That lasted for a few months and then he tripped while barreling along the sidewalk and fell--I heard a CLICK!--shattering the right front tooth. He didn't have a dentist--he didn't even have molars yet. I spent the day at the University of Maryland Hospital ER, wringing my hands and curling into a fetal position under the gurney (The Man Who Lives In My House interjects here: "You were NOT helpful.") while dental surgery residents poked and prodded, extracting the shards. A child under anesthesia is disturbing to witness. They make a lot of yodeling noises, even though they are clearly out of it.
So we got through that and he was asymmetrical for a long time. He looked like a thug. We got used to it. He was a cute little thug. And he never was a biter, anyway (small favors).
When the adult teeth grew in, they appeared to be a gift from my mother: very white (good), very large (good, I guess), and very bucked--sort of horizontal. They looked comical, and a little awful, and expensive.
I just wrote a check to the orthodontist. It was for approximately the same amount that we spent when we closed on our first house (Granted it was a very cheap house, thank you Baltimore.). I can see similarities here: we invested in a house, hoping that it's value might increase over 4 years, or at least we would break even with the tax write-offs. Since we were in the escalating era of the early 2000s housing boom, this worked out better than we expected.
They sent us a picture and a nice note after he got the wires put on: translated into laymen's terms, it would probably read: "Thank you for the money." You're welcome, and thank you for your expertise. Orthodonture is not in my DIY repetoire.
In terms of child rearing, I'm hoping nice, straight American chiclet teeth will help the Larger Hooligan to mature, pursue an education and satisfying line of work, and move into his own apartment. We'll know we're upside-down in our Hooligan investment if he ends up living in our basement.
To be on the safe side, I'm considering a houseboat: