Bracing Myself

This week marked a big milestone for us…we began what I am sure will be a long orthodontic journey.  B got braces.

She’s only 9,  but after getting opinions from two different orthodontists who agreed she really had no space in her mouth for her permanent teeth, we decided to go ahead with the treatment.  She has braces and a palate expander and will have them on for about 14 months.

I didn’t really think that her getting braces would affect me as much as it has.  But it’s suddenly impossible to look at her and see a little girl.  She looks so different, so unrecognizable, and so much older.  It’s weird to look at her and not see the sweet face that I know almost better than I know my own.  And I know the palate expander is going to change her appearance even more.

While it’s vain and superficial of me, I hate that it’s going to take the focus away from her pretty little face and put it squarely on what are sure to be not-very-pretty teeth for a while.  I know it doesn’t matter, and in the end it will be fine and well worth it.  But it’s hard to watch her begin that awkward stage that we all go through without feeling a need to protect her a bit.

It also has me remembering MY own personal awkward stage, which, let’s be honest, lasted longer than it probably should have.  Yikes.  (Has it even ended yet?  Maybe not.)

So we’ve started a new phase here, one that will probably last a while between the four kids.  We’ve hit a milestone they don’t list in the baby books, but that is kind of hitting me harder than some of her other firsts.  Who knew braces would be such a big deal?

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