Everyone in my family needed braces (except one lucky sister who got away with retainers!). Going into motherhood, I was aware that my kids were going to need some orthodontic help. What I didn't realize was the myriad of other potential issues.
You see... Paul and I both have a baby tooth where an adult tooth never came in. Apparently, this is highly genetic. We braced ourselves for the possibility that our kids might be stuck with some baby teeth. We've been brushing really well and taking care of what they've got because it might need to last 30+ years. Today we got a little surprise though. It seems that Kate is missing a baby tooth (and thus will not get an adult tooth either). It didn't dawn on me that she could be entirely missing a tooth from birth!
We're giving it 6 more months. Then we'll do x-rays to confirm the tooth isn't there. After that, we'll leave it alone until she's about 7 or 8. At that point she'll get a "flipper" (a false tooth attached to a retainer) for her to wear until she is 14-15 years old. Hopefully her jaw will be solidified enough to get an implant at that time. Had it been missing from her upper palate, she'd have to wait until she was 18 or 19 years old! Looks like we're going to have to invest in some good dental insurance from here on out...
On a happier note, neither of the kids have cavities! Woo hoo!