since the ’70s at great cost and boredom.
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