The day has come: Namine has her braces. Well, mostly.

About an hour before Namine’s braces appointment, she had to take what the dental clinic calls her “pre-med.” It’s a very large dose of antibiotic, and it’s to prevent blood infections. Namine needs it pretty much any time she has dental work done.

The long and short of it is this: working with teeth and gums can easily cause bleeding. Germs in the mouth can cause an infection in the blood. Because Namine has a severe heart defect, a blood infection could very quickly put her in the hospital for the long term. So, as a preventative measure, she takes the antibiotic.

The appointment itself went without a hitch. Namine has only recently become comfortable with going back without either of us — an exception to that being when she had teeth pulled — and it was a little bittersweet to not be asked to accompany her.

Because Namine still has to have a tooth extracted from the lower right side of her mouth, she didn’t get all of her braces. She got the entire upper teeth and the lower left side teeth done. Once the last tooth is extracted, she’ll get the remaining braces. In the meantime, the braces that are in place can start to move the teeth into the correct position.

The entire process took about an hour and a half. Prior to this appointment, Namine had said she wanted rainbow-colored braces — each tooth having a different color brace — but today she settled on blue and purple. (Or so I’m told. Being colorblind, I can’t really tell.)

When she was all done, the dentist explained to us (and not for the first time, but repetition is good) the ins and outs of caring for teeth with braces. Namine said she wasn’t in any pain, just discomfort.

That changed in the afternoon, however. As is typical for Namine, she didn’t tell us that her teeth hurt until the pain was almost too much to bear. We gave her something for the pain and she went to bed early.

This post is part of the timeline: Growing dental issues – an ongoing story on this site. View the timeline for more context on this post.

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