Author Topic: Braces  (Read 16376 times)

chad

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Braces
« on: December 19, 2013, 10:23:45 PM »
Spending thousands of dollars on braces seems somehow anti-mustachian. I mean, I think it's going to be between 10 and 15 thousand for my two kids. But I think they really do need them, and not just for looks--I think that it's clear that the crowding will cause trouble with tooth decay, and we may have to pull teeth at some point if we don't have them straightened. So I'm probably going to do it. But it sure hurts. What would MMM do? Maybe learn to do orthodontics on his own?

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1864
Re: Braces
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 10:48:01 PM »
Pretty sure if there's medical need, it's justifiable. Not even due to expense of treating cavities/pulling teeth, but the quality of life factor of these things. You should probably still get multiple opinions/shop around.

Melody

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Australia
Re: Braces
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 04:44:24 AM »
My parents did it for me and boy am I grateful. I am sure it would have impacted my career if I didn't. Unfortunately looks count more than we would like to believe :(

Also trying to do it as an adult (like one of my friends did) would have been awful. She literally lived at home, worked full time and saved her ass off for a whole year while all her friends were at university/traveling (and yes, it was medical need, not purely cosmetic). So you are absolutely doing the right thing. You can explain this to your kids, and explain that it might mean cutting back in other areas. They might not understand now, but in the future they will.

What we did was spread the treatment over 4 financial years (2.5 actual years) to get the maximum claims from insurance in each year. Start and end of treatment are most expensive I think...
I also wore a plate that my normal dentist did first... not sure how that worked, I think it just stopped it getting worse as I grew up...

Gray Matter

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3633
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Braces
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 04:58:39 AM »
I've asked myself this question as well.  If teeth are crowded enough, it probably goes beyond cosmetic to medically recommended.  However, even if it's purely cosmetic, it's something I feel strongly about.  I'm not quite sure why and feel a bit hypocritical, because I am usually banging the "natural is beautiful" drum.  But for some reason, I just want my kids to have straight teeth (though not artificially whitened--go figure).

One interesting things I read (don't know if there's any validity to it or if it's pure conjecture):  we have crooked teeth because of our modern, cooked-food diet.  Our jaws are actually underdeveloped because they don't work very hard to chew nuts, seeds, and raw veggies or to crack open bones, etc.  So, crooked teeth are not "natural" and therefore I don't have to accept them.  See how I did that?  :-)

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Braces
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 05:41:43 AM »
Because my son had extra teeth, he had a variety of squeezing issues. The mess required oral surgery and braces on the top teeth only. His bottom teeth apparently have a minor cosmetic flaw (which I don't see--this from the orthodontist) who said that braces were not necessary there.

Sometimes retainers used early (and religiously) can resolve some issues without braces.  Everyone's mouth is different, of course.  I would go for the free consult early on to see what the options are.

ljp555

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Location: San Jose, CA
Re: Braces
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 07:55:18 AM »
I would definitely do it if it's medical, but shop around to get the best deal. Use tax-advantaged savings like FSA. Also make sure they will wear their retainer afterwards (from an adult who had braces as a child and is getting invisalign next month).

golfer44

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 195
Re: Braces
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 08:00:04 AM »
Maybe learn to do orthodontics on his own?

Hey, paperclips are cheap.

Serious note, it's very obvious that you should do it, and I will also say punt for a reputable orthodontist. Not just whoever is advertising on groupon (this is cool for getting your car washed, but not something that will change their smile for life).

Sucks, but this is the cost of doing business (age+9mos ago).

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3607
  • Age: 83
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Braces
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 08:52:43 AM »
I'd say even if it's for cosmetic purposes, it's worth it. Self esteem and job prospects can be effected by severely crooked teeth. People are still judged on basic appearance, whether it's subconscious or not.

I had overlapped teeth and lost a bottom front tooth to a softball hit (wow did that hurt!) and got braces around 12 years old to fix them both. I believe my case was a combo of medically necessary and cosmetic, but I'm very thankful my parents got them even though I hated them with a passion as a kid. I was very embarrassed by the overlapped teeth (top and front - VERY obvious) and I would have ended up with cavities and bite difficulties as I aged if that part hadn't been fixed.


.22guy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: Braces
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2013, 10:28:19 AM »
Maybe learn to do orthodontics on his own?

Hey, paperclips are cheap.



Paperclips and superglue oughta work!  :)

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Braces
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2013, 10:39:22 AM »
It's not exactly going to help in a situation where braces are already going to be needed, but I suspect our nutrient-deficient diets have a lot to do with the insane amount of orthodontic care we all need nowadays. This is based on findings of a dentist about 80 years ago who looked at native cultures around the world still eating their native diets, with no access to toothpaste, retainers, etc. and their teeth were PERFECT. But when you looked at people in the same village who had switched over to a western diet, their teeth were seriously messed up.

The Weston A Price Foundation, named after that dentist, provides some helpful resources to understand this. I also think some of their advice is ideological and ridiculous, like avoiding microwaves and the idea that saturated fat/cholesterol/salt are okay for everyone to eat in high quantities, but it's a good start. westonaprice.org (site appears to be down right now) Buying lots of pastured meat & eggs, local/organic produce, and fermented cod liver oil gets pretty expensive, but it's cheaper than the orthodontist!

clutchy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
Re: Braces
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2013, 10:42:14 AM »
just tie some wire around your kids teeth; should work out just fine...

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Braces
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2013, 11:16:22 AM »
We're facing this as well. Or at least we will for the oldest. My youngest is still only 5 and it's too early to tell if she's going to have issues or not.

The one thing I've done is to carefully read our dental insurance policies regarding orthodontics. In fact, when I became eligible to have double extended health/dental coverage a couple years ago I jumped at the chance. Although neither insurance policy will cover much ($1500 and $2000 per person) it'll still help. In the meantime, I'm using enough of the prescription benefit to more than cover our premiums so we're still ahead of the game.

For any other dual income Canadians out there, seriously consider getting your kids on both your and your spouse's extended health plan.

scfishy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Braces
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2013, 12:01:16 PM »
I get to be one of the lucky adults who gets braces. Mine are not for cosmetic purposes, but because I grind my teeth so badly that I'm wearing them out. It is going to be something like $6k for me, but that will probably be cheaper in the long run than constantly having my teeth repaired.

I don't consider it anti-mustachian. I hate spending the money, but my wife doesn't want me to delay doing it any longer. I am not looking forward to it though from a cosmetic standpoint.

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Re: Braces
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2013, 03:54:22 PM »
My son's teeth appear to be perfectly aligned but in reality the bite is misaligned and this alone is enough to cause major problems later in life.  So, no lay person should trust their assessment of whether braces are necessary any more than they should trust their assessment of whether that mole is cancerous.

For both my son and daughter, we used the dental school at the local university and got great service at a substantial discount with interest-free payments spread out over however long it took to get the teeth right.   For my son, private practice orthodontists gave us quotes of $6,500 and $5,800.  VCU's quote was $4,100 and they took our insurance which paid half.  Oh, and their initial assessment of his needs was free.

Look here to see if there is a dentistry/ ortho school near you.  http://dental-schools.findthebest.com/d/c/Orthodontics

olivia

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • From Consumerism to Minimalism
Re: Braces
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2013, 05:43:22 PM »
My son's teeth appear to be perfectly aligned but in reality the bite is misaligned and this alone is enough to cause major problems later in life.  So, no lay person should trust their assessment of whether braces are necessary any more than they should trust their assessment of whether that mole is cancerous.

For both my son and daughter, we used the dental school at the local university and got great service at a substantial discount with interest-free payments spread out over however long it took to get the teeth right.   For my son, private practice orthodontists gave us quotes of $6,500 and $5,800.  VCU's quote was $4,100 and they took our insurance which paid half.  Oh, and their initial assessment of his needs was free.

Look here to see if there is a dentistry/ ortho school near you.  http://dental-schools.findthebest.com/d/c/Orthodontics

Me and 3 of my 4 siblings needed braces.  My parents used a regular orthodontist for my older sister and then the rest of us got our braces at VCU.  No complaints, and in some respects it's actually better than going to a regular orthodontist because a group of orthodontist residents and attendings decide on the treatment plan, vs. just one orthodontist at a private practice.

I think braces are an absolute necessity if.  My teeth were extremely crooked, my canines were growing in through my gums, etc.  Teeth matter a ton when it comes to overall appearance, and appearance matters a ton when it comes to career prospects, etc. 

It always seriously bums me out when people cover their mouth when they smile or laugh because they're ashamed of their crooked teeth.  My former coworker told me his parents never took him to the dentist and never got him braces, and his teeth were not in good shape because of it.  He always covered his mouth when he laughed and I'm sure that's why.

shamelessHedon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Braces
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2013, 05:48:43 PM »
Totally and completely worth every dime. My daughter had two cycles of orthodontia. She should have had jaw surgery but declined.

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8029
  • Location: Australia
Re: Braces
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2013, 05:59:49 PM »
I'm about three quarters of the way through my orthdontic treatment, which cost 10k. I wouldn't call it a frugal move, but after having people comment on my crooked teeth for years (including my favourite - "you must have grown up poor not to have had those fixed as a teenager!" which I heard far too often) it was absolutely worth it.

I got a 5% discount for paying upfront with cash, so that might be an option. And yes, see the best damn orthodontist you can find - this is not something to take lightly or use a 'good enough' service provider for.

chad

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Braces
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2013, 07:45:26 PM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I'm sure we'll do it. It sure hurts, though!

bugbaby

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: Braces
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2013, 07:55:38 PM »
PS -it's covered by FSA/ HSA pre-tax deductions. i did it last year with FSA plus 1,500 paid by insurance. both my kids will need it soon. so worth it.

OSUBearCub

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tackling student loan debt/not saving dryer lint.
Re: Braces
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2014, 01:02:09 PM »
I'm hoping to open this topic back up.

Just back from the orthodontist consult and the bill will be about $5700 across two years. Is this pretty typical for adult braces?

(There is a small possibility the office didn't look into my insurance correctly and my ortho coverage will reduce this to a negotiated total of about $4500.)

I'm working on the math right now: Worst case, Ill be on the hook for about $3700 after insurance and that will be broken down into monthly payments to my Flexible Spending Account through work (pre tax) over the next two years.

I'll be needing these teeth for the rest of my life, and there's already a small fortune  (about $20k over the course of my adult life between complicated wisdom teeth, poor flouride when I was a kid, and grinding).  The claim is that ortho will preserve this previous work and prevent a lot of future work.

Lastly, I'm only at a 30% savings rate. I will need to upgrade my dental plan.  I will also need to triple my FSA account contributions.  Do I tighten the belt further to accommodate this new expense (and not touch my savings rate) or consider this an additional investment in my future?  Third option, save for a few months so I can pay the after-insurance balance in full.

begood

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1004
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Braces
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2014, 01:11:09 PM »
I'm hoping to open this topic back up.

Just back from the orthodontist consult and the bill will be about $5700 across two years. Is this pretty typical for adult braces?

That's about what I'm paying for my teenager's orthodontics, OSUBearCub, so it doesn't seem out of line. She has a very small mouth and lots of crowding. Braces are actually helping prevent extractions, which we're all grateful for.

I set up a monthly payment from our HSA for the next TWO YEARS (omg, that stings). Nice to be able to pay for it out of the pretax funds. The ortho dude has to note that it's not just for cosmetics to "qualify" to use the HSA funds. In our case, the cosmetic advantage is a nice side benefit.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6980
  • Location: BC
Re: Braces
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2014, 01:16:07 PM »
I second the VCU option, or just shopping around. 

We ended up taking our daughter to another city 30 min away for ortho appts, because it was a "blue collar" area, and that orthodonist charged $1.5k less than the two local quotes we received.   Still great service, they are professionals, after all with same standards.  Just different office finishes...

That $1.5k made a huge difference as we had only 50% coverage to $2500 limit from work dental benefit.   $5.5k total versus $7k, worked out to $3k out of pocket instead of $4.5k.

I was alarmed at how expensive it was, but by the time ALL the appointments were completed, the average cost per appliance / adjustment was pretty reasonable.   The Orthodontists do not cut you off just because you have reached appointment 18...


TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Re: Braces
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2014, 01:19:39 PM »
I'm hoping to open this topic back up.

Just back from the orthodontist consult and the bill will be about $5700 across two years. Is this pretty typical for adult braces?

(There is a small possibility the office didn't look into my insurance correctly and my ortho coverage will reduce this to a negotiated total of about $4500.)

I'm working on the math right now: Worst case, Ill be on the hook for about $3700 after insurance and that will be broken down into monthly payments to my Flexible Spending Account through work (pre tax) over the next two years.

I'll be needing these teeth for the rest of my life, and there's already a small fortune  (about $20k over the course of my adult life between complicated wisdom teeth, poor flouride when I was a kid, and grinding).  The claim is that ortho will preserve this previous work and prevent a lot of future work.

Lastly, I'm only at a 30% savings rate. I will need to upgrade my dental plan.  I will also need to triple my FSA account contributions.  Do I tighten the belt further to accommodate this new expense (and not touch my savings rate) or consider this an additional investment in my future?  Third option, save for a few months so I can pay the after-insurance balance in full.

I don't think "adult braces" are any different from "kid's braces."  In fact, most orthodontists wait until all adult teeth have come in before doing braces.   $5700 is pretty much on the mark, based on the estimates I got for my son in 2012.  But have you checked to see if a dental school is nearby?  That will be cheaper.

How you decide to budget for this is a really personal choice.  It is entirely reasonable to consider this an investment in your well-being.  It's also reasonable to try and tighten your belt further -- depends on how tight it already is as to whether this is feasible.

If you could have the after-insurance balance saved up in a few months time, then that's a good idea, so long as it doesn't weaken your emergency fund too much.

In coming years, you will be very glad you did this.   In "How to Win Friends and Influence People", Dale Carnegie devotes an entire chapter to the importance of smiling in building human relationships of all kinds.

OSUBearCub

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tackling student loan debt/not saving dryer lint.
Re: Braces
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2014, 01:47:19 PM »
In coming years, you will be very glad you did this.   In "How to Win Friends and Influence People", Dale Carnegie devotes an entire chapter to the importance of smiling in building human relationships of all kinds.

My problem is purely crowding, an overbite, and a cross-bite.  However, I've never had an issue with my smile until I was presented with super high-def photos of my face and teeth in the consultation.  I think they do that on purpose as a marketing technique - vanity opens wallets.  But Dale hasn't steered me wrong in the past.  Maybe I'll get a little confidence boost out of the added cosmetic benefit.

begood - I'm going to take your advice and see if they will code the procedures necessary vs cosmetic.  Then I'm going to camp out with my HR generalist at work until we've got this planned out to the NICKLE!

goldielocks - Awesome ideas!  I've been burned in the past by super posh dental offices on the "right side of the tracks".  I walked into this particular orthodontist's office through the back parking lot and noticed a Porsche  (lower-end but still a GD Porsche!). I'll be seeking a second and third opinion.  There are some less-desirable neighborhoods in short driving distance from mine that I can check out.

Unkempt Stash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Braces
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2014, 07:15:00 PM »
Extreme untried option!

I met a family who does a lot of charity work in Costa Rica. They said that their children got their dental work done in Costa Rica. They said that even with no insurance and flights it was significantly cheaper for health care that was identical in quality to that found in the US.

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Re: Braces
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2014, 07:47:46 AM »
Extreme untried option!

I met a family who does a lot of charity work in Costa Rica. They said that their children got their dental work done in Costa Rica. They said that even with no insurance and flights it was significantly cheaper for health care that was identical in quality to that found in the US.

Interesting, but in the first year of my kids' braces treatment they went to the orthodontist once a month for adjustments.  In the second year, the appointments were more like 6 weeks apart.  I can't imagine that the cost difference would be so great as to be a benefit after considering not just the flights but also the time required to come and go.

Unkempt Stash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Braces
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2014, 08:06:17 AM »
I believe the family did the initial and final work in Costa Rica and the other visits locally.... I cannot imagine all the flights being worth it otherwise :)

OSUBearCub

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tackling student loan debt/not saving dryer lint.
Re: Braces
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2014, 11:40:01 AM »
I believe the family did the initial and final work in Costa Rica and the other visits locally.... I cannot imagine all the flights being worth it otherwise :)

This would be a great option for all the Mustachians who play the travel miles credit card game.  I don't though. :-/

Spudd

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 217
Re: Braces
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2014, 12:18:39 PM »
You could also try to negotiate the price with the orthodontist. I have braces at the moment and my ortho wanted to charge me 5.5K but I talked her down to 4K. It may have been because she thought I would be good for her "resume" as she's never done a case like mine before. That was the talking point I used for the negotiation.

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1294
Re: Braces
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2014, 12:44:08 PM »
If the kid really needs them, I'd do it, even if it were for cosmetic reasons, but if it's a matter of having "perfect" teeth, no.

My older kid had an eye tooth coming in at a weird angle, but otherwise, her teeth were very good.  The first ortho wanted to remove the baby tooth that was causing the eye tooth to come in weird, and then put her in a full set of braces for two years.  Dh took her to that consultation and he asked no questions.  $7000. The second one really wanted to do the same thing for the same price, but when I pressed, he admitted that there was a Plan B.  We had the baby tooth removed and he made a small appliance that pulled down on the eye tooth.  It came in perfectly in four months, less than he predicted, and for $1200.

When he was trying to get me to go for the full set of braces, he showed me the panoramic x-rays of her teeth superimposed over the theoretical perfect teeth.  They were nearly identical, but he kept pointing to minute imperceptible differences in the justification.  I happened to know his long-time office manager personally, and after he left the room, she quietly told me that my instincts were right and there was no reason for my kid to have a full set of braces.

My sister had a son with genuinely crooked teeth.  She got six opinions, and they ranged from Invisalign braces for 18-24 months to let's break the kid's jaw and keep him in appliances forever.

So, get multiple opinions, and ask about Plan B if  you aren't convinced of a need for braces.

hdatontodo

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
  • Location: Balto Co, MD
Re: Braces
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2014, 01:03:56 PM »
I wonder if Invisalign causes cavities. For my wife, the dentist did grinding between the teeth so they would fit / be able to be moved around. I wouldn't think that grinding away the enamel is a good thing.

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2946
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: Braces
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2014, 01:10:49 PM »
Shop around.  Get at least 4 solid quotes.   

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1698
Re: Braces
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2014, 01:22:33 PM »
I wonder if Invisalign causes cavities. For my wife, the dentist did grinding between the teeth so they would fit / be able to be moved around. I wouldn't think that grinding away the enamel is a good thing.

I had Invisalign and saw a decrease in cavities.

The process went as follows:
You basically wear your Invisalign 24 hours a day, but you remove it to eat. I rarely put my braces back on without brushing my teeth (often flossing too) - because that seemed pretty gross. If I couldn't brush my teeth immediately, I put them back in but removed them and brushed as soon as I was able to.

Before bed, I took them out, brushed and flossed and used mouthwash before putting them back in. They were cleaned with denture cleaner every morning while I showered/ate breakfast. All in all, I was brushing my teeth 5-7 times a day and flossing 2-3 time per day.

Water is the only thing you can drink without removing the braces, so I pretty much quit drinking anything else due to the nuissance factor.

With all that brushing/flossing/lack of sugary drinks, I didn't get a single cavity while wearing my braces. It's been a few years (I still have a retainer) - and I think I've had one cavity since starting the Invisalign process. I was fairly cavity-prone before - my lack of cavities now is a combo of better diet, better brushing and better alignment in my mouth.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4742
Re: Braces
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2014, 01:48:11 PM »
Watch out, all you adults. Our orthodontia coverage specifically excludes adults.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16389
  • Age: 63
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Braces
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2014, 01:54:21 PM »
I paid for my own braces when I was in my thirties. I chose the orthodontist I wanted and then negotiated the price by paying in full up front. Paid about 3k, IIRC.  Fast forward twenty years and then-BF, now-DH's dentist recommended braces. I could not convince DH to shop around, he wanted to go the the ortho his dentist recommended, to the tune of 8.8k GAAAKKKK! We paid for it with a combination of employer-provided insurance, FSA and savings. He's almost done, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Yes, it was expensive, but we somehow got to FI despite these expenses and we are damn glad to have our teeth. Worth every penny.

Note to all future braces wearers: Plan on wearing those damn retainers forever! Twenty years after braces, I needed two crowns in fairly quick succession. I didn't get around to having my retainers adjusted and sure enough, they were rendered useless in short order. A new set cost $800. Since then, I've seen the new ortho at least a dozen times, so I think I got my money's worth, but still, stupid tax!

OSUBearCub

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tackling student loan debt/not saving dryer lint.
Re: Braces
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2014, 02:53:24 PM »
Shop around.  Get at least 4 solid quotes.

I think that would be the best course of action.  After thinking about it and going over the conversation in my head, I realized that the ortho was trying to tug on my vanity a little more than I was comfortable with.  I clearly explained that I was driven solely by price and that sort of threw them off for a second.

If I'm careful I could live without the procedure.  I'm just tired of having to work twice as hard for half the results when it comes to my teeth/dental hygiene.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Braces
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2014, 03:14:58 PM »
I was apparently mustacian at a young age:

I had a large gap in my front teeth for years.  The dentist thought it would grow together as my teeth came in but it never did and he said we should consider braces for just the top front teeth.  My parents weren't really going for it because it was only for cosmetic reasons.  I decided one night that I would put little rubber bands around my front two teeth and sleep like that.  I did the same thing every night for about a month and the gap closed.  When I noticed my teeth starting to shift to the gap returning, I put the rubber band back on at night.  My mom loves to tell the story to illustrate my creative problem solving skills.....

civil

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: Braces
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2014, 04:24:15 PM »

Note to all future braces wearers: Plan on wearing those damn retainers forever!

^ this.

Orthodontics are not one-and-done. Especially not the medically-necessary kind. 10 years after braces, I wear a retainer ~8 hours a day (either at work, or sleeping. recommend at work if you're dieting. it helps a ton!) If I miss more than two days, my teeth visibly move. When I was in high school/college other students made fun of me for the retainer. Several of them (my sister included) are now on their SECOND ROUND of braces, in their 20s. And guess what, parents get to pay for it again if the kid's under 26!! Pro tip: If the doc says wear retainers, wear the darn retainers.

Budget for the cost of replacing retainers every few years. I have come dangerously close to having to replace a retainer because I neglected to wear it, and it almost didn't fit. They also stretch over time. I have found that uninsured cost ($100) is less than insurance cost (billed $400+, i paid $160) for retainers.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6980
  • Location: BC
Re: Braces
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2014, 07:24:26 PM »
I believe the family did the initial and final work in Costa Rica and the other visits locally.... I cannot imagine all the flights being worth it otherwise :)
I heard the same thing about Thailand,  but that was from someone more suited to wall of shame, most of the time.   Apparently husband had quite a few business contracts with Thailand, so 16 yr old was going to have braces done there, on a work trip plus holiday with dad,  with follow up (sparse) in the USA, and final removal in the US.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Braces
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2014, 10:04:30 AM »
My oldest is definitely going to need braces, so I'll have to keep the dental school tip in mind. We have a well regarded one within easy driving distance and we could probably even bike there if needed.

My wife should probably get adult braces too but we've never gotten quotes on it.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5279
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Braces
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2016, 12:42:48 AM »
Totally and completely worth every dime.

Sha. This.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7744
  • Location: Bay Area at heart living in the PNW
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
Re: Braces
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2016, 02:15:23 PM »
Braces are absolutely worth the money in my opinion. I had some crazy teeth as a kid as well as lots of large teeth in a small mouth. They got me in braces when I was in 6th grade. That was early enough that the majorly crooked teeth got fixed before I developed self-awareness enough to be embarrassed by them. They also were able to widen my jaw to fit all of my teeth instead of having to pull them.

Like it or not, in the US and much of the western world, having healthy, straight teeth is expected as a ticket to entry into middle class society. If you don't do it now, your kids will probably have to pay to have them done later and be a bit irritated about it. I had a ton of work done in the space of a year as a kid. My husband had to have braces for medical reasons (exacerbating grinding, wearing, needed straight teeth before he could get caps). It took him much longer to do much less straightening than I had when I was a kid. These things are just easier when you are young and your body is still growing and changing.

zhelud

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 232
Re: Braces
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2016, 02:27:27 PM »
Orthodontia really brought home to me how distorted the health care market is. We have dental insurance, which reimburses up to $1000 for each child's orthodontics treatment (and that is a lifetime limit.) When we recently went to start my younger son's treatment, the manager quoted us a price of $6000.  Then she realized that she had quoted us the wrong price- that was for uninsured patients. Our price would be just $4000, since the insurer had a price limit.
So, we are going to be paying just $3000 (with insurance paying that last $1000), which is half of what an uninsured patient would pay for the exact same course of treatment.  Sigh...

ooeei

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Braces
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2016, 02:46:49 PM »
This is an old thread, but this info doesn't really go outdated so I guess i'll put in my perspective.  I got braces in college (for 2 years!), my teeth weren't terrible, but they were far from great either.  The ortho wanted to do a whole thing where they break my cheekbones and expand my upper pallet, as I have a slight underbite in the back teeth.  I backed out of the surgery a month beforehand, and stuck with just braces.  I'm sure an orthodontist who meets me might notice, but I've literally asked other people and they don't notice anything unless I pull back my lips with my hands, even then they don't really know what the back teeth are supposed to look like.

So glad I got the braces, and glad I didn't do the major surgery.  The cosmetic issue doesn't just come down to how other people see your teeth, but to how you act.  I didn't smile much in pictures before braces, but am happy to afterwards.  The same with seeing people in public places or hallways.  More smiles all around!  I can't prove it, but I suspect this has helped me professionally and personally, beyond the $5k or so they cost.  If anything, it's helped me in life satisfaction.  I'm a noticeably more friendly and outgoing person than I was before braces.  Granted, there are all sorts of explanations for that, but the straighter teeth sure don't hurt!

10/10 would do again.  The icing on the cake was when my roommates took my before/after picture and used a ladder to hang it WAY up on our wall.  It's funny because most of the braces stuff is geared towards kids, so it was made to look like an "award" and was a fun cheesy thing.