Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A tale of Kippy's teeth

For the past year, Kippy has been having some ortho work to help her with a lovely genetic gift Steve & I gave her {little mouth w/ BIG teeth}. She is now entering into her third phase and I found it interesting to look back at the changes her smile has gone through.
This is a BEFORE look at Kippy's smile. This was taken in Oct 2008, when she was 8 years old. Her large permanent teeth are all tight together and although it doesn't show up well, her bottom teeth are over-lapped.

In March of last year, at age 8 1/2, Kippy got her expanding upper and lower retainers. The upper retainer was removable and the lower retainer was permanently attached. Twice a week, Steve or I would turn a tiny crank on both retainers.

By June (just 3 months later), the space between her teeth was easy to see. The goal was to add enough space for her canines to come down in the right place instead of like fangs out the side of her face because she had no room.

By the time she started third grade in September (6 months later), the upper and lower teeth had plenty of room. And we were amazed that she hadn't lost her removable upper {yellow} retainer during this time. She had to take it out to eat anything, then brush and put it back in after eating {a lot to ask of this particular girl}.

Two days before her 9th birthday, Kippy got braces on her front 4 teeth to close the gap between them and allow the extra space for her canines to sprout. Braces were much more challenging for Kippy. She had issues with pinching at first and actually broke off brackets and pulled the wire out twice. It was also more difficult for her to keep clean, although she did a pretty good job. Once the braces were added, we no longer had to expand the lower retainer, which was still in place.
Every month, Kippy loved picking the new colors for her bands on her braces. By January of this year, the braces had pulled her front 4 teeth nice and straight.
She was able to have her braces removed and the lower retainer taken out on February 19, 2010. Metal free!!! One of the first things she did was chew some gum for the first time in 11 months! She is now into phase three. She had impressions taken and was fitted for a new retainer to hold her teeth in place until the canines come in. She gets the new retainer on Friday, March 12. I hate to tell her that it may be a year or two before she gets those canines in... and in the meantime, we are going to pray that she doesn't lose her retainer!


the mom~ said...

she sure has a beautiful smile! What a difference! She has done a great job with her retainers...Ethan can't even keep his snow pants in check, I hope he never has to have a retainer, lol

Lori said...

Gorgeous!! So worth all the pain! Watch out for the dog...for some reason my dogs will find Jo's retainer (not because she is super careful with it!) and chew it to bits. We have been through 2 in 2 years!! Kippy looks great!!

Mom said...

It's amazing the changes made in such a relatively short amount of time!! But she's always had a wonderful smile :o)

Charlene said...

Beautiful smile!! Will she need braces again later?

Heather said...

I agree with Rose, Kip has ALWAYS had a beautiful smile! It is amazing to see the progression and what each stage has brought.