to not make DD wear a brace? (More of a WWYD rather than an AIBU)

(89 Posts)
MardyBra Wed 17-Oct-12 21:20:30

What is it with all the braces at the moment? Every other teenager seems to have them even when they seem to have perfectly acceptable teeth. In my day the only kid in the class with braces was the one with Bugs Bunny teeth sticking out at a 45 degree angle. Are we becoming overinfluenced by the American ideal of perfect gnashers?

Anyway DD's NHS dentist seems to think her teeth are perfectly fine. But I would bet my bottom dollar that if I took her private, the dentist would tell me that her top teeth stick out (couple of millimetres at the most) and would need fixing otherwise she'd be at a serious disadvantage her for the rest of her life and never get a decent job/bag her man and live happily ever after. DD has no desire to wear a brace; all her mates who have got one complain and it has put her off.

So, given that she is a sensible teenager capable of making considered decisions, should I:

a) investigate getting her a brace
b) not bother
c) let her decide after explaining the pros and cons (she'll probably decide no)

Over to MN.

Lancelottie Wed 17-Oct-12 21:53:44

Fishwife, does your son have one of the twin block braces, then, or a palate thingy? (Being nosey as haven't come across many other kids as misaligned as DS1!)

MacyGracy Wed 17-Oct-12 21:56:14

I had my train track braces removed in April at the grand age of 35. I saw on ortho in my teens and he said they weren't too bad, bottom were a mess but couldn't see them when I smiled (could when I talked). Top had just one tooth a bit out of line. Fast forward 20 years, that tooth almost sideways and middle tooth pushed back to compensate.

Only looking at photos of me a couple years back can I see how bad they looked compared to now. So wished I had them fixed when I was young!! Yes it was 13 months of hassle but so definately worth it.

I was told I needed a brace when I was 13. I refused point blank and didnt go to the dentist again until I fell pregnant with DD1 at 17. They tried again with the brace thing, I said no way. They dont even bother anymore.

And what makes it worse is my teeth are all straight so I really dont understand why they wanted me to have one :/

WeaselChutney Wed 17-Oct-12 22:02:46

My mum had braces at 50, she's a teacher too. She absolutely hated having them as an adult, it's much harder to wear braces as an adult because the bone is 'set' harder than as a child and it is so much harder to move the teeth through the bone.

She had n choice but to have them as an adult, she risked losing a front tooth if she didn't have them straightened out. She has always said that if the option had been available as a child, she would have worn braces then without out a doubt.

I had braces as a teenager and I am so glad I did. It is for such a short period in your life and good teeth are something you really notice as an adult. I also had no choice but to wear a brace due to missing pre-molars.

My teeth are perfect and bad teeth are the first thing I notice on other people.

Braces aren't particularly fun, but they don't really interfere with normal life, you just learn to be careful about eating sugar and looking after your teeth - lessons which set you up for life anyway!

footphobic Wed 17-Oct-12 22:02:59

So many cases would have been considered as worthy of treating a few years ago, but as goal posts have moved and criteria harder to meet many now don't warrant a referral - your NHS dentist is saying they are fine as far as the NHS goes because they are not bad enough for an NHS referral, but there could still be a legitimate case for private treatment, rather than just vanity/cosmetic reasons. You would have to clarify this with your dentist and/or get a second opinion. It's obviously a very expensive undertaking privately, we were told £3-4k private, and there is the discomfort issue so if it really is minor imperfections I probably wouldn't worry.

My dd who is a few months into NHS treatment and has what appear to be perfect teeth, the front few top and bottom are very straight and even, but she has some out of position and serious jaw misalignment and overbite which was affecting her eating and wearing away lower teeth. Most people looking at her would struggle to understand why she is having treatment as it's not immediately obvious.

Ds1 has finished his treatment now - he had some significant problems and is so glad he had it done.

Both ds and dd have coped really well with their treatment though, discomfort wise and cleaning, eating etc and not made a big deal of it which has made it so much easier.

WeaselChutney Wed 17-Oct-12 22:03:15

She had no choice that should say

MardyBra Wed 17-Oct-12 22:10:10

Thanks for all the comments. I think I'll talk it through with DD.

PaintedInRed Wed 17-Oct-12 22:11:33

I was told at 11years old that I needed a brace on my top teeth and I refused. 2years later, I was recommended by a different dentist the same thing, so this time I decided to go ahead.
As pps have said, it was very painful at times, especially when tightened, but it was definitely the best decision for me. The only regret I have is that I didnt have them earlier, as I still had them at 15/16 when I was getting interested in boys, so I was really conscious of them then.
So, I would probably say to really think about wearing one as young as possible (if they DO need one).
Oh and strangely, my teeth always looked straight to the naked eye, but they always showed up slanted in photographs...maybe the camera doesn't lie after all?! confused

LiegeAndLief Wed 17-Oct-12 22:13:48

I'm quite surprised by people giving their dc the choice (for NHS referred cases rather than purely cosmetic ones) - I had no choice in the matter at all, hated it from start to finish and would definitely have ripped them out if I could. However, I'm really glad it was done now. Young teenagers don't always know what's best for them...

Disclaimer - I don't have any teenagers! And I can appreciate it would be very difficult to force dc to wear a retainer type brace rather than the train track one which is fixed.

MissBetseyTrotwood Wed 17-Oct-12 22:58:50

I would say that I wish I'd had one. My teeth were slightly prominent and as I have got older they have become moreso. They're not wonky in a cute way either. grin

LIZS Thu 18-Oct-12 08:16:45

L&L, on both occasions ds has seen the orthodontist she has asked him directly whether he wants to go ahead. She simply will not commit her funds without him positively sounding as if he really wants it done and will cooperate for however long it takes. So it is n't just a matter of us giving him the choice. If he really desperately wanted to have straight teeth then we would have to find a way around the logistical issues (time off school/work for appointments and repairs, juggling dd gong to/from school etc) but he is so indifferent it makes it hard to be convinced to do so.

UndeadPixie Thu 18-Oct-12 08:26:02

My nhs dentist told me I had perfect teeth even with my very large over bite (i can completely cover my bottom teeth with my top) as soon as I turned 18 i was told I'd need braces. I couldn't afford it. Now that I'm 23 I'm suffering as my bottom teeth are rubbing the back of my top a lot more, my gums are inflamed from the repetitive friction and I still can't afford to fix it.

So if there is even the slightest worry I'd say get them done to be honest. My boss had them and he's told me it's quite embarrassing at work as them though he's their boss they still wind him up about it!

Trills Thu 18-Oct-12 08:31:52

After reading the title I was going to say YABU and wearing braces is absolutely worth it, and you should bribe and blackmail and cajole and persuade your DD into having whatever it is done.

But not you're saying that the dentist does not think she needs braces.

So now I'm a bit confused.

Why would you make her wear braces if the dentist doesn't think she needs them?

Do you think she needs them? Does she think she needs them?

You can't label yourself a bad mother for not getting treatment done that the dentist did not recommend. (too many negatives there)

Trills Thu 18-Oct-12 08:33:47

Fishwife/Lancelottie - I had the plastic blocks thingy that meant I couldn't close my mouth without pushing my bottom jaw forwards.

WineGoggles Thu 18-Oct-12 08:38:50

I had a retainer type brace as a teenager, which straightened my top teeth, but because a retaining wire wasn't put on the backs after the treatment a couple of teeth started to revert to their wonky position. So, at 36, I decided to sort my teeth out once and for all. I couldn't face getting those train track ones so went for an Invisalign brace top and bottom instead, and although it cost me best part of £4000 I'm so glad I went for it. OK, both times I've had braces my teeth ached for a day or so after tightening, but it was bearable.

valiumredhead Thu 18-Oct-12 08:41:11

Good luck with going private! It's a bit of a shock if you are used to NHS prices - £70 for a check up! shock

Cahoots Thu 18-Oct-12 08:58:13

Two of my DC's had braces, it's a long and painful process. It's even worse if you have to wear headgear. (confused) They now have beautiful natural looking teeth. I don't like totally flat 'American' style teeth, they just look wierd.

My lower teeth are wonky and even though you cant see them they are difficult to keep clean and i am more likely to have problems with them when I am older.

carabos Thu 18-Oct-12 09:00:18

If she doesn't need a brace, then why get one?

Having said that, Ds1 refused point blank to cooperate with his as a 9 yr old and today his teeth are literally a shocking, jagged, broken mess. They completely spoil his looks and he will not discuss it. It was obvious as a child that this would happen but believe me it just isn't possible to make a child wear a brace - mainly because orthodontists won't waste their time.

DS2 had no indications of crowding, but the dentist suggested that one of his canines would stick out a la Dracula if no action was taken. The orthodontist removed it and braced the others - it took three years and his teeth are beautiful today - straight, "American" smile. That was done on the NHS but admittedly that was 10 years ago.

DialMforMummy Thu 18-Oct-12 10:00:24

I would get the opinion of an orthodontist. There is a chance he/she might say DD needs a brace to get your trade but they might be able to explain the consequences, if any, of not having one. What you don't do at a young age might be very difficult and certainly more lengthy to correct later. It's not because the teeth look ok now that they will stay that way.
I had a brace and I am grateful my parents forced me paid for it. I hated it at the time, and occasionally it was a bit painful. Totally worth it. When DC need a brace (I am pretty sure of that give the current alignment of DS's teeth), it will not be offered to him as a choice.

LIZS Thu 18-Oct-12 16:08:48

When DC need a brace (I am pretty sure of that give the current alignment of DS's teeth), it will not be offered to him as a choice. Good luck with that!

fwiw ds is normally very compliant but he is now 14(going on 40), dyspraxic and has sensory issues which may make it more tricky to accept. Showing him before/after pics just isn't enough to convince him.

MrsMellowDrummer Thu 18-Oct-12 16:14:18

My dentist suggested a brace for my slightly wonky teeth when I was younger, and my mum made the decision (without talking to me, as far as I remember), that it wasn't worth putting me through it.

Now... a good thirty years later, my bottom teeth are really quite wonky (they've got steadily worse as I've got older), but I think she probably made the right decision. I don't really mind how they look (don't need perfect teeth!), and they don't cause me problems. I would have hated wearing braces, I'm sure.

LAlady Thu 18-Oct-12 16:20:16

I didn't have braces when I was young and wish I had. Dentist didn't think they were necessary but as I got older my teeth got progressively worse and I became very self conscious. I had invisalign braces at 36; it was the best money spent (albeit a lot of money!). I just wish I had the opportunity when I was a child. My DS is 12 and now has a brace and my DD is about to have hers looked at (she's 9). Rather do it now than later.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Thu 18-Oct-12 16:59:59

I did have train track braces about 25 yrs ago. My teeth were horrific. They're not straight now and that's because in those days, we didn't get retainers to wear afterwards so they 'drift' back somewhat. If any of your kids have braces, make sure they wear their retainers afterwards.

My 2 eldest kids had braces. Definitely worth it and they have continued to play trumpet/clarinet throughout (tho waiting to get braces off before Grade 6 exam). Eldest's braces are off and his teeth are amazing. Take painkillers for a couple of days after tightening and use wax when needed.

JoInScotland Thu 18-Oct-12 17:09:57

lancelottie wrote: DS2 has found his hurts his face, wrecks his music playing and cuts his lip; plus there's the risk of trapped food causing decay if they aren't very careful.

I had a 100% overbite, which means my front teeth stuck out more than 1 full cm over my lowerteeth. My midline was off, I had two rows of teeth, and the left side of my teeth was too far inside my mouth (not in a straight line). Therefore, I had trouble chewing food and couldn't eat anything too hard or chewy. So the state paid for my dental treatment which is almost unheard of in the US.

I found the headgear hurt my face. I was supposed to wear it 8 hours a day - I used to take a codeine tablet and wear it at night. Yes, the braces and headgear were going to wreck my music, so I played percussion. We bought one of those electric toothbrushes with rotating bristles to get right in between the braces and wires and it worked really well. I also got little threading loops to help get dental floss inbetween the teeth. I was predicted to wear the whole lot of various instruments for 3 years - because of a strong commitment from me, and willingness to wear the headgear, etc I did it in 2 years. And my teeth were really a mess, it was not cosmetic.

OP, if your NHS dentist thinks your DD's teeth are fine, then I'd go with that. Anyone taking the briefest look at me at age 13 knew I had a serious problem with my teeth, and that eating or chewing would be difficult.

Luckye Wed 17-Apr-13 23:46:47

Help I am really worried that my dd is going through hell with twin blocks and that it's maybe not necessary. Are twin blocks used purely as a cosmetic treatment to improve profile? My dentist referred us to nhs as she has overbite of 10mm but her profile looked ok before the twin blocks were in place. I'm just worried that we've put her through an ordeal purely for a minor cosmetic improvement. My main concern is that she will loose confidence as her speech is so impaired - it is only day 3 so I am hoping it gets better. Is there a medical reason for jaw to be aligned. Her overbite up til now has not caused her any problems. Any advice please. Also how long will she need to wear the twin block? Dentist has been very vague on this point. My dd is coping with her brace quite well considering she can't eat, sleep or talk well but I don't think either of us will cope if it goes on for too long!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now