Caiti and Benj are fed up. We were back at the orthodontists on Wednesday. Both of them had new wires added to their existing scaffolding. Caiti is now wired up top and bottom. Benj has boosters at the side. They both have sore teeth and sore lips and cheeks where the wires are rubbing. Ruadhri, however, is over the moon as the wire he had sorting out his wonky front teeth has been taken off, but I think something else is coming as the dentist took imprints. Ruadhri is blissfully unaware.

It’s an expensive business too. The cost is 530 euros per six-month period of treatment. The Social Security refunds 193 euro of this, and our mutuelle a further 50 or so, but that leaves about half to find. And that’s only for Ruadhri and Caiti. We are having to pay for Benj’s without any subs from anyone. We didn’t realise that the orthodontie had to be started before his 16th birthday. We were left waiting for our Carte Vitales for nearly a year, owing to some kind of muddle somewhere. When they finally came I got an appointment for the kids at the dentists, but Benj was already 16 by then. It was something we had no clue about, and is completely contrary to Ireland where they tend to start orthodontistry a lot later, rarely before 15 unless there’s a special problem. So do learn from our mistake. But Benj needed something drastic doing to his teeth (he had three eye-teeth until one was removed recently!) so it’s just one of those things.

And I’m very impressed with the orthodontist we go to in Gueret. We’ve never had to wait for more than 5 minutes for our appointments, the dentists are wonderful and the secretary is pleasant and helpful. The kids each have their favourite dentist. Ruadhri loves the blonde lady as she gave him lots of hugs the first time he went. Caiti likes the other lady dentist as she never leaves any sharp bits of wire sticking out to snag her cheeks. Benj likes the boss, Dr Boyer, as he always has a joke and a smile. Everyone’s happy. Except perhaps Chris and me. Three snaggle-toothed kids out of three – what were the odds!