J and I didn't imagine that our orthodontics bills would start quite so soon, but as of Wednesday, Vera is the proud wearer of a "retainer." It is not the traditional retainer for teeth, but one that is hooked to four separate teeth (two on each side) with a metal piece in the middle. Once a day I give it a little crank and it is going to slowly seperate the two halves of her upper jaw. Then, she is going to get gear to help pull her jaw forward. Yep, little miss is getting her under-bite corrected. The hope is that if they can fix it now, she won't have to have her jaw broken and fixed when she is older (which is the more traditional approach).
It has helped that we have a friend who is about 6 months ahead of us in a similar treatment plan. Vera has talked with her friend and has received lots and lots of reassurances that everything is going to be fine. For me, the craziest part has been the effect on her speech. Having never had braces, I wasn't prepared for the lisp it has given her. Again, reassurance from J and friends that the wearer becomes accustomed to the gear has helped. Still, pretty crazy. Oh, and the slurping sounds as her mouth adjusts to having something permanently glued to it. The nurse warned that her mouth would be making extra saliva and she was not kidding. Dude, I have to wonder what her teacher thinks and I hope that Vera isn't slurping away at school.
Vera is handling it well. She seems to already be adjusted to wearing it, only gripes a bit about her mouth being to sensitive to eat, and loves to clean it with her special brush. One week down, 6ish months to go.