Since I took Nathan to the orthodontist over a year ago he’s been dying to get braces. Needless to say, he’s been looking forward to our appointment with our new orthodontist, Dr. Waugh, since I made it. I found Dr. Waugh through the Invisalign website and will be continuing my treatment with him. I just have a few refinements that have to be made and I’ll be done with my Invisalign journey. However, my kids’ orthodontic treatment is another story.
Getting a Herbst appliance
After getting x-rays and photos done, we found out that Nathan isn’t a candidate for Invisalign. In fact, he needs extensive work and three teeth pulled since his adult teeth are coming in so crooked that they aren’t pushing out the baby teeth.
Nathan will also be getting a Herbst appliance, which will move his jaw and teeth forward. He took the news very well, but I was rather horrified by the huge piece of metal that will be placed in his mouth to correct his overbite and weak chin. (You can see a picture of Herbst appliances here.)
A Herbst appliance is made up of four stainless steel crowns covering the back molar teeth, one on each corner of the mouth. Attached to the upper crowns are two metal sleeves. Attached to the lower crowns are two metal bars running parallel to the lower back teeth, and two metal rods or arms that slide into the sleeves hanging down from the upper crowns. The appliance may also have an expansion screw located in the middle of the palate, which is used to expand the palate. (I’ve had several friend’s whose children had these just for that reason.)
The appliance works by using the metal sleeves and rods to hold your lower jaw forward to correct an overbite. The lower jaw will grow into this new correct position, and your overbite will be fixed. Nathan will have his Herbst appliance in for 8 to 10 months.
After he gets his jaw in better shape, he’ll have conventional braces. Total treatment should be about two years.
Not to be outdone by her brother, Lucie is our oddity. She’s missing several adult teeth – why we don’t know, but the x-rays clearly show it. So Dr. Waugh will be working to save as many of those baby teeth as he can by making sure there’s plenty of room for the adult teeth she does have to come in properly. Lucie will be getting four teeth removed since, like Nathan, her adult teeth aren’t pushing her baby teeth out of the way since they’re coming in so crookedly. With all this in mind, Lucie will be getting braces in a few years and maybe some dental implants when she’s an adult.
Nathan and Lucie have a long trip ahead of them. Thanks goodness Dr. Waugh’s office is so close to the house!
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board. I’m receiving complimentary treatment from Invisalign, but all opinions and experiences expressed are my own.