Over time, when my children have reached certain milestones, I have inevitably felt old. When my daughter went to kindergarten. When my youngest started walking. The usual.
This morning we hit a new milestone and I suddenly aged – Hallie got braces. She’s 11, going into 6th grade and she now has a mouth full of metal.
There’s been quite a bit of anticipation on her part. Her mouth is crowded and for years our dentist has been telling us she needs them on sooner than later to make room for teeth coming in. She’s had several appointments leading up to today, each with increasing excitement and nerves of the unknown. She had 5 baby teeth left in her mouth at her first appointment at the beginning of June. 4 of them were loose and the orthodontist told her to work on them over the summer and get them out. She’s a determined girl and last night she pulled the last one out. She was ready for her early appointment.
When she was situated in the chair they brought out three options for her brackets – all the same price – silver, gold or clear. As a parent, I immediately thought it was a no brainer – who wouldn’t choose clear?! Well, evidently 11 year old girls! She wanted silver. I let her make the choice and they started prepping. I texted Steve and told him of the situation. He quickly wrote back – No! Don’t let her. She will regret that next year when braces are no longer cool (going into junior high).
I told Hallie what her dad had said and she felt that clear would be more noticeable because you’re trying to hide them. (There’s an aspect of braces that you forget as a parent – they like to choose the bright color bands each time! That’s really what was driving her decision!) The tech explained that clear is only an option on top – you have to do silver or gold on the bottom which allows you have to have the fun colors if you want. Not sure how bad Hallie wanted the silver, but she quickly surrendered and agreed to go clear. I don’t think she’ll regret that in the next two years. Wish that had been an option the first time I had braces for 5 years – throughout most of high school!
She suddenly looks older and even acts older with all the complaining of pain – she’s on the verge of being a teenager.