After a period of doing what seemed like the same thing, week in and week out, we are in a season of firsts. This week I took my first trip to the orthodontist--ever. Our dentist encouraged consultations for both Zach and Tyler. So in we went.
Zach's issues are very straightforward. He has lost all the right teeth and is ready to go straight into braces. He has one "peg tooth" that is perpendicular to the rest and quite undersized. The orthodontist will address that tooth once everything on the top is straightened out. Zach's teeth are nearly perfect on the bottom, but he'll have braces there to address some jaw alignment issues.
It turns out that Tyler's mouth is much more complicated. Isn't his x-ray crazy? He hasn't lost all of his teeth, so it looks like he has two sets.
If you know what to look for, you'll see that Tyler is missing an adult tooth--a lateral incisor on the left (the photo is reversed, so it's on the right). The incisor on the right is undersized and perpendicular (the mirro image of Zach's), as well. There isn't enough room in his mouth for the existing teeth to come in. The orthodontist will install a spacing appliances on the roof of Tyler's mouth, and then our dentist will pull four teeth over the next few months to make room for the incoming teeth. Poor Tyler. Chewing is going to be complicated for a while. Eventually, when his mouth matures a little, Tyler will also have braces. For now his adult teeth just need to grow. (P.S. Isn't his dimple cute?!)
Apparently these issues are genetic, although Garry and I don't have these problems. It's quite likely that all of our kids will have a missing and/or undersized tooth. We're going to give our dentist and orthodontist a lot of money over the next few years, but it's all worth it for our children to have even more beautiful smiles.