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Parents of aspies - would you put your child through this (dentist related)?

(23 Posts)
grumpmitchell Sun 04-Dec-16 08:11:25

My ds (13) has been diagnosed as needing a fixed brace on his teeth (the kind with the square metal sections on each tooth). He has Aspergers and has, up until now, tolerated the dentist very successfully.

However he has now developed a hatred for going to the dentist. I put this down to him having two teeth removed last year which he perceived as being for a pointless reason (overcrowding). He is due to go tomorrow for the first mould for his new braces. He is not relishing the prospect.

I have said that if he doesn't want the brace then he shouldn't have it as I am fearful of the way he will cope with the discomfort and difficulties i know that it will bring. I don't see the value in cosmetic terms being greater than the potential loss of willingness to visit the dentist in the future. I can imagine that he may become a dentist-refuser if he continues to feel so negatively towards the dentist.

Any thoughts or perspective on this would be welcome. At the moment he is saying he will go because he 'has to'. But my view is that he doesn't really have to as it's just cosmetic. I wouldn't force him into a nose job so why into a brace? Please help me with perspective in this.

Ginmakesitallok Sun 04-Dec-16 08:14:27

Is it really just cosmetic? Overcrowding etc can lead to jaw problems over time.

grumpmitchell Sun 04-Dec-16 08:16:44

Gin as far as I'm aware yes. Although he does have a slight underbite so that's an interesting position by. Thank you. I'll have to ask the dentist for a bit more info.

grumpmitchell Sun 04-Dec-16 08:17:22

Point! Not position by. Predictive text!

Snowflake65 Sun 04-Dec-16 09:08:18

Yes both mine have had, well one still has, braces.

But they wanted their teeth sorting so the motivation was there.

As PP said, it's not just cosmetic.

Snowflake65 Sun 04-Dec-16 09:11:58

Oh and (rule based) DS coped with it better than DD who is the more easy going child.

DDs organisation skills are rubbish so every day she has to be told to put her elastic in despite it being on her timetable.

I would get a full understanding of the treatment explained to both of you as there's also the issue of wearing retainers for life which came as a surprise to us at the end.

llangennith Sun 04-Dec-16 09:13:39

Sounds like he's astute enough that he'll hate having crooked or goofy teeth when he's older so stop letting him think that the treatment is an option. He'll pick up on your indecisiveness.

Emochild Sun 04-Dec-16 09:15:17

If he is getting orthodontics on the nhs then there will be a functional reason for the braces

I didn't have braces when I should have done, due to a phobia

I really regret it now as the poor positioning of my teeth, mainly at the back, has caused a lot of damage that has needed extensive dental work

If he can tolerate them he should I also have an aspie so I understand your need to pick your battles

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 04-Dec-16 09:19:48

DS2 has Asperger's, sensory issues and a fixed brace (top and bottom). I was quite anxious about how he would cope, and even started a thread on here. The orthodontist was great, explaining everything each step before she did it.

He found the first few days difficult, because it felt uncomfortable and weird, but once he got used to it he was fine.

He likes routine, and is very conscientious about keeping teeth & braces clean, which is good.

I would say go for it, but make sure he is briefed on what will happen at each appointment.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 04-Dec-16 09:21:42

If it's on the NHS it won't just be cosmetic.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 04-Dec-16 09:22:39

The process of adjusting the braces is regular, straightforward and becomes almost mundane. It might resolve his aversion to dental appointments, rather than exacerbating it.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 04-Dec-16 09:23:52

Warning: DS2 found the mould the worst bit.

grumpmitchell Sun 04-Dec-16 10:36:36

Thanks, there's lots of good points on here that I hadn't thought of. Plus it's reassuring to hear success stories. I hadn't realised that there was so many non-cosmetic reasons for braces so this has encouraged me to step out of my panic and do some research. Thanks everyone. The orthodontist is aware that he has aspergers and dh reported that he was very thoughtful and supportive during the first appointment so I'll keep my fingers crossed. Tomorrow will be the first time I've met him.

user1471537877 Sun 04-Dec-16 16:22:17

Hi op here's a tale to give you food for thought

DH and DBIL both aspies, BIL is older by a few years both underslung jaw and severe protrusion upper jaw as kids

PIL's made BIL have braces, he whined and moaned but still in his 50's has straight teeth

DH refused to have braces due to BIL's behaviour and PIL's left him to it from age 14

He hated his goofy teeth so much he left them to rot as in his aspie mind that was the solution, no one took charge and as a result he didn't see a dentist for 25years

When he did the ONLY teeth not needing treatment were the protruding ones and they have affected his confidence through all his adult life

When we had kids one of the first things he said was if they need braces they are having them

If he had had braces its more than likely he would have continued regular dental care, by refusing braces he affected his whole life and confidence in forming relationships

grumpmitchell Sun 04-Dec-16 17:09:17

Wow useretc thanks for sharing that. It seems that the right thing to do is what I would do for (non aspie) ds2 and go ahead with the braces for ds1 if they're the right thing to do. And from what you say the right thing to do includes cosmetic work.

I'm glad I asked on here. Other people's experiences and perspectives are so helpful. Thank you all chocolateflowerswinebrewcake

Snowflake65 Mon 05-Dec-16 17:26:01

See if watching this video helps: - it helped them see what a difference it can make.

SerialReJoiner Mon 05-Dec-16 17:32:50

My DD has sensory issues and is likely on the spectrum but isn't diagnosed. I was worried about her coping, but she adapted to her braces really quickly. Children are surprising sometimes. smile

Christmassnake Mon 05-Dec-16 17:34:52

Weird,I'm in the same situation with my 17 yr old....not sure either...will follow to see what advice you get

LarrytheCucumber Mon 05-Dec-16 17:43:15

My DS is nearly 22. When he was first told he needed a brace he was having problems going to the dentist (special dentist and sedation for treatment). The orthodontist agreed to put it on hold. When he was 16 he decided for himself to have it done. Treatment completed when he was 19.
This was the best course of action for us, and the orthodontist, who would have had a difficult job if he was non compliant.

grumpmitchell Mon 05-Dec-16 20:32:52

Well an update from this end is that he went today. They took the moulds which he didn't enjoy much but he interacted with the orthodontist who was very good at explaining and took his time so the procedure felt quite relaxed. It's 6 weeks and he'll go back to have it fitted. There is an underbite issue that needs fixing and ds seems to have accepted that it must be done. I'm constantly surprised at his ability to grit his teeth and handle things that I know are tough for him. I'm proud, ashamed that I doubted him and impressed by his resilience at the moment. We shall see how we go in 6 weeks time. Thanks for all your very thoughtful input. It really is appreciated.

user1471537877 Mon 05-Dec-16 23:31:22

Well done op, in 10 years time when he has a gorgeous smile, remember this time and say well done to the two of you

There are lots of us with aspie families over on the special needs board if you ever need a hand to hold

Although I told you about DH's story we have aspie kids so I really get where you're coming fromflowers

TheSecondOfHerName Tue 06-Dec-16 22:14:26

Well done to him for managing to tolerate it.

SENPARENT Fri 13-Jan-17 00:48:06

I was very dubious like you grump but they do surprise us. Our son with ASD coped well with his brace and all the inconvenience of having to go back to hospital when the bands snapped etc and now copes really well with his retainer since the braces have been taken off.

I think as he has got older he is more able to cope with things he wouldn't have managed when he was younger. He is now 21.

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