Kid milestones are a big deal to me. Some are so fun, like learning to crawl, and others I just dread. Yesterday my tween got braces. Since he was the last of his friends to reach this milestone (I’ve been dragging my feet) he seemed fine with the idea. Slightly apprehensive but not complaining or anything.

First stop – a Last Meal Before Braces lunch at the location of his choosing: Katy Trail Ice House Outpost.

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Next stop – braces. This was our third appointment. At the first one they took a lot of pictures and x-rays. The doctor went over the issues with his mouth, showed us models of what he was proposing and discussed how the entire process would work and payment options. The second appointment involved some gum lasering (so more of his molars were showing) and impressions. The impressions allow the orthodontist to figure out how he’s going to place the brackets, so your child doesn’t have to sit in the chair while s/he figures it all out. The actual getting braces put on part took about an hour. Thankfully they had coffee, cookies, magazines and video games. With appointments every six weeks and a younger brother tagging along this stuff is important!

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He came out smiling, and I was so glad. He said it felt strange and he wanted to go home, but he wasn’t complaining or anything. He started complaining about pain a couple of hours later. In hindsight I probably should have started giving him some pain meds as soon as we got home. He had a shake (yeah Ninja blender!) and some strawberries for dinner, and then we made him an ice cream shake with protein power for dessert. He said the drugs (ibuprofen) were not helping, so I made an after-dinner drug store run for acetaminophen and we started alternating the two drugs. That helped.

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He had a frustrating time attempting to floss (God bless him for wanting to try) at bedtime. I gave him a big hug and told him he did a great job today. Based on his personality, I can’t imagine him handling this very well a few years ago. That would have been ugly. He woke me up at 3am for another dose of pain killers, and then slept until around 7am. He’s becoming a tougher kid as he gets older.

My plan for the day is popcicles, ice cream, cold drinks, and whatever food I can get him to eat. Based on tips from my friends and some internet reading all of this should help. Got any other tips for me? I’m thankful we have no plans today and that I’ve made his next appointment for AFTER a weekend away. Who wants to deal with a painful mouth on vacation?