My son is getting braces tomorrow

My son is 12, in 6th grade and has a face full of zits. Just to make sure he has the total adolescent experience, tomorrow he is getting braces.

Actually he has a severe overbite, to the extent that his lower front teeth actually impact the roof of his mouth when he closes his mouth. Over time this would wear away part of the roof of his mouth and make some teeth fall out. That would be bad.

I expect he’ll have very sore teeth tomorrow, so I’m packing him a soft lunch. Actually I was planning on giving him soup in a thermos, but it turns out the only thermos we have is his sister’s Hello Kitty one, and I think he’d rather eat extra tough eat beef jerky on incredibly sore teeth than to show up at his middle school with a Hello Kitty thermos.

Good luck Alex!

My sympathies to Alex.

It wasn’t the soreness of the teeth or jaw pain that killed me when I was his age, but how shredded up my cheeks and lips felt. I remember a lot of applesauce, oatmeal with mashed banana and pudding for a week or so.

I have heard they make them less shreddy now, so yay for that. Might want to lay in a few extra pudding cups anyway.

Ditto this.

The soreness I could deal with, it was mostly the cuts on my tongue and gouges in my cheeks that got to me. He’ll probably learn quite soon that acidic foods and drinks are not his friends.

Sometimes having a nice routine will help him, like taking him out to lunch to some place like Taco Bell (where he can munch down on his last meal of crunchy foods for a day or two) can help make it all a little more pleasant.

Welcome to adolescenthood, kid.

I got mine the day before Thanksgiving, which is annoying enough, but apparently the choices were between that and the day before Christmas. Thanksgiving dinner was…interesting.

I also remember when I got them taken off, I thought “wow, teeth are really that slimy?” I’d never thought that running my tongue over my teeth could be that entertaining.

Poor kid. It’s a long, annoying couple of years ahead of him.

Oh yes, I remember the shredded insides of my mouth until the skin toughed up. Ouch. And the miniature rubber bands that went from bottom back to little hooks that were top front. A big yawn and one would inevitably go flying across the room.

His appointment is for 9, so I’ll take him out for a goodbye-to-normal-teeth breakfast before that. I told him I’d take him anywhere and named a few restaurants that are famous for their lovely breakfasts. But he chose IHOP.


Well, it’s done. The top braces at least are on. They’ll wait a few months before the bottom ones are put on.

He looks weird to me, I guess it’ll be a whilte until I change my mental image of him to include braces.

But he said it didn’t hurt as much as he thought.

Get him to a dermatologist and make sure he learns how to dance and tell jokes.

I’m thinking maybe learning to juggle wouldn’t hurt.

Anyone ever tell you you’re a really sympathetic dad?

God, I’ve had mine off for, what, fifteen years now? The scars on the inside of my cheeks still tell my whole orthodontic history.


Dental wax is your friend. Make sure he has a substantial supply. You put it over the pointy bits that have cut your mouth. It works wonders.

Mine were very sore for the first week or so, but it took a day for the soreness to start, and as posters above have said, they really cut up my cheeks, lips and tongue for a while - that soft wax the dentist gives you is AWESOME!

Anyway, every month they were tightened, but never got as sore as they were that first week, although sometimes new hardware (using the chain type stuff instead of the usual wire, for example) made it pretty uncomfortable.

Do him a favor and get him a water pik.

When he gets them off, his teeth will feel HUGE, and slimy and look really glow-in-the-dark white.

The orthodontist also suggested a water pik but I’m not clear on the advantage when you have braces. Can you expand?

I actually had braces myself and so I was sure to get a good supply of that wax.

Thank God for dental insurance! (it pays 40%, which takes a good sized chunk of the cost away)

The Water Pik replaces dental floss and is very effective in removing food as well as plaque from the teeth. It’s extremely difficult to floss with braces; you have to use this threader, which is such a PITA that no one does. So get a Water Pik. They’re great, braces or not.

Make sure he brushes and uses mouthwash. No corn on the cob.

Yup - it’s fantastic. Not sure how necessary it is these days since it sounds like they’ve changed the profile of braces, but the extra protection when you’ve worn a little hole in your cheek is a godsend.

It’s easier to use than floss, and will flush that just-can’t-reach bit of food waaaay in the back.

My #1 piece of advice: When he gets them removed, and if they install a brace behind his teeth NEVER have it removed. I had one spanning the front 4-6 teeth on the bottom. Freshman year of college my ortho said, “Oh - you don’t need this anymore. I can take it out if you want.” Guess what? You DO need it. My lower teeth have since crowded up a little. My teeth still get huge compliments at the dentist, but two on the bottom are “standing sideways” a bit. It’s annoying.

First I had an upper retainer, then braces, followed by another retainer (both upper and lower). I remember how worn they made the instide of my mouth too. And of course the general sorness everytime I got them adjusted. Oh, and the worst part about the whole thing was that by the time I got the upper & lower retainers I was in high school and they gave me a very prounced lisp! :frowning: I sounded like a Cindy fucking Brady. At least today I have perfect teeth to show for it.

Our son’s dentist told us just yesterday to call the orthodontist. I thought we’d have a little more time (he’s only 8) but she said there was no room for his new teeth to come it. Sigh. On the one hand it would be nice to get it over with. On the other hand, it’s hard enough to get an 8 year old to take care of his teeth without the extra problems.

Not to worry you unduly, but… it’s my understanding (not knowledge) that when kids get braces that young they often need multiple treatments, or just keep them on for a really long time. This is owning to the new teeth that keep coming in for quite some while. And if they’re crowded when they’re eight. Let’s just say I’m glad I have our orthodontist bill and not someone else’s.