So, braces are a teenager thing, right?

Wrong.

I figured orthodontists and talk of braces wouldn’t be a worry I’d have for at least a few more years, but after being a fly on the wall at a conference full of of dentists and orthodontists last year it turns out a child’s first visit to an orthodontist should occur no later than 7 years old and extreme issues can be avoided with minor intervention now. Which is to say, Addie’s teeth are a wee bit crowded in her mouth, each year I’ve watched them shift around and my worries of her dealing dental issues until she is old enough to have braces are false. A few small adjustments now will make for a happy mouth (and (most likely) no braces) later.

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Also, it turns out teeth aren’t genetically predisposed to come in straight like mine did (to be fair, I may have never had braces, but boy howdy did I get dealt a pretty rotten set of eyeballs.) so it’s impossible to just sit back and think “I have good teeth, surely my child will too!” (So it’s not impossible to think that, because I did, but it is wrong.) This is where we talk about Cody’s teeth. They’re straight! They’re just not all there, maybe some of you have noticed? He had one tooth that failed to come in and when the option of having it fixed was presented to him as a teenager he passed, because he figured there may be needles involved, he didn’t want a mouth full of metal and he thought it looked cool.

20 years later he’s regretting that decision as a professional attorney with a missing tooth. (According to this infographic, 94% (!!) of Americans think crooked teeth should be fixed.)

The idea of being an attorney with a missing tooth is only slightly worse than an attorney with a mouthful of metal braces.

Invisalign has been a topic of discussion on our house for a long time as a way to fix Cody’s missing tooth, but Invisalign Teen has now become a topic of discussion to fix Addie’s crowding issues as well. When I received this opportunity to work with Invisalign I figured it would be a good kick in the pants to really look into it for both of them, because up until now I’ve been convinced it won’t work for either of their situations nor will we be able to afford it. I completed the Invisalign smile assessment convinced it would tell me that Addie was too young to be considered for treatment (she’ll be 10 in December) but after answering a few simple questions it suggested that she may be a good candidate and there are computers working hard to provide me information via email on Invisalign providers near me.

I would much rather get all of this straightening business out of the way with Addie now so we don’t have to worry about orthodontic visits when her life and social calendar really pick up over the next few years. I know Cody would also like to get his missing tooth taken care of, but as with anything, real life sometimes gets in the way and it’s taken something like this to really convince me to begin seriously researching our options. Of course Addie still has the youthful idea that metal braces are an awesome rite of passage (a belief I once held as well) but after talking to parents of children with braces? I’d really rather not have snapping bands, broken wire and wax in my everyday life.

As a bonus, Invisalign is giving away an full treatment with the winner to be announced at the beginning of October. Hey, a chance at a free treatment is a pretty good incentive right? You can enter the Straight Talk Sweepstakes below, through Facebook or through this mobile friendly link.

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Did you know orthodontic intervention and treatment can begin as young as Addie’s age with Invisalign? Because before today, I had no idea.

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Disclosure: A special thanks to Invisalign for sponsoring this post, as always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Comments

  1. I got Invisalign at 33. No, wait, 32. My teeth were BAD, crooked and crowded and I’d always hated them. I had to have them for 18 months because they were SO BAD. Anyway, they’re still not entirely perfect, but they’re so so so much better. And, no one in my office ever noticed I had the Invisalign trays in unless I pointed them out, so Cody shouldn’t worry. Seriously. Totally worth it.

  2. If you can avoid braces for Addie, that would be great. My 14 year old has them now and it is taking forever because she doesn’t change her rubber bands. they are about to start a more agressive treatment with additional hardwear. I would love to have invisalign but was told it wouldn’t completely fix my teeth. So the cost doesn’t really justify it for me at the moment.

  3. My Moma has her Invisalign in her 50′s! She is so, so, SO happy she did it. Her sister wasin her 20′s (20 odd years ago) and had to have her jaw broken, re-aligned, wired shut, and then braces and retainers for close to 5 years – just for an onverbite.

    So of course I have very straight teeth but awful teeth.

    My sister has been taking my nephew for ortho consults but says they always say to put it off. I tell her it is because the longer they wait the more money they will make. He is 13 and has needed work since he was 8.

    My coworker was very lucky in that her dentist shares a practice with an orthodontist who is of the belief that quick work when they are young is better so all hers had braces at age 8 for less then a year and have beautiful and amazing teeth and are very very happy. She is very, very happy it wasn’t as expensive since she has 4 kids, but also because less teeth were braced (ha) there was less discomfort.

    So far we are catching a lucky break in the straight teeth and decent eyes department.

    Thank you for sharing!!

    Good luck to Cody – definitely look into making him more confident in the smile department.

  4. I’m in my 40′s and started working with an ortho when I was about her age for a severe overbite. My mom had the same problem and when I was 6 or 7 (she was about 32) she had her jaw broken, moved forward, wired shut, etc. So, she wanted as early an intervention for me as possible. I ended up being the first kid in my ortho’s office with a removable “applicance” that I had to wear 12 or more hours a day – so I could take it out to eat, for pictures, etc. I wore it for about 18 months and it did the trick – so as a teen no surgery for me!

    If you can correct your daughter’s issues early it will be so much better!! Good luck!

  5. My stepdaughter had braces (metal and bands kind) when she was 7 for a year with the promise from the ortho that it would vastly improve her teeth and mean no braces as a teenager. She wears a retainer and goes in for regular appointments with her ortho to make sure things are still on track. Until then I had no idea braces were for kids (like Trix!) and seriously questioned her mother saying she needed braces. But, a few calls to orthodontists (the stepdaughters as well as a second, third, and fourth opinion) confirmed that this is now a thing.

    I got my braces off the day I graduated from high school, which is not The Worst but certainly doesn’t fall into the Awesome category. Glad your girl (and mine) won’t be in that camp.

    xox

  6. I had braces from the time I was 8.5-10. Along with numerous extractions because it seems my mouth is simply too small to hold all those teeth. As was my mothers, but she had hers as a teenager and was delighted to find out 25 years ago- that I could go through this at a younger age. I was the first person in my class to have braces, but other than that it was much easier I think to do it at a younger age. And that was even with plain old metal braces! Good luck!

  7. I started orthodontia when I was 6 or so, because of permanent teeth coming in before baby teeth went out, and in weird places they shouldn’t be coming in. I was like a shark, with two layers of teeth in places. (Yay, genetics!) I’m talking lots of oral surgery, removal of permanent teeth, retainers, teeth shifters, spacers, etc. with those awful metal bands, wires, rubber bands, etc. Not only was it for my teeth, but for an underbite and jaw issues. So, if I do the math, I was in some kind of mouth pain for over 10-12 years due to orthodontics. Our family jokes that our family ortho put all his kids through college JUST on our family of three. (It’s probably not a joke.)

    What they don’t tell you is that your teeth keep moving around as you grow up. I’ve been babying pieces of my last 2 retainers for more years/decades than I care to share, to keep my bottom teeth from bowing out, and my eyeteeth from becoming fangs (thanks Mom.) I know I’ve been having jaw pain because things are moving around. I should do Invisalign for grown-ups. Not only for the cosmetic, but for these latter actual issues.

    It’s a pain with kids. They don’t like to hurt. It’s NOT cheap. It’s not always attractive, but there are so many more options (like Invisalign) now – with colors and retainer types. But … in the long run? It’s a health thing.

    She doesn’t need to have a Hollywood perma grin, just be ready to flash that lovely Addie smile on those she deems worthy.

    Good luck.
    Cause if one needs it? Odds are on the two.

    Just ask my snaggle-toothed youngest brother.
    He did, actually, have a mouth of straight teeth, once upon a time. (See adult teeth shifting.)

  8. My daughter started visiting our ortho at age 7. First she had to have a palate expander followed by a retainer. At at age 9 or 10, she had 4 braces put on her front teeth to put her eye teeth in the correct position. At age 11, she got her full set of braces. She was GREAT about wearing her rubber bands and taking care of everything, so she only had to wear them for 10 months. Now she only has to wear a retainer at night. Her teeth look great! We had to start so early due to her pronounced cross bite. Our ortho is great…soo good with young kids. My son also started going to him around age 8 due to overcrowding. He will get his braces this fall (he is 10..will be 11 in January)

  9. My daughter (also 10) has her first screening appointment next week at the dental school where I got my braces; you are picked based on what kind of work needs to be done and you are assigned to a student (I, of course, had to be assigned to a graduate student with all my issues). They do all the actual work and then the “professor” oversees the work and does monthly checkups and consultations. I loved it there and they knock off about 45% of the cost, as well.
    I hope Invisalign is a viable option for you guys! It seems so much easier!

  10. go with metal braces. coop has already finished a phase 1 treatment and ains is in the middle of hers. they look fantastic. matt doesn’t recommend invisalign. it rarely gets the job completely done. the only reason his office even does it is because some people insist. he always warns them and most end up doing traditional braces anyway. both matt’s sister and our neighbor recently finished their treatments and are unhappy with the outcomes. it is better to just suit up and deal with the metal monstrosity. you cannot get the perfect look that you get with real braces. you just can’t. and anyone who tells you otherwise is not being completely honest. and every kid wants braces. indulge her and be happier with the results. hope you guys are well.