Namine has been overdue to see the dentist for her braces tightening, but the dental office has not been open due to COVID-19. They’ve been slowly opening back up, seeing patients in small amounts, much like the Herma Heart Center has. Namine is considered a “time sensitive” patient because she has a heart defect, resulting in the Critical Care team pushing for her to have as little time with hardware (like braces) as possible. The longer she has it, the greater the risk there is for bacteria to enter her bloodstream, which in turn is a direct risk to her heart.
Despite the circumstances, this appointment was still pretty routine. Namine’s braces were tightened, after which she was allowed to choose a new color. Last time she chose two colors, but this time she chose a single one: sparkling purple. She told me afterward that she would have preferred pink, but they didn’t have a sparkly version of it. (Clearly non-sparkly colors are a deal-breaker.)
Due to the concerns surrounding the pandemic, only one parent is allowed in the waiting room with their child. Even stricter still, I was not allowed back with Namine for the appointment. Namine’s concern was being tipped back too far, something which resulted in a cardiology visit because it affected her so badly. Jessica and I told her that she was to be polite, but adamant if they did not listen to her. (That concern was for naught, as it turned out. Namine was happy to tell us after all was said and done that the nurse and dentist did listen to her, and did not tip her too far backward.)
When Namine first got her braces almost a year and a half ago, the dentist estimated that she would have them for about three or four years. (Even at the last appointment, they still said she had three years to go.) Imagine my surprise, then, when the dentist informed me that her teeth are almost completely aligned now. The teeth themselves are, as a matter of fact. She could be rid of the braces altogether, if not for her bite alignment. That is being corrected by the rubber band she wears, which the dentist now estimates will take no longer than another four months at the most.