Have you ever heard of a third grader getting braces? Gabriel had an orthodontist appointment today and I was not expecting it to go the way it did. We had a Radiothon at the station today so I was unable to take him, but Jim filled me in. Earlier this summer our dentist recommended that Gabriel see an ortho because of crowding issues with his bottom teeth. He thought Gabe might need an expander (no biggie). However, when the orthodontist saw him he gave us a few options, none of which seem very appealing.:( The ortho said his top permanent teeth are coming in at an unusual angle and his bottom teeth are a mess. He can either have his baby teeth extracted to make room for the others (and still probably need braces later) or get “phase 1” braces now, and most likely “phase 2” when he is a teen. I wish I would have been there to ask questions and take notes but that is the basic overview. My first thought is to get a second opinion. Neither Jim or I ever had braces so this is new to us. I don’t feel comfortable with them pulling perfectly healthy teeth (even if they are going to come out eventually) but if will need braces regardless, why put him through the pain? Still, braces are a big deal (and a big BILL) so I don’t even want to think about that unless it’s really in his best interest.
I did some Googling and found this blog I thought was helpful. If you have any insight or experience on this issue I would sure appreciate some feedback. Oy Vey. What to do?!
I was told my son needed them too, at a very young age. I refused and waited until he was 14. He wore them less time than usual (the doc said he was surpised how well his teeth moved) He is 18 now and has a beautiful smile.
To be honest, I know quite a few kids who got them on very very young, went through the process, got them off, parents thought they were all done and then needed to get them on again in their mid teens. isn't that depressing? I think orthodontists put them on waaaaay too young. when I was a teen, it was normal to get them on at 13, 14, 15. I never heard of anyone who got them on younger than 12. now they get them at 8! I am just suspicious of that.
Just my opinion!
My daughter had eye teeth that grew out over the other teeth because there was no room for them. So that no teeth had to be pulled, she got an expander in fourth grade and wore it for almost a year. She then started with braces on the top in fifth grade and had a full set by junior high. She wore them until she was a freshman in high school. She now has beautiful teeth. My son had an overbite that will probably take longer to be corrected.
I was referred to our orthodontist by our dentist, whose opinion I trusted. It would not hurt to get a second opinion. I was lucky enough to have insurance that covered 2/3 of the cost. I set up a payment plan for the difference.
I never had braces and I regret it to this day.
Hi Brooke, We went through this with my daughter. She had 'large' teeth and a very small mouth. She started seeing an ortho around 4th grade and actually ended up pulling a number of teeth to make room….. tough decision but we really honestly have been totally impressed. Our orthodontist followed her for probably 3-4 year coordinating everything with our regular dentist to pull teeth. She then had braces and retainers, but only braces one time. We have been very impressed and her teeth are absolutely beautiful. Would recommend a second opinion…. btw, neither my husband or I had braces either so it was all new. Good Luck- love the puppy!
Brooke Taylor says
Thank you so much! It sounds like each story is a little different but all with positive outcomes. That is encouraging. Hopefully with that information and a second opinion, we will do the right thing. Thanks again for your feedback!:)
I'm a little late, but I had braces and I don't regret it for a minute. I had an expander on my upper teeth when I was in 4th grade and an expander on my lower when I was in 5th. After that I had my braces on my top four teeth and bottom 4 teeth in 6th grade. Then when I was a sophomore in high school (YES a sophomore) I lost my last baby tooth and some of my teeth were still crooked. So I got a full set of braces my sophomore year and got them off right before my senior year. Braces TWICE…but I don't regret it AT ALL. I have a beautiful smile. I say if the doctor recommends to start now, then start now. I hated having braces in high school…that's something that should be done and over with before you start high school…but my stupid baby teeth wouldn't come out!!!!! It's not too young to start with an expander now…just wait until he has lost all his baby teeth to get the braces. It's a lot of money..but money WELL WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!
I'm the one who you linked to in your article. Thanks for the link!
I just wanted to say that my son has his braces off now and his teeth look beautiful and he's still wearing a retainer.
I also just want to emphasize that braces for 8 year olds (or other young kids) isn't necessarily about straightening teeth, it's about making the mouth bigger to make room for adult teeth so you don't have to pull teeth later on.
Our ortho is talking about doing 2nd phase but I don't want to worry about that just yet.