So, DD is 13, almost 14, in 8th grade and is self conscious about her teeth. She has one crooked tooth on the bottom that only shows when her mouth is completely open and is not in the front, so really, no one ever sees it unless she points it out. She has another tooth on the top side that isn't exactly crooked, it just grew in maybe 2mm higher than the rest of her teeth but still hasn't grown in completely and might resolve itself, again, not in the front but the one next to her first molar. The dentist didn't recommend braces but said it could be corrected if we wanted to, but we really can't afford it anyway so it's moot for the time being.
Issue # 1 is we honestly can't afford it, and no matter how many times I've explained to her the sacrifices our family would have to make, she still keeps talking about it. We are in debt, my partner has over $2k in dental work that needs to be done in the next 6 months before it becomes too severe to treat, and I have sleep apnea that needs to be addressed, so a crooked tooth or two is low on our family's medical needs right now. She enjoys going out to eat and shopping at the mall with her friends, and I told her she would have to kiss that all goodbye along with any vacations we might take in the next 2 years, but she still doesn't get it. She has been getting allowance for 3 years now and is aware of our budget when we take them shopping for things, yet she still thinks money just magically appears in our bank account somehow. My partner and I both work 6 days a week and live month to month.
Issue #2 is she takes terrible care of her teeth. We got her sealants on all of her molars last year and somehow she managed to get 2 cavities this year, down from 6 at the beginning of last school year. She also had silver capped baby teeth when she was younger on 4 teeth. I have never had a cavity in my life. It is obvious that she doesn't brush well enough or frequently enough, no matter how much we hound her, and insists that she drinks plenty of water even though I see her drink maybe 1 6 ounce glass a day. She drinks at least 3 glasses of juice a day, even though we've told her it's bad for her teeth, and since the "juice rations" happened she still manages to drink as much as we have when she can (we only buy 2 cartons of juice per week now, to try and limit the amount of sugary drinks she and her sister drink). I have a hard time feeling like we should pay $4 grand we don't have to fix someone's teeth when they won't even do their part to take care of them.
And, of course, she's an angsty teenager who thinks she knows everything and her parents are idiots, so she won't listen to us. It's always "well so and so has perfect teeth, everyone I know got braces", even though I try to remind her that their teeth are only perfect because their braces just came off. I try and have her look at people's teeth on TV to see that even these pretty, young actresses don't have perfect teeth most of the time, and that sometimes teeth that are too perfect look fake, but she doesn't hear me.