Does Your Child Need Braces?
With 4 kids generally there are 4 X the expenses.
Everything from the day to day stuff like clothing, food, school fees and other schooling costs. Sporting commitments, extracurricular activities and of course funding those ever present social lives.
There is also the ongoing costs of medical and dental bills. Miss E also has physiotherapy costs and it just so happens that over the course of the next 10 years or so, yet again we will have to encounter a hefty orthodontics bill X 2!
Having already had Miss M undergo orthodontic work, we kind of know what we are in for.
It’s a long and costly process, but the end result was definitely worth it, especially for her.
Since since she was 7 years old Miss M always had problems with her teeth.
She was born with a short jaw.
She was left with no overbite what so ever and her top teeth and bottom teeth bit down right on top of each other. She also had overcrowding on the top row, with an eye tooth having no choice but to come down and stick out above her top row of teeth and what affectionately became known to all, as her ‘fang tooth’.
Her bottom row of teeth haven’t fared much better. With a couple being affected by hypoplasia and two adult molar teeth never forming at all in her gums at all. It’s anyones guess just how long her baby teeth are going to stay with her, before she will be looking at implants down the track.
Braces were always going to be an inevitability with this one….
We did have an important decision to make however.
One treatment option proposed was to actually break her jaw, insert a plate therefore extending her jaw and then use braces to correct what would then become an ‘underbite’.
Or alternatively we could cosmetically fix the way her teeth look now and if the issue of a short jaw bothered her in the future, she could look at other cosmetic surgery options as an adult.
As you can imagine the thought of breaking her jaw terrified us and her, so we opted for option B.
The day dawned, I had stocked up the fridge with custards and yogurts in preparation. Had an assortment of tinned and packet soup ready to go.
Orthodontists these days try to make the whole process as fun as possible.
I remember when I was at school, it wasn’t the norm for every teenager to end up with braces. Most of our parents shuddered when they saw the proposed bill, therefore lot’s of us were left with bucky and crooked teeth, amongst other problems that would follow us in adulthood.
These days many orthodontists offer payment plans and even through most health funds you are able to claim back a portion of the cost.
There are also a few varieties of braces to choose from. You can go for the ‘invisible’ kind or ceramic braces. This choice is one a lot of adult braces wearers opt for. You can have ‘hidden’ or lingual braces which go along the inside of the teeth and are basically undetectable.
Or you can simply have metal braces.
We opted for the metal kind, however even todays metal braces are a far cry from the full mouthful of metal that most teens used to wear.
One thing that a lot of orthodontists now offer are colours!
Yep, kids can choose what colour bands they want circling the bracket covering their teeth. At every appointment, they can change the colours to reflect their mood! Pink was always popular in our house.
They do make wearing braces fun and fashionable!
Just a word of caution, stay away from the green ones, they make it look like you have spinach stuck in your teeth.
It only took a few months of braces wearing to see a remarkable transformation with her bite.
Her ‘fang tooth’ was starting to move into the correct position already and her bite was moving into a better alignment.
In all, she had her braces on for 2 years and I can say the whole experience has transformed her.
She went from a shy girl who never gave an open mouthed smile in photographs to one who was openly laughing, proudly displaying her new perfect smile.
She used to talk behind her hand, not liking the way her teeth made her mouth appear.
Her conversations with her orthodontist at each appointment went like this….
“Can I get them off before my year 12 formal…please!!!”
He would just smile back and say a non-commital….”We’ll see”….
The day came about 4 months before formal, when he announced that it was time to take them off! It was excitement plus!
The one thing she was wanting was to have formal photos of herself, with an open mouthed smile and no braces! She looked beautiful.
Having undergone the whole braces experience with a terrific orthodontist, I can definitely say it has been worth it. She has just blossomed and her confidence has soared. The maintenance and day to day care of her teeth has also been improved.
Orthodontists are just not dentists, the are experts in the straightening of teeth and will develop a treatment plan specifically designed for the individual.
On top of a dental degree, orthodontists must also undertake another 3 year degree in orthodontics.
Miss M is so much more confident and self assured and she no longer runs from the camera.
Deciding whether your child gets braces is definitely a big decision. It’s a huge financial burden and all I can say is listen to your options.
Sometimes getting the right advice is a matter of shopping around and Orthodontics Australia can help you on your search.
Ask other parents who are currently undergoing the braces challenge if they are happy with their orthodontist and the service they are providing. Sometimes word of mouth is the best recommendation you will ever get.
And most of all remember to talk to your teenager and include them in the decision making process, after all it is their mouth and they are the ones who will be wearing them for the next two years or more.