January 12, 2012

Mouse still has braces on.  She had some messy teeth issues when she was young, in addition to a genetic overbite, and so braces were a given. (In fact, this is Mouse’s second round of braces.  The first round, when she was very young (3rd grade) took care of the messy teeth issues – where one of her adult front teeth was “blocked” from coming down by an “extra tooth” in the roof of her mouth.) Lemon had braces, too, for a milder overbite.  Mouse’s braces went on in November of 2009, and Lemon’s in January of 2010.  Lemon’s came off on September 1, 2011, and Mouse’s won’t come off until March of this year.*  So she’ll have them on considerably longer than Lemon did.

There’s a good reason for this (in addition to the more severe overbite):  Lemon wore her rubber bands religiously, Mouse never wears them.  You know, the little tiny rubber bands that hook to the braces and stretch from the top teeth to the bottom teeth?

This morning was her second-to-last regular appointment, and her orthodontist** gave her a pretty decent lecture about wearing her bands 23 hours a day.  “This is the last 8 weeks – it’s the final push. You can do this!”  He said she’s right now at 93% of fixing her overbite, but if she just! wears! her! bands! it will be 100% perfect.  Why not be perfect?  After 2 years of braces?  She nodded and smiled her Mouse-like smile and we went on our way.

In the car, I reiterated:

Me: “Dude! You need to do this.  For real!”

Her: “I know, I know.”

Me:  “I think if I check and you’re not wearing them, there will be repercussions. For the last 2 months, you need to be serious about this.”

Her:  blink blink

Me:  “Seriously.”

Her:  twinkle, smile “How about instead of repercussions, we try a reward!”

Me:  blink blink

Her:  “Really, say if every time you check for a week, I have my bands in, I get a chocolate bar!”

Me:  blink blink “We can try that.”

The child is getting dangerous.


* I have some anxiety about this, coupled with the job transition.  I still have some monies to pay, and the payments are completely tied up with my job.  Between my health care savings account and my dental insurance – my lay off and my girls’ braces pay off are in danger of colliding here.  I’m hoping I can just pay it off with this year’s health care savings account, but there’s a chance that it won’t fly, because of the timing.  And even though the braces are mostly done, the insurance has been making itty bitty monthly payments, and didn’t reach the maximum that I was counting on.  So.  Grumble.

** I love our orthodontist.  He’s a sole practitioner, and I find him to be very down-to-earth, in tremendous contrast to the orthodontist I had to fix MY overbite.  My guy ran a factory.  Rows upon rows of dental chairs with scores of dental assistants who did the actual work.  The girls’ ortho does everything himself.  He sees us before school, and we’re in and out within 30 minutes.  He also has kids my girls’ ages, and his middle son is Lemon’s age and does crew, like Lemon. So I run into him all the time at one river or another, and we always have plenty to chat about when the girls are getting their teeth yanked on.



  1. When I knew I was leaving my job, I exhausted my flex spending account before I left. I was able to get the entire year’s election even though I left in August and thus hadn’t paid it all in yet. The company took the loss. It’s understood to be part of the risk of offering the benefit – though they don’t openly share that fact with people who participate! I didn’t do it to be an ass, I actually needed that amount for something specific, and I had the specific thing done. I didn’t run out and get massages or anything. (Although they did admit to underpaying me because “husbands make the money for their families, and not wives,” and so I felt absolutely no compunction about it!)

    This was the law in 2009 when I was HR Manager – it may not be anymore – but you should discreetly look into it. Unless you have major moral qualms about it. Also, this is Flex Spending, maybe you have a Health Savings Account. I didn’t offer that to my employees, so I don’t know the law about how they work – but it could be the same . . .

    • Oh, thank you! I did know that I can use my full election despite the fact that I won’t be making the full contribution (and they were actually very up front about it). But I do still wonder if the expense will be approved (by the flex account people, not by my employer) – I know the money will be there, I just don’t know if this spending of it will fly. We’ll see, though!

  2. […] gets her braces off next week.  The end of an era.  I can’t wait. (Also, if anyone remembers, everything worked out with Big Firm’s health savings/flex/whatever account. The braces are […]

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