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  1. #1

    Default Braces strictly for cosmetic reasons?

    Last edited by Solong; 09-15-2016 at 05:57 PM.
    Home schooled two kiddos from a remote location for seven years. DD16 has transitioned to public high school. DS8 tried PS, but likes home schooling better.

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  3. #2


    DS had braces for almost 2 years, for cosmetic reasons. Huge overbite and sort of fang eye teeth.

    Our insurance paid 50%, I think we paid $2500 for our share. (7 years ago). I certainly wouldn't take out a loan to do it. If you can afford it, I say it's a valid reason. For good or evil, many people judge on first impressions, one of which is our smile.

    DS absolutely HATED them at the time. In the years since he's had them off, though, he appreciates that we had it done.

    About head gear and retainers--from studies I've read, they really don't do much. DS barely ever wore his retainer. Made no difference--teeth didn't move after braces were off.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3


    This is not an issue for us, at this point, but I can't imagine forcing the issue if it is not medically necessary.

    Of course she can always do it at anytime. If she later decides that she wants to work on her teeth, she can get them. I don't think there is an age limit for it.
    Last edited by Mariam; 07-19-2016 at 03:01 PM.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 12-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  5. #4


    I agree that it is not 'now-or-never' issue. I wore braces when I was 25-27. I had a problem on the upper jaw (one baby tooth was still sitting in tightly and a permanent tooth grew in the second row), so I had to correct it. The orthodontist was pushing me really hard to do both jaws - upper jaw to correct the problem and lower jaw purely cosmetically to just straighten it up a little - I refused and did only the problem upper jaw. It would have been twice the money and twice the pain (as I have discovered that the process was quite painful). I have never regretted having a perfect upper jaw and not-so-perfect lower jaw and do not think it affected my life in any way (not that I wanted to be a movie star anyway).
    ...And I refused to pay for and wear retainers too - the teeth did not move at all.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  6. #5
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
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    Nov 2011


    For us it would be a no go. It's just too much money, time, and discomfort for something that is for appearance sake only. If it were a severe thing with teeth every which way, and DS felt very self conscious about it and really, really wanted it done, we'd do it, but otherwise, no. We could afford it, but there would be other ways that I feel the money would be better spent. Also, and I know this is just my weirdness, but seeing people with the way too white, exactly even, way too perfect, unnatural teeth creeps me out. It's just so Stepford.
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

  7. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by AnonyMs View Post

    Is this something that people who can afford it just automatically do? My generation was kind of 50-50. I had braces for six years (headgear and all), which caused enamel hypoplasia and host of other dental health issues in my adult life. The field of orthodontics has continued to advance, so they know better now... but, I'm not seeing as many braces as I did back then. Like houses, is this just something that many parents simply can no longer afford?
    It seems as though 80% of the kids around here get braces! (and we do not live in a really wealthy area) Growing up in the 70's I rarely saw braces - my brother is the only person I knew with braces. I'm not even sure why he had them. His teeth always looked perfect and he only had to wear them six months. (I've never heard of insurance covering any of it. Our insurance doesn't cover it.)

    The pediatric dentist suggested I have my children evaluated for braces. I haven't done it yet. She said my son's bite is 'off a bit' and my daughter has one tooth that is 'sightly off'. I should have asked for a better explanation but I was in 'braces denial'. I probably need braces more than the kids. I have TMJ and the past twelve years I've clenched my teeth at night. I've managed to ruin my teeth and they have shifted horribly. They used to be perfectly straight and evenly spaced (except the gap in front that has been bonded since I was 13); now they look horrible.
    Last edited by dbsam; 07-19-2016 at 02:06 PM.
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  8. #7


    ds8 isn't getting them.

    I may reconsider this decision when he gets closer to job interview age if it bothers him and if I am in a better position to help him financially.

    I had Country Club perfect teeth until my 30s, when I was told that I had periodontal disease. I'm still sorting out what was bad genes and what was bad dentists, but a whole lot of money went down the tubes and simply isn't there for braces any more.

    Neither are my natural teeth, lol.

    ds' grandparents are in their early 80s and still have all their natural teeth. His look like his maternal grandmother's. Her father could have easily afforded braces if he thought they were medically necessary. He was an orthopedic surgeon.

    Fads come and go so we're just skipping the "braces for cosmetic reasons" one unless ds8 has a strong opinion otherwise, since it is his body.

  9. #8


    I was thinking about this more.
    When grew up, if your baby teeth were not falling out, they pulled them out so your permanent teeth came in straight. I had 10 or 12 baby teeth pulled. Two in the dentist's office and eight or ten at an oral surgeon's office.

    When I was concerned that one of my son's teeth was coming in front of the baby tooth, I asked the dentist if we should pull the baby tooth. She said that isn't done any longer. They let both teeth go and often the permanent tooth straightens out after the baby tooth falls out - if not, the kids get braces. That is why my nephew needs braces. His permanent teeth are all wonky because they came in around his baby teeth. I think it would have been easier and less expensive to have the baby teeth pulled.
    Last edited by dbsam; 07-19-2016 at 05:08 PM.
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  10. #9


    How much of an improvement would they make? Before I had braces, I had the whole *fish lips* thing going on.... and as mild as my vanity is, Im glad that I dont have that anymore. I also remember them as being a sometimes painful nuisance. And the brackets popping off frequently, necessitating lots of *emergency* trips to the orthodontist. (Im sure technology has advanced!)
    You could wait until she is older, and is ready to pay for them herself if she wants them.
    How does she feel about the idea of them?
    How does it compare with something less invasive, like Invisalign?
    Braces | Clear Braces | Alternative To Metal Braces | Invisalign

    I agree with the others that it doesnt have to be done at a certain age... maybe its just traditional to inflict it on kids because they felt youths bones were more pliable, or more likely, because parents could be guilted into shelling out the money for it.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
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    Nov 2011


    I have to say, I envy you all your insurance! We have what DH's company offers and it costs as much as our mortgage (it may even be a smidge more) and it ONLY covers health. No dental or vision. Not one dime. Not for a cleaning or checkup. Not for glasses, eye exams, vision therapy, nothing. We have paid all that out of pocket for years. I wanted DS to get a job with better insurance for years - it would have freed up a fortune. Now, I think he's old enough he better just stay put and have the job security.

    If your insurance covers dental - at all - let alone 60% for orthodontic work, be grateful.
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

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Braces strictly for cosmetic reasons?