Anyone else in orthodontic hell with the kids?
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  1. #1
    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Default Anyone else in orthodontic hell with the kids?

    We've saved some for it, knowing ds 7 would need braces down the line (without a doubt, we thought). Had a consult yesterday, the poor kid's an oral train wreck and long story short, he needs expanders and reverse headgear NOW and still, -maybe- braces in 3-4 years. Oy. Paying up front discounts it by $300 to roughly $3400 for THIS part. Long story short, I ran through the budget last night. We'll take over $1k out of our medical/vet fund, that will leave us about $500 there, the rest will come from a big check coming for hubby later this week. Money planned for EF, vacation, and extra mortgage payment is all being funneled towards this so we can pay it upfront.

    What a pain in the kiester. We thought we had more time, years more, to prepare. I'm feeling blessed we can do the money-shuffle and take care of it, but irritated that money is no longer going to what we planned for. I need to work on being less rigid (guess who's the nerd at my house?).

    So, a curve ball. And we're back to about 0 for those braces which are still probably coming and will cost $5k+ in a few years. And we have the sheer joy of trying to get our 7 yo to wear reverse headgear for 3-6 months, which looks like a Medieval torture device. -sigh-

    Complaining over, thanks. Anyone else in orthodontic purgatory? Most irritating thing- hubby has decent teeth, I have GORGEOUS teeth. Everyone assumes I had braces, but I never did. DS did not get our smiles. Fingers crossed DD, 5, did. Too soon to tell!

  2. #2
    Registered User stinkbug's Avatar
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    Both of my girls were in braces at the same time. One had headgear. Their dad was supposed to pay 1/2 (hahahahaha!) Our ins. paid 1000.00 and the rest we made monthly payments. None of the orthodontists here charge interest. We paid on braces for 4-5 years. Worth every dime.

  3. #3
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    We have paid a small fortune in orthodontia between the four of us who have had work done. All of it was necessary. Two of us had Herbts. **twitch**

    Sorry.

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  5. #4
    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    DD is in orthodontia now. She is #6 person in the family that has had braces (hubby and 5 kids). I've never had orthodontia.

    We were pleasantly surprised that our dental insurance is paying for part of the expense. As a matter of fact, they're paying so much that we're almost done - and DD got braces just this summer. She doesn't even have all her brackets on yet.

    DD was in pre-ortho (free visits) for several years in hopes that we could time her treatment better. When hubby was laid off and we moved across country that got interrupted so she went about 2 years without any pre-ortho appointments. When we started up with a new permanent dentist we went back to talking about ortho and found the first step was to have NINE teeth removed - many of them baby teeth that were stuck and unable to fall out on their own. She was quite a trooper with that. That is why she doesn't have all her brackets yet - the new adult teeth haven't fully come in. She went a long time with no chewing surface at all!

    If you think the ortho treatment at the age of 7 is a bit too aggressive (which it sounds like it might be), I recommend getting a second opinion. A child's jaw grows A LOT by the time they get to pre-teen so expanders now might just be redundant. In DD's case and in my own, we both had a mouth full of crooked crowded teeth in elementary school but as our jaws grew, they all straightened out. If DD has a complaint about her teeth right now it is that her teeth are too spread out! (She's 12)

    Anyway, think carefully before you proceed and consider that second opinion. I think it is very reasonable to tell the orthodontist that paying $8000 over the next few years is simply too much money and they need to come up with another plan.

  6. #5
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~I might be right with you with this in a couple months. I don't know what that reverse headgear thing is and I'm scared to google it.
    I had braces, top only, for nine months. My teeth were very straight, we just turned one more toward the front and built it up with compound. DH had braces for 6 years. And after they came off he continued to grow and get wisdom teeth so many of the crowding and overlap problems came back despite all the money and time invested.
    I think straight teeth are worth it but I'm not seeing the money come out of our accounts yet so it's still easy for me to say at this point. ~
    Last edited by nuisance26; 07-01-2014 at 06:01 AM.

  7. #6
    Registered User baxjul's Avatar
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    We are just getting started, I feel your pain.

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    I agree with post #4 above. Get as many opinions as possible.

    Both my children had braces. My son never had any problems. My daughter had jaw problems in later years as a result of braces. Just do your homework and I wouldn't move anything anymore that what is absolutely necessary. Some practices are going to be more aggressive versus others.

  9. #8
    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's stuff that needs to be done now. If you google it, the Foundation of Orthodontia (okay, I made that up, I forget the real name, but it's the 'board') recommends kids be evaluated at 7 the latest when possible. They did a 3D cat-scan, as well as various regular pictures, and all was explained to me and makes sense (while I'm no Radiologist or Orthodontist, I have a background in radiology and know more about xrays/CTs than laypeople, and it all washed with me). So onward we go...and cross our fingers that DD won't follow in his footsteps. If she does, she does.

    It's just been that kind of year, when our best-laid plans to prepare for future needs are blown out of the water when the time table moves up quite unexpectedly. Happened first with my car, which I wasn't planning to replace for another 1-2 years, and now this. We're coping, but I've lost my fuzzy 'we got this!' feeling. We still got it, but with a lot more shuffling!

  10. #9
    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    7 is the norm nowadays to begin. waiting longer (until they are older) costs more and they wear them much longer. when they start w/ expanders, etc, at a young age, they do things in phases...we are done w/ phase one (have three) and are PIF!!! YEAH

  11. #10
    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    our 11 yr old has been in braces for almost 2 years. Its been a rough journey for her. A front tooth decided to be stubborn and didn't want to come down on its own, so we had no choice except to put braces only on the teeth that would be affected by the procedure. Not only did she have to have braces on a couple of top teeth, she had to undergo 2 oral surgeries that we had to pay extra for. One surgery, they had to go up under the gum & put a "button" with a chain & attach it to the stubborn tooth to guide it down into place. The second surgery was to cut away some extra gum/scar tissue that resulted when the tooth finally came down. I agree with the others to shop around for an orthodontist. The first one we went to wanted to do a bunch of unnecessary barbaric procedures and wanted to charge us 1600 more. The one that we chose not only did an excellent job, but he saved us a lot of money and also gave us a discount b/c we paid for everything w/cash. It wiped us out when we first started the journey, but its paid for from start to finish, including 3 retainers for when the braces come off in about 6 months. Our daughter hated us at first for making her go through it.lol But now she has a beautiful smile & when she is 16, she's going to be thankful that we did. Out of 10 Houseapes, she's the only one who has had braces...and it was a medically necessary procedure. We have another dd that the dentist recommended get braces. We did our homework and found that there is a big risk of having root damage and that the teeth could shift after the procedure. My dd said that she didn't want them & was completely happy with her smile, so we allowed her to make the choice.

  12. #11
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    DH's braces were because of the way his teeth were crooked. His lips were rubbing off the gum on some of the teeth.

    Mine were for TMJ. I am out of pain and I have nice straight teeth now. I have an inherited issue where my lower jaw is too small. That is what caused the TMJ. The herbst stretched out my lower jaw and braces fixed my bite. (A herbst is sort of like head gear that goes in your mouth.)

    Toad's lower teeth were in front of his upper teeth. Had we let it go, the upper teeth would have made his lower jaw bigger. He had braces over the front few teeth for a few months and then braces all over for a short time.

    Beak inherited my lower jaw issue. He was in a herbst for a few months and then braces.



    Q has naturally perfectly straight teeth. So, we had one out of three where we didn't have to spend a small fortune.

  13. #12
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    I know what you're going thru and is there anyway that it will fall under your medical insurance coverage?

    I never had crooked teeth, but my jaw needed to be realigned. When I closed down I had an opening in front that would fit a plain M&M thru. I had TMJ and severe migraines.
    So, I had teeth pulled as a kid and was told possibly need expanders. When I was growing up parents didn't have dental insurance. When I was in my 20's I started to get things fixed: I had 4 teeth & 4 impacted wisdom teeth pulled. I had braces put on & and my palate split - then I wore an RPE (rapid palate expander) for 9 months. Then when the palate was healed I had my jaws broken & realigned. The dentist, orthodontist & oral surgeon appealed to BCBS and proved that it was Medical NOT cosmetic so my medical insurance paid. The only thing I paid for was $2500 braces and $900 for the RPE. The orthodontist had payment plan so it was $65/month at the time. The orthodontics & surgery worked together to cure my issues.

    My DS only needed 4 brackets to help straighten his teeth. No jaw issues. Our dental insurance covered 80% so we were lucky. Back when I had mine done dental insurance didn't cover it.

    Good luck with everything - will they put you on a payment plan so it doesn't all hit your wallet at once?

  14. #13
    Registered User my4littlebuffaloes's Avatar
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    I have 4 kids, have paid cash upfront for 3 of them to have braces. My first recommendation is to get a 2nd and possibly 3rd opinion. We shopped around until we found someone we were very comfortable with (the 4th dr we saw) and it the list of what was wrong and what was to be done was drastically different between drs and the price varied by thousands.

    Side note - there is an ad on the page for one of the orthodontists that we saw and rejected because he was too pricey and trying to insist we start that day. Creepy!

  15. #14
    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    No, medical insurance will not cover it and we don't have dental. But we'll deal. I'm actually quite comfortable with both the Doctor and the treatment plan, so forward we'll go!

  16. #15
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~Just curious how to go about getting second and third opinions. Will the kids need to be x-rayed at each place? How long does a consultation usually take, and cost?~

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