Weighing the Pros and Cons of Braces - is this my decision? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 06-24-2011, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd1 (11 yrs) has crowded teeth. I thought I'd done my research on orthodontic treatment, but I guess I wasn't thorough enough. We started out with cranio-sacral treatment to expand her palate and it was nothing short of amazing. I was adamant that she not have any teeth extracted (her wisdom teeth will likely be another issue.) After that, she had upper and lower expanders that also worked miraculously (because of the continued c/s therapy, possibly.) Then it was time for braces, but I just didn't feel 100% comfortable with the idea and money was/is really tight. Then, our insurance decided to cover it 100%, so we opted to do it. She just got her braces on this week and they've been causing a lot of pain for her. I felt bad, but it wasn't until I had a dentist appt on Wednesday (the day after she got her braces on) and a new dentist walked in and asked if anyone had ever told me about my front teeth. She pulled out an x-ray from February & showed me how the roots on my two upper and two lower front teeth were shortened. She proceeded to tell me that this made my risk of losing them greater and that it was from the pressure of braces moving my teeth.

 

I suppose there must have been some small print that talked about the possibility of root damage in her treatment paperwork, but from what I'm reading now, it seems like it's a pretty common side effect.

 

So now she's had braces for 4 days and I'm contemplating walking into the orthodontist office and asking them to remove them. It sounds crazy even typing it.

 

Do I risk compromising the health of her teeth for a straighter smile? Is that even my decision? At age 20, will she scream at me for not having her teeth straightened when I had the opportunity? Dear goddess, the decisions we parents are forced to make are unbearable!

 

Does anyone know if there's a chance that she'll have more room for her teeth as she grows? She's had all of her adult teeth for a few years now (she's a bit advanced in this area.) Her teeth aren't that bad, they're not crooked, it's just that the pointy teeth up top (eye teeth? canines?) don't have room to fit, so they're sort of protruding a bit. A girl in the neighborhood called them "vampire fangs."

 

I don't know if it's right to leave the decision up to her. Of course, I feel like I already made the decision, but after learning what I've learned...it doesn't feel right.

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#2 of 27 Old 06-25-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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Wow, I had no idea that braces affected the roots. Is there an optimal age for braces? I remember reading something at a dentist's office, that braces were not recommended until the age of 12. So maybe there are different views on this. Can you call various dentists? I think I will be in your situation in 2 years with DD. Right now I'm thinking that I'd wait until DD is closer to 18 and is able to make a more informed choice--based on other factors, and not only cosmetic changes. What a tough situation. HUGS.


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#3 of 27 Old 06-25-2011, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read that the older a child is, the more damage is likely to happen to the roots. I'm reading "Heal tooth Decay" and am really liking it!


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#4 of 27 Old 06-26-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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Does it talk about braces / root damage as well? How's she doing with the pain / discomfort?

 

Please update with your decision, if you don't mind.

 

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I've read that the older a child is, the more damage is likely to happen to the roots. I'm reading "Heal tooth Decay" and am really liking it!



 


My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#5 of 27 Old 06-26-2011, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It does - sorry, I wanted to elaborate but didn't have time. I think the discomfort is lessening, but it's hard for her to eat. I didn't tell her anything about the risks I've been reading about and asked her if she'd rather keep them on or have them off and she said "Have them off, it hurts to eat." So now I don't know what to do.... I'm going to call a local holistic dentist who I spoke with before and get his opinion. She's excited about the idea of getting them off possibly tomorrow. I can't even imagine walking in there after 1 week and asking for them to be removed. Eek.


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#6 of 27 Old 06-26-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:

 

Do I risk compromising the health of her teeth for a straighter smile? Is that even my decision? At age 20, will she scream at me for not having her teeth straightened when I had the opportunity? Dear goddess, the decisions we parents are forced to make are unbearable!



It's not just a straight smile. Having teeth that do not align up propperly is awful. My parents never got me braces even though they had dental insurance that covered most of it. Anyways, I've had to have two teeth pulled because they were so out of alignment their roots were exposed, one was an incisor and breathing cold air hurt! My jaw doesn't line up right and I think that's part of the reason I grind my teeth all the time.

So yeah, teeth are supposed to line up for a reason and it's not just to look pretty. I would give anything to go back in time and have braces as a pre-teen or teen. Now I just hope to someday save up enough money for braces before I have to loose too many more teeth.


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#7 of 27 Old 06-26-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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Have them straightened! It's not just about cosmetics. My teeth are crooked and crowded-- they were crowded at that age, and they've gotten steadily more crooked over time, as the crowding affected their alignment. I never had braces because of poverty-- my mother was a single mother with no insurance and no financial resources. I have so many problems now as a result-- I had chronic pain on one side of my jaw, where there was pressure from crowding. I had a molar that gradually got shoved out of place, and chafed against my inner cheek, until I had a nasty sore in there. And it's impossible to keep them clean, when they're so crowded, so I've had huge problems with decay. And it's very difficult to fill cavities in teeth that are so crowded.

To me, the temporary pain is worth the result. I would not have them removed. If the root damage is worrying you, I would be doing a ton of research before making this kind of decision--- I've lost three teeth already to decay, because of crowding, and that's to me a bigger risk.

Plus, you know what? The cosmetic aspect of it is important. I feel extremely self-conscious about my mouth, and have suffered a lot of social anxiety because of it. And I got ridiculed, in high school, about it. I would so much have preferred to have had the braces, at the normal age when everybody else had them.

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#8 of 27 Old 06-26-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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I am so so glad I got my teeth straightened. I cannot imagine the embarrassment I would deal with as an adult if my teeth looked the way they did when I was a preteen/teenager. Yes, there is some discomfort associated with braces. It was miserable at the time, but I am now so grateful for it. I have some issues with my jaw that could possibly be related to the expanders I had, but there's no way to know for sure. There's also no way to know for sure that your shortened roots are related to the braces. It could be the case, but no dentist can say that absolutely. 

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#9 of 27 Old 06-26-2011, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think her crowding is that bad. I also want to speak with our craniosacral therapist to see what she thinks. So much of this is due to bones in the skull and the jaw not forming properly. But craniosacral therapy can move these closer to where they should be. If we can get rid of the braces and make some more space with the CS therapy, I think we'd all be happy.

 

In "Cure Tooth Decay" the author talks about all decay being a matter of improper nutrition, not hygiene.


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#10 of 27 Old 06-27-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Our holistic dentist is also an orthodontist, and he uses a special palate-expanding device that also straightens the teeth -- but non-cosmetically, meaning that it actually shifts the cranial bones so that there is enough room for the teeth, rather than just pulling the teeth around. It's called the Advanced Lightwire Functional (I think). There are some YouTube videos that explain it well.

 

He works with a craniosacral therapist when he makes adjustments to the device, to make sure he is adjusting correctly for the body. He has wonderful results; most people don't need braces afterwards, and their posture usually shifts dramatically, along with improved gait, reduction in headaches, ear pain, TMJ issues, etc.

 

If you're very worried about the braces, then perhaps an alternative like this (the ALF) is worth saving for or getting a loan for. That's what we're thinking about.

 

Good luck!!


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#11 of 27 Old 06-27-2011, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post

Our holistic dentist is also an orthodontist, and he uses a special palate-expanding device that also straightens the teeth -- but non-cosmetically, meaning that it actually shifts the cranial bones so that there is enough room for the teeth, rather than just pulling the teeth around. It's called the Advanced Lightwire Functional (I think). There are some YouTube videos that explain it well.

 

He works with a craniosacral therapist when he makes adjustments to the device, to make sure he is adjusting correctly for the body. He has wonderful results; most people don't need braces afterwards, and their posture usually shifts dramatically, along with improved gait, reduction in headaches, ear pain, TMJ issues, etc.

 

If you're very worried about the braces, then perhaps an alternative like this (the ALF) is worth saving for or getting a loan for. That's what we're thinking about.

 

Good luck!!


THIS is what I want!!!! I've read all about it & even printed it out. However, we don't have a practitioner anywhere near us! :( I almost feel like it would be better to remove the braces and just wait until we can do this, somehow...I mean, at least it's addressing the root of the issue so the teeth won't just go back to the way they are right now like they will with braces (unless she wears a retainer for the rest of her life.)

 


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#12 of 27 Old 06-27-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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THIS is what I want!!!! I've read all about it & even printed it out. However, we don't have a practitioner anywhere near us! :( I almost feel like it would be better to remove the braces and just wait until we can do this, somehow...I mean, at least it's addressing the root of the issue so the teeth won't just go back to the way they are right now like they will with braces (unless she wears a retainer for the rest of her life.)

 


Apparently it works well on adults too -- could you wait until she's older, and can handle her own travel to a practitioner? Or at least until your littles are big enough to have you travel with her? My understanding is that there are a couple of appointments in the first three months, and then it's either once every three months or once every six months after that, depending. Lots of folks travel to our guy. We travel 2 1/2 hours, not too much, fortunately.

 


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#13 of 27 Old 06-27-2011, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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Apparently it works well on adults too -- could you wait until she's older, and can handle her own travel to a practitioner? Or at least until your littles are big enough to have you travel with her? My understanding is that there are a couple of appointments in the first three months, and then it's either once every three months or once every six months after that, depending. Lots of folks travel to our guy. We travel 2 1/2 hours, not too much, fortunately.

 

 

I read an article by Raymond Silkman DDS a few years ago called "Is it Mental or is it Dental?" in the WAPF magazine (Wise Traditions) & was blown away. I'd love to be able to take her (& me!) to his practice. http://www.westonaprice.org/dentistry/279-mental-or-dental

 

We might be able to travel - but in a bit when the baby is a little older. Of course, I'm not even taking $$ into consideration.
 

 


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#14 of 27 Old 07-26-2011, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I found Dr. Gerald H. Smith, DDS who is pretty close to us. I had no idea who he was until I started reading his website! http://www.icnr.com/

 

Anyone know anything about him? It looks like we'd mesh pretty well - I'm just unclear on his nutritional stance. He does cranial checks/adjustments at every visit (like every 6 weeks) to make sure that the treatment is going the way the body needs it to. He also uses the ALF appliance & gets that you can't just move teeth around to make them look straight; the whole cranium needs to be addressed. He's sooo expensive though! I found two other doctors, one in D.C. and one in NYC, so travel costs (and headaches) would probably make all three of them about even. I'm going to need a full time job to pay for this.


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#15 of 27 Old 07-26-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post

Our holistic dentist is also an orthodontist, and he uses a special palate-expanding device that also straightens the teeth -- but non-cosmetically, meaning that it actually shifts the cranial bones so that there is enough room for the teeth, rather than just pulling the teeth around. It's called the Advanced Lightwire Functional (I think). There are some YouTube videos that explain it well.

 

He works with a craniosacral therapist when he makes adjustments to the device, to make sure he is adjusting correctly for the body. He has wonderful results; most people don't need braces afterwards, and their posture usually shifts dramatically, along with improved gait, reduction in headaches, ear pain, TMJ issues, etc.

 

If you're very worried about the braces, then perhaps an alternative like this (the ALF) is worth saving for or getting a loan for. That's what we're thinking about.

 

Good luck!!


Wow. I will have to look into that for myself. I have TMJ, had braces for years as a kid, and have a small crowded mouth. Thanks!

My 10 yo had braces for about a year. She had a cross bite that was so severe she was looking at major surgery and a gum graft. They didn't really do cosmetic changes, just fixing her bite.

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#16 of 27 Old 07-26-2011, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kitty, I'm looking at it for both myself and my 11 yr old Dd. If I don't fix my bite, I'm going to lose my four front teeth from grinding. :(


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#17 of 27 Old 07-26-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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Hello, people who are posting here.  I posted a question about orthodontia on a new thread, about fiberotomy and frenectomy.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  thank you!

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#18 of 27 Old 07-27-2011, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just started a new thread about this article, but wanted to share it here as well...

 

http://facefocused.com/cranioguest.html

 

It's an awesome article & easy to understand. The author describes how traditional braces pull the maxilla & mandible *back* rather than allow (or even assisting) forward growth (which so many of us need.) Extractions, to "make room for teeth" are even more detrimental to our health. The author uses the example of trying to fit a size 32 tongue (32 teeth) into a size 24 mouth (24 teeth) (which is exactly my mouth!) which leads to airway obstruction which leads to an increased risk for stroke, heart disease and even cancer. We all know now that snoring is a risk factor for all of those things - and why do people snore? Airway obstruction.

 

This ALL has to do with improper facial structure which is the root cause of crowded and crooked teeth. By simply moving teeth around with braces, we're not addressing the root of the issue, but we're even making things *worse*.

 

I'm going to pick up Dd's x-rays from the orthodontist (the panoramic), skip her ortho appt next Tuesday & take her to the ALF doctor above. After that, braces are coming off & we're done with the traditional orthodontist after a month of treatment. I was unsure of having them removed, afraid of the ortho's reaction, but I now feel like I've done the research & feel VERY confident in my decision.

 

My other three children don't seem to have the issues Dd1 has and we'll proceed with cranialsacral work, focusing on forward growth of maxillas & mandibles along with the Cure Tooth Decay recommendations for hygiene & diet. The diet part isn't hard as that's the way we already eat (phew!)

 

I just can't believe that dentistry & orthodontia has remained at SUCH a standstill for all of these years. The research is out there but nobody wants to admit they've been wrong, or that there's a better way.

 

Sorry, I'm all riled up. I don't know why I'm so surprised when it seems to be the way for everything - ADA, AMA, AAP, etc, etc..

 


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#19 of 27 Old 07-28-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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would you mind documenting/keeping track of your dd's process/progress. we are a ways off from braces but i would like to make the best choice possible. i had traditional braces and i can't complain too much, my teeth are easier to floss and take care of but i had a total of 8 teeth pulled! and i had my palate expanded etc. it just seems like there has to be a better way...


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#20 of 27 Old 07-31-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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Just bumping this to see if there are any updates from the OP or any others who have looked into and/or used the ALF or other holistic orthodontics. Also wondering about the cost of these services.

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#21 of 27 Old 07-31-2012, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here we are a year later....:)

 

Dd1 got her ALF in June and her palate has expanded *beautifully*! Dr. Smith will put a lower ALF on within the next couple of months. He continues to do CST at each visit and I've been taking all of us for regular cranio-sacral and myofascial release therapy. I'm hoping that with the extra work, Dd1 will have less discomfort and things will move forward more quickly. When all is said and done (about 22-24 months, total), I'll post a before and after picture. :)


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#22 of 27 Old 08-21-2012, 05:45 PM
 
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Do you mind me being blunt and inquiring about the cost? 

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#23 of 27 Old 08-21-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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yay i cant wait for the pic~!


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#24 of 27 Old 04-14-2013, 12:16 AM
 
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how is your dd doing op?


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#25 of 27 Old 07-03-2014, 12:47 PM
 
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Metasequoia, Would you mind updating on your daughter's progress? My daughter is 7, and the dentist told me this morning that I should be "preparing myself" for the possibility of permanent tooth extraction because her teeth are so crowded. I find this very difficult to accept and am looking into ALF treatment.
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#26 of 27 Old 07-03-2014, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have another thread and have updated the final results with pictures!

Dr. Gerald H. Smith, DDS (CST, ALF)

Definitely say "NO!" to extractions! That's a barbaric practice and the consequences are so widespread; I can't believe doctors still do this. Emma's dentist is adamantly against wisdom teeth removal too. The head/jaw is still growing into our 20s yet doctors are removing wisdom teeth in the teens.

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#27 of 27 Old 07-03-2014, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@Katie Gardner , I'm sorry I missed your post. The cost was $8800 for 24 months of treatment (more if I include the cost of tolls and gas since it takes us an hour to get there and an hour back + $9 in tolls, ugh.) She had her very last appointment two days ago!

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