Monday, June 21, 2010

The Hope for Wide Horizons

I've always been proud of the fact that my kids don't have any cavities. Part of it, I know, is because oral hygiene is very important in our house, and the boys do a good job of brushing every day, go to the dentist regularly and don't drink soda. But with Jacob, my starch-a-holic, I figured it was partly because flour doesn't cause cavities, and that's pretty much all he eats, in one form or another.

So I was thrilled when the dentist referred Jacob to an orthodontist. (Bear with me. I'll explain.)

After many x-rays, photos and probing of Jacob's mouth, the orthodontist informed me that he was going to solve all of my problems with my finicky eater: he was going to expand his palate. At least, that's what I chose to hear when he told me Jacob would need a palate expander.

When he saw the look of appreciation on my face, I think he realized he was going to have to elaborate because I was obviously missing something.

"His upper jaw is too narrow, so some of his adult teeth don't have room to come in. This appliance will widen the jaw, allow more space in his mouth for the teeth to move down, and then they'll push out the remaining baby teeth."


I still hold out hope that someday, when someone uses the words "appliance" and "mouth" in the same sentence when referring to Jacob, they'll be describing our empty refrigerator, due to Jacob's incredible appetite and eating habits. Though I guess I should be careful what I wish for. When the palate expander comes out, Jacob may very well have new adult teeth, a bigger smile and a sudden craving for a corned beef sandwich. And pickles. And meatloaf. And salad. And cheeseburgers.

From my lips to my butcher's ears.