Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Braces and brackets!

It is starting to look a lot like the teenage years around here. We now have two kids in braces- or brackets as they are called in Germany. While it is not usually the case, we did have a bit of a language breakdown surrounding this next step of orthodontia. When it came time to get the braces on, our usual orthodontist who speaks English was away. Tori gamely got her braces applied and listened to all instructions in German. For some reason, I thought brackets meant the individual tooth contraption. We went round and round on this until someone, I think Tori, figured it out and we moved on. Moved on to getting Royce’s brackets into her mouth!
Tori got her braces on and left the next day for a softball tournament in Zurich. She was in a fair amount of pain, her mouth still bleeding. She packed the wax around her braces and got on the train. It was one of the few times were I wished she had a phone so I could check on her. She played softball all day, went home to the family hosting her, figured out their wifi and sent us an email around 10:30 at night, saying her teeth felt “okay.” Probably better not to get the painful blow by blow! The housers noticed the situation and went out to buy her yogurt and ice cream. So kind.
Royce has had an easier time of it, managing the pain. She really never complained, never needed the wax. She’s also less sensitive to having food caught in her braces. Fewer of her friends have braces in 5th grade but she seems unfazed.  Perhaps all those broken bones she had endured has mitigated the oral pain? I hope there is a silver lining there somewhere! She deserves it.
The final injustice with braces is the saxophone, Tori’s new instrument of choice. She picked it up to practice once home from softball and couldn’t make a sound. She changed the reed and made some other adjustments before realizing it was the braces. She’s slowly learning to adjust her lips around the reed to make the type of sound she used to make. But it’s slow going. If all things brass don’t improve soon, Phil and I will be advocating for the removal of braces as much as the girls already are. And the fun continues: Adam is getting a retainer in the next few weeks!


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