Friday, October 30, 2009

My Baby Has Braces!




The orthodontist leaned forward, smiled and said those four little words that every parent cringes when heard, "Your child needs braces".

Several months ago, my 11-year-old daughter was evaluated and given a plan to begin orthodontic treatment. Phase I of the plan called for a palate expander, a device placed in the roof of the mouth to make it wider and give the teeth more room; and Phase II, braces for 36 months followed by a period of retainer wear of no less than two years. The total cost: $5,280. After speaking to several of my close gal friends who also have their children in orthodontic treatment, this astronomical amount of money seems to be the going rate for braces. Seems nowadays there are more kids with braces than not. Are our teeth getting worse?  Probably not. But we are an increasingly looks-conscious society. And the availability of dental insurance has made orthodontics more affordable for some. As a result, orthodontists are making more money! After doing some research, I learned that the number of North American kids and adults getting orthodontic treatment nearly doubled to 4.4 million, from about 2.5 million in past years.

Naturally, I didn't like the idea of spending this amount of money, but it was clear that my daughter needed treatment. Her upper jaw is narrow and restricted and she has significant crowding in both the upper and lower arches. Today's braces are made with a lighter wire and are far more flexible than in my day. Instead of using heavy metal bands around the teeth, orthodontists now use small brackets bonded onto the front surfaces of the teeth and newer arch wires that are attached to those brackets. So, cosmetically, they look so much better than 15 years ago. Kids like that they can choose colorful rubberbands that go around the brackets. My daughter anticipated getting braces with much excitement and she chose purple and black for the Baltimore Ravens, of course!

I am confident in our orthodontist and am hopeful that proper treatment will repair my daughter's crooked teeth and bring out her beautiful smile!  

11 comments:

These Nine Acres said...

She looks great. LB is getting them (I think) in February!

Jan n Jer said...

Wow..sticker shock...its a good thing you and your sister had nice straight teeth..I could never had afforded the cost of braces when you were Casey's age. I think I am going to become an orthodontist so I can become very weathly!!!

Colleen C said...

Mackenzie has had them for a few months herself. Must be the age for them. She looks adorable sporting her silver.

quilly said...

Your daughter is already lovely. Straight teeth will just add a bit of "polish".

margaret said...

Hello my friend! Thank you for checking on me ;-) All is well, and I just posted an update of sorts.

Oh - braces, I remember them well. I wore braces for a number of years (plus retainer and the dreaded headgear - this was the '80s after all). It was no fun for me or my parents, but we had to do it...I had a severe overbite and I would've looked like a jackrabbit by now. And to this day, I still get compliments on my teeth...so it is totally worth it. Best of luck to you!

Tracy said...

Braces ain't cheap. Hopefully I won't have to worry about that for a couple of years. It sounds like they try to make it fun for the kids who have to get braces and I'm glad Casey can smile proudly while showing off her new look.

Faye said...

That little daughter is so cute in her Ravens braces. If my friend Bob had to get braces he'd want some Ravens as well--lives in Balto and LOVES them. As for the braces, what a loving thing for a parent to do. Good teeth are so important for everyone--self confidence, etc.

Kat getting 'em braces said...

I heard our food is getting worse and our bodies are thus changin' so more kids need braces.

Landon Heath said...

Good thing that your daughter opted for braces. It could be a way to correct her dental arches and make her teeth look perfect and healthy. It may be a bit costly and the maintenance can be a little tedious, but the results will be astounding. In a few more years, she can flash her lovely smile to the camera. :-)

Nannie Livingstone said...

We have the same concern. When the dentist told me that my child needed braces, I knew it will be costly. I did research on braces, and I found out that dentists highly advise kids to get braces to correct their crooked teeth immediately. The younger they start, the better results they might get. Anyway, it’s been 3 years since you made this post. How is your daughter now?

Nannie Livingstone

SethOswald said...

Braces are necessary, that’s what our cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills told us during our consultation. I admit I don’t want braces for my kids because it’s costly and they will suffer from it. I was just hooked because my 15 year old daughter had a slight cross bite. Her two front teeth seem to be drifting outwards slightly and four of her bottom teeth are 'crossbite'. Praise God, no teeth were extracted.

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