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Teen Dd's teeth crooked again after braces

(34 Posts)
Etainagain Tue 29-Dec-15 09:39:56

DD17 had NHS braces fitted on upper and lower teeth a couple of years ago. When removed, her teeth looked perfect. She was given NHS retainers to wear at night. She promptly lost one (classic teen thing of taking it out to eat and putting in a tissue instead of the retainer box and tissue getting thrown away) and we paid for a new one. When it happened again, we made her pay out of her savings (money we'd put away for her). This time, the Orthodontist suggested a fixed retainer instead of a removable one for her upper teeth. We didn't think to ask whether one could be fitted to her bottom teeth and it was never suggested to us. Dd then lost the retainer for the bottom teeth and didn't tell us for a couple of months. By this time her teeth had started to move again and we made her pay for a new retainer to stop further movement. When she lost the bottom retainer yet again, she didn't tell us at all and when I found out months later, she refused to return to the Orthodontist because she was frightened about being told off. This was all around GCSE time and with other things going on, it was forgotten about (my fault). Her bottom teeth are now in a terrible state (completely crooked) and possibly worse than before. When DD2 had her braces removed by same Ortho, she was immediately given the option of free NHS retainers or paying for fixed braces for both upper and lower teeth. We were happy to pay as this seemed like a much more sensible option given our past experience with DD1. At the last visit with DD2, I mentioned DD1's very wonky bottom teeth and she said that she will have to have her teeth done again. She looked a bit shocked when I said that DD1 would have to pay for this herself, but it would be hard for us to find the money (could sacrifice annual holiday though). It is such a pity that we weren't offered fixed retainers in the first place, or at least after the first retainer was lost, but there may be a good reason for this (are they quite new?). Would it be better for DD to have this treated now that she is still a teenager, rather than wait years until she can afford it? Should we try and find ways to finance this? DH says it is DD's fault and she'll have to pay for treatment herself when she is older.

SheSparkles Tue 29-Dec-15 09:44:09

I'm usually an advocate of making kids feel the financial pain of their irresponsibility, but in this situation I think I'd swallow the expense and pay for it, on the understanding that the only option is fixed retainers, given the past history with the removable ones

AngryWildChild Tue 29-Dec-15 09:47:05

As great as fixed retainers are, she would need to regularly check that none of the fixings detach as this can happen without noticing and then the teeth can move again.

With regards to having braces again, if it bothers her enough to pay I would pay upfront then get her to pay me back bit by bit.

springscoming Tue 29-Dec-15 09:48:21

I think fixed retainers must be new. Neither DC was offered them 4 years ago

ABetaDad1 Tue 29-Dec-15 09:49:29

The rules are that you have to wear the retainers and she didn't. Hence her teeth are now wonky.

I agree with your DH. She is not sensible enough to be worth spending the money on again. I suggest she waits until she is older and she can pay herself or not as she chooses. She doesn't want to lose her pocket money now because she sees it as a punishment. She wont be able to go out with friends if she has no money and for a teen that is social death. Hence she did not tell you.

DS1 does exactly what your DD does. Puts the retainer on a tissue somewhere in the house and forgets them until I remind him. He is also doing his GCSEs and he will be made to pay if he loses his.

springscoming Tue 29-Dec-15 09:49:56

I'd pay and then get her to pay me back with a mix of jobs done ( not her usual ones) and cash.

LIZS Tue 29-Dec-15 09:50:07

Presumably now not bad enough to fit criteria for nhs again. Maybe she pays half as a contribution. Ds is halfway through treatment and similar age.I think sooner rather than later.

Etainagain Tue 29-Dec-15 09:51:02

Thanks for your reply. I do feel bad about allowing this to happen. Knowing her past history with retainers, I should have been making sure she was wearing the bottom one. The problem is that you can't really see her bottom teeth when she talks or smiles, so I didn't realise there was movement. She's also not really overly bothered about her wonky bottom teeth for this very reason. But I worry about her dental health and whether this will be much harder to fix when she is older.

Twinkie1 Tue 29-Dec-15 09:52:48

She's old enough to understand the consequences of not wearing her retainer or looking after it. You haven't allowed this to happen at all.

I'd make her pay herself, no way would I sacrifice the family holiday, why should others suffer because your DD can't be responsible?

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 29-Dec-15 09:54:26

I did the same thing and my bottom teeth have been getting steadily worse since then and are now hideous. I'd pay for braces now if I could afford it, but at the time I just wanted to never go back to the orthodontist again. I would sort them now if you have the chance, she can contribute from allowance/whatever income she has but don't leave it.

Etainagain Tue 29-Dec-15 09:55:46

I think she may well fit the criteria for NHS treatment, but I thought that it was only offered once. As this is her fault, I did not think the NHS would pay again.

We3KingyOfOblomovAre Tue 29-Dec-15 09:59:19

Your problem is that she didn't wear/lost the retainer, not once, not twice, but many times.
So why would this time be any different?

Etainagain Tue 29-Dec-15 10:05:48

That's my concern too, although this time we would insist on a fixed retainer,

LIZS Tue 29-Dec-15 10:06:24

That's why op is asking for fixed ones, although whether her dd would be reliable about cleaning and maintenance is questionable. Even on nhs you get charged for breaks and replacements, yet she still doesn't care enough.

Groovee Tue 29-Dec-15 10:07:49

She's 17. She is old enough to choose for herself what she wants to do now. I'd be getting her to make up her mind but remind her that it's her choice.

Etainagain Tue 29-Dec-15 10:08:56

Thing is, Dd doesn't seem overly bothered by her wonky bottom teeth as they can't really be seen. However, she does seem highly embarrassed by the fact that she has wasted the good work done by her Orthodontist and does not want to return to her for this very reason.

GretchenBeckett Tue 29-Dec-15 10:10:03

Ds did similar and is now having braces again on the NHS.

newname99 Tue 29-Dec-15 10:16:40

I think it's her decision, you said she isn't bothered about her lower teeth so just give her the options. I.e visit to Ortho to discuss options or wait til she is older.I had adult braces and its not a big deal anymore, its also highly frustrating/painful to have many dental appointments so if she's done it once before then I can understand her reluctance.

Maybe she does need the break from treatment.

MrsGradyOldLady Tue 29-Dec-15 10:17:00

My son's due to have his braces removed in 6 months. I though you only had to wear retainers for 6 months after? Is this not the case? He already regrets having the braces as it's already been 2 years. He's constantly going back to get them fixed as they don't seem to want to stick to his crown. He's in pain every time they're tightened. He thought this was a permanent solution. We both did.

Penfold007 Tue 29-Dec-15 10:27:49

MrsGreyOldLady my DS had his braces removed three years ago and has rear fixed retainers in place. Orthodontist has no plans to remove them.

OP if your DD isn't committed to having braces I don't think there's much point at this stage.

YeOldeTrout Tue 29-Dec-15 10:38:50

Varies, MrsGrady. DH had full train tracks & has never worn a brace in decades since, his teeth are still very straight. DS had full train tracks & was advised to wear a nighttime retainer for life, which he does. But one day I imagine he'll be bored with it.

I don't understand what forces would cause teeth to go so crooked again so fast, in teeth of teens between ages 14-17. But I'm not an orthodontist.

I have many cousins who got their teeth straightened as adults (they paid for it). Since it's not impossible, I think I'm with OP's DH what to do.

SixtyFootDoll Tue 29-Dec-15 10:48:26

DS aged 15 had his braces removed a year ago, he has fixed retainers top and bottom, which orthodontist said stay in place forever. He also has plastic retainers to wear one night a week.

Etainagain Tue 29-Dec-15 11:08:25

That's interesting about plastic retainers as well as fixed retainers. I just had a quick chat with Dd about her teeth (in a good mood after Christmas, so more communicative than normal!) and she said that her top teeth have moved a bit even with the fixed retainer. Perhaps she should have a removable plastic retainer in addition to a fixed one.

I also thought that once fixed braces came off, that was it. I had no idea that a retainer would need to be worn. Dd said that she should have been told to wear the retainer day and night as she reckons her teeth began moving almost immediately after the fixed brace was removed.

Do you think the NHS would pay for her to be treated again? Were the fixed braces maybe removed too soon? Or should she have been told to wear the retainers 24 hrs a day instead of just at night?

Etainagain Tue 29-Dec-15 11:11:03

BTW I had no idea that fixed retainers stayed in place forever, nor that they would need to be regularly checked in case they came loose. We were just told that her dentist would need to check that she was cleaning behind her teeth properly in case she got decay under the fixed brace. Should it be her dentist checking the fixed brace or the Orthodontist?

A huge thanks to all of you for posting replies!

villainousbroodmare Tue 29-Dec-15 11:18:00

All in all, I think I'd try and get it done now.

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