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Do I push my 12 yo to have braces?

(65 Posts)
WalkingSense Tue 14-Mar-17 08:10:58

My 12 yo son has just seen the orthodontist. His canines are much higher up than the rest of his front teeth, and his bottom front teeth are seriously wonky. But, as not a single one is more than 4mm out of line (3 mm in 2 places doesn't count) it's not on the NHS. My son doesn't see the point: all that effort and who needs a beautiful smile? And his teeth may get decay earlier, but hey, they may not. I think most people nowadays do have beautiful smiles, and he doesn't realise people judge you for this. Besides, it's not just 1 wonky tooth, these canines really define his smile. Do I make it compulsory? How to convince him? Or is it just not important?

redexpat Tue 14-Mar-17 08:14:47

I wish my parents had followed up with our dentist and got me braces. Yes people do judge you on your teeth. You are the parent, you decide what is in his best interests.

FootstepsMerlot Tue 14-Mar-17 08:17:32

Yes absolutely. I didn't want my braces at 14 for similar reasons, and my parents didn't push it. So now in my late 20s I'm 2 years and £3000 into my braces journey. Teeth get wonkier over time, it would have been so much simpler to do it back then.

Crumbs1 Tue 14-Mar-17 08:17:40

Yes push him towards braces. All his friends will have them soon and they can completely transform confidence levels. Straight teeth are so beneficial in early adulthood and he will be judged on it. (However wrong that is).

sonlypuppyfat Tue 14-Mar-17 08:17:53

We've been in this situation my DDs two front teeth crossed over , she refused the brace when she was 12. But she had them last year when she was 15 and now they are beautifully straight. Her sister is 12 and needs a brace her teeth are crowded and is refusing a brace but I'm just hoping she will also change her mind. But I've left the decisions to them, DD found them quite painful and she's had to have extractions

IDefinitelyWould Tue 14-Mar-17 08:18:30

Yes, I wish I'd had them when young. I'm now saving to have braces as an adult. Is there anybody famous who he looks up to and you can point out their teeth? Make it compulsory, maybe reward him with something he's been after if he has them and looks after them well for say 3 months then another reward step after 6 months etc. Reward could be something like cinema trip where you drive and drop off him and his mates or something similar?

thenightsky Tue 14-Mar-17 08:21:11

Yes. I'm so grateful my parents pushed me. I looked like a rabbit, but by the time I was 15 had a proper Hollywood smile.

missyB1 Tue 14-Mar-17 08:23:11

12 year olds don't know what is in their long term best interests, you need to make the decision for him, you know he needs the braces.

My in laws decided not to get my husband braces and now as an adult he feels quite resentful that they didn't step up and do the right thing.

murphys Tue 14-Mar-17 08:25:25

Yes encourage him. At 12 he won't see the issue, at 16 he will have wished he had them straightened. The upkeep is something to keep an eye on if you do manage to convince him. Dd is pretty good now, she brushes correctly and uses the Christmas tree brush in between

It a sad fact that people do judge you on your teeth....

If you don't go through NHS do you mind if I ask how much they will charge you for the treatment? I am not in UK so we have to pay for ours privately anyway, but its not cheap....

Mysterycat23 Tue 14-Mar-17 08:29:20

Re getting decay earlier. I have extensive fillings caused by braces - not being able to clean teeth properly as hardware round molars. Plus an enthusiastic old school dentist who was of the kind better to drill out the whole tooth than do many small conservative fillings. Ruined my molars for life.

So be aware with proper brushing and mouthwash the decay thing is irrelevant to the decision.

Sounds like his teeth aren't that bad but still braces would be a good idea if you can afford them privately.

DaffodilDarling Tue 14-Mar-17 08:30:41

I think he will regret it as an adult if he doesn't.

QuimReaper Tue 14-Mar-17 08:30:45

YES YES YES do push it! He may not care now but he will when he's older and it's so expensive then! Metal train tracks on adults are becoming increasingly common since it's the only even remotely affordable option to get straight teeth, which tells you how much crooked teeth must bother adults. I paid a fortune for Invisalign instead.

I do resent my mum for not pushing braces for that reason. In our case I wanted them but the orthodontist said they weren't bad enough, but she refused to let me try for a second opinion hmm Obviously it may have been a non-starter but in my opinion she owes me six grand for not even letting me try.

QuimReaper Tue 14-Mar-17 08:31:27

That said, if you're paying to have them done privately there's no rush, so why not revisit the topic in a year or so? Once every one in three of his mates has them he won't mind so much.

Trills Tue 14-Mar-17 09:08:37

Bribe and cajole and persuade and argue.

WalkingSense Tue 14-Mar-17 10:00:32

Oooh, this is so helpful. People do judge, and they shouldn't but they do. I hardly want to tell him 'if you want a girlfriend you need to be nice looking' definitely not the message I want to give. Bribing and cajoling, and waiting another 6 months are all very good options. I don't think it's much more expensive when you are older. It's 3-3500 now! But there's a better chance of it having a good impact now, and it takes less long apparently.

murphys Tue 14-Mar-17 10:23:56

They say age 12/13 is the best age. Here there is a bit of pressure to him them put on sooner, but it does seem no matter what age they go on if its earlier, they seem to come off at around age 15. The baby teeth all need to be out otherwise it just lengthens the time.

That is a similar price to what we are paying here. Its a set price which we pay monthly so if the treatment is extended (which I am sure it will be) then the price doesn't change.

Good luck OP. Soon your life will also revolve around orthodontist appointments for tightening and what colour bands to have this time grin

QuimReaper Tue 14-Mar-17 10:33:21

True that it isn't more expensive for an adult OP, but he's more likely to want linguals or invisalign (which is less effective) as an adult which are more expensive than traintracks; and also presumably if he rejects braces now and changes his mind when he's older surely he'll be stumping up for them himself? grin

Find an adult who's paid to have their teeth straightened (I guarantee you will know at least a few, even if you don't know it) and get them to talk to him. I'll do it if you like grin

murphys Tue 14-Mar-17 10:44:44

I have to say that dd didn't get a choice whether to have them or not. She needed them, and it was arranged and she got them put on. I think that 12 is quite young still, just tell him he needs them, and that's that.

JellyWitch Tue 14-Mar-17 10:46:54

I refused have them at 15 and regret it now when it would cost a fortune to straighten mine out. It affects my confidence as an adult even though they are not the worst out there!

My kids won't be getting a choice. If they are recommended then we will do it.

JustDanceAddict Wed 15-Mar-17 18:26:01

My DD didn't get a 'choice', she had extractions - and now has a much better smile! Took 18 months but they were off at just over age 14.

swingofthings Wed 15-Mar-17 20:51:43

Having had braces myself as an adult, I would say no no no, don't force him. DD has hers on the NHS (just about met the criteria on the basis of pronunciation I think) and seeing the outcome 18 months later, I decided it was time to sort my front tooth lapping over the next one.

Well I never realised how painful, unpleasant, restrictive it would be and how much I would hate them. I have no regrets, but that's because I desperately wanted to result. I would say to anyone not sure not to go ahead until they are because it's really not a nice experience. Of course, many teenagers go through it, so at least they're all into it, but I don't agree that they should be pushed especially when they don't meet NHS criteria anyway.

Bensyster Wed 15-Mar-17 21:02:03

Your 12 year old can wait a couple of years, maybe till others are having their braces, they'll qualify till they are 18. It's sometimes very painful and requires the dcs to eat very carefully and brush their teeth very thoroughly. Both my dcs have braces, one was free the other had to be paid but both were quite desperate for straight teeth and they spend 5-10mins twice a day cleaning them.

redexpat Wed 15-Mar-17 22:02:47

Its not just girlfriends - employers, anyone buying or selling anything, in every situation.

I know a lovely lovely woman who is a foster mother for 3 challenging girls, helps at guidews, goes to church, all round pillar of the community. But what is the first thing that comes into my head when someone mentions her name? Her teeth.

nooka Fri 17-Mar-17 05:25:34

My dd is getting her braces off next month after two years. It's been a stressful painful experience for her, and one we only did because the orthodontist was able to demonstrate that her misalignment was causing serious problems and would go on doing so. We've actually pushed for having them off as soon as possible, the orthodontist wanted to go on tweaking until they were 'perfect' but she'd really had enough.

My ds decided not to go ahead with braces (partly after seeing dd's first six months of treatment). He has some crooked teeth on one side, but it is purely a cosmetic issue. He was 16 at the time and we let him make the choice. He grilled the orthodontist about possible consequences of not going ahead, and understands that he'll have to pay if he changes his mind.

Teeth with braces need a lot of maintenance in order to keep them clean (and they need to be very clean). they limit what you can eat and can at times be very painful. At 12 you can make the decision for your child, but I think it's better if they are on board. I'd wait a year or two and reappraise. They might have moved a bit more by then too.

intheknickersoftime Fri 17-Mar-17 05:33:31

I could have written your post OP. I have a 12 year old ds who doesn't see the point. I have agreed to defer the hospital appointment for a couple of months. My plan is to gently Keep persuading him. It is hard. You can hardly drag them there.

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