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cookieman's avatar

Should we get braces for my daughter?

Asked by cookieman (38324points) January 25th, 2015 from iPhone

I took my 12-year old daughter for an orthodontic evaluation to a very trusted practice.

They said she has a very minor over-bite and a minor cross-bite. No crooked teeth, over-jet, or crowded teeth. All adult teeth came in well.

They suggested a 3-year plan with braces ($6,000).

I asked if there were any medical benefits to this or if we’d be avoiding any potential future medical issues by having the braces.

They said no, it was “purely cosmetic” and “nobody ever died of a cross-bite”.

Given that there’s no immediate or future medical benefits, I’m not certain we should get the braces. Her smile looks good to me and we’re not so concerned with perfect teeth.

What do you think?

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

How does she feel about it? Braces, in addition to being expensive, are pretty uncomfortable at times. Can you ask the orthodontist if she can get them at a later date if you do not get them now?

It seems like everyone gets braces now but we didn’t used to. Some of us don’t have perfect bites and live just fine anyway.

cookieman's avatar

@janbb: she’s okay with it if it’s a necessity, but would prefer not to have them.

I did ask about waiting and he said that now (within a year) is the time to do it, as her mouth and jaw is still malleable.

JLeslie's avatar

It doesn’t sound like she really needs them. I wouldn’t bother. I had braces, I really needed them, and was very happy with my smile for over 30 years. The last 15 years my teeth have shifted, but still I was overall happy. The last 3 years I dislike my smile, because my dentist screwed up repairing a bond and for almost three years I couldn’t bite correctly and my teeth have shifted a lot. I’m thinking of getting braces again.

My point is, I think I would leave it for later. Getting braces in your teens doesn’t mean you don’t wind up getting them again anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

3 years/$6,000? That seems like a lot for a “purely cosmetic” correction.

I’d get a second opinion, and/or ask her dentist.

My daughter is just ending her correction phase, about to get a retainer. Total (and this is from a pricey ortho in California) is $4,200 and it’s only been 2½ years and some extensive work.

Aethelwine's avatar

Yikes. I have a year to find the money to pay for the braces that my daughter needs if she doesn’t want to look like a vampire the rest of her life.

Good luck @cookieman. I know this is a tough decision, but I think your daughter should have the final say.

Here2_4's avatar

I was kind of disappointed when Cher Bono had hers straightened. They were part of her face, and having them changed didn’t make me love her more. If it isn’t needed, I would not do it. Now if she looked like a goblin shark, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s8lCbIQG5Q , my opinion would be different. I am sure she is a beautiful girl, and will choose what is right for her. If she obsesses over her smile, then I would consider it, but it sounds like she is happy with who she is. That is terrific.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I agree with @zenvelo‘s second opinion suggestion. $6000 is a lot to spend on a slight, cosmetic dental issue. If it doesn’t bother her and won’t cause her any harm in the long term, I’d hold off.

cookieman's avatar

Thank you all. A second opinion sounds like a good idea. I’d ask her dentist @zenvelo, but he also owns this orthodontics office.

@jonsblond: I think you are right about my daughter having the final say. It is her mouth.

@Here2_4: Very good points.

Unbroken's avatar

I’m wondering if it is 100% purely cosmetic. Having everything align well for chewing and sleep might be of import? I don’t know for certain. I was just speculating. I agree imperfections negligible or not can be quite endearing and bring character. But it sounds like something only dentists would notice. A second opinion is a very good idea.

jca's avatar

I would go for it. No kid wants braces because they can be uncomfortable and unsightly, and a few years of wearing them is a long time for a child to imagine. However, they are worth it. I wore braces and I get told all the time what a nice smile I have. ALL THE TIME! I was not thrilled when I had them but I am happy I did it now. My mom told me at the time she had a choice between a new car or braces for me, and she chose braces for me. That was late 1970’s and it was $1200 then.

tedibear's avatar

If her ability to chew, speak, eat, etc. isn’t affected and she doesn’t have any serious cosmetic “defects” from her teeth, I wouldn’t bother. America is a very “braces happy” culture.

cookieman's avatar

Thanks again y’all. Second opinion is to be scheduled.

Pandora's avatar

I wouldn’t bother. I had braces when I was a teen but I really needed it. I agree with someone who mentioned that teeth shift as we age, especially after the wisdom teeth come in. I know people who had to get braces twice because wisdom teeth caused overcrowding and shifted the teeth.
But get a second opinion from a regular dentist with no association to an orthodontist.

wildpotato's avatar

No. Braces can erode enamel, even if you do everything correctly. This led to major issues with my teeth in my 20s, which actually required a second round of braces to fix. Not even remotely worth doing. Crazy damn American preoccupation with perfect-looking teeth.

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