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Grinding MY teeth

alwaysthemom's picture

Today I take BD10 to the orthodontist, referred by our regular dentist. Regular dentist has already told me 2 yrs ago, BD10 will probably need braces. Ortho tells me BD needs braces. OK. I get home and call Biodad and give him the news. He gets mad and says that it's ridiculous and that I should wait til BD10 is about 13 or 14. He thinks I should get a 2nd opinion. He says he will not support my decision to put BD10 in braces. I tell him well regardless if you support it or not you are still responsible for 50% if I choose to put BD10 in braces. That pisses him off even more. He says don't send me a bill. He says BD10 is too young to have braces and she's not responsible enough. i tell him, Ortho explained to me and BD10 about the importance of hygene and so forth and I felt very comfortable with his expertise. I try to stay calm and explain to Biodad that it is easier to correct her teeth now than to wait til it's convenient for him. I told him I am going to do what's best for BD10 and I don't care what he has to say. BD10 has a hygene check in 8 weeks to determine if she can take better care of her teeth. Ortho told me and BD10 if she doesn't improve he will not put braces on. I explained all this to Biodad. He still was adamant about waiting and she's not responsible, blah, blah, blah. Do any of you think 10 is too young for braces? I'm really pissed that Biodad acted that way.


smurfy1smile's picture

You have to do what is best for your child. If the ortho says she is ready, than she is. If not, then wait til ortho says she is ready. BF has to pay his part of the bill. You may have to get a judgment against him for it but that's the brakes. A great smile is important for self-esteem. I think I got braces at like 13 and I hated them but as an adult I am glad I got them. My niece had braces at about 10 years old and she is is 16 now and glad she did it when she was younger. Better to take care of the problem now then later when its could be worse and take longer to repair.

They are work but the end result is so worth it. Tell BF to suck it up!

ColorMeGone2's picture

My BS is also ten and he needs them, too. We're going for the first consultation with the orthodontist this summer and will decide what to do from there. He's probably not responsible enough yet to take care of them without prodding from us, so I'm not sure if we will go ahead or wait a year or two. My skids have braces and they were put on at around age twelve. My husband wasn't consulted about this, wasn't allowed to be a part of the decision-making process for his children, was not even told they were seeing an orthodontist. He was just sent a bill and told to cough it up. It's hard to come up with several hundred dollars with no advance notice and it's really hurtful to not be included in making major decisions in your children's lives.

When you're married to the child's parent, then you make these decisions together. If you can't afford it, then you wait a few months to give yourselves time to adjust to the financial impact. If you disagree about it, then you hash it out and come to a joint resolution. But when you're divorced, sometimes the NCP ends up with no say and a big, unexpected bill. It sounds like that's what your ex is rebelling against. A lot of times NCP's get blindsided by stuff like this. They either haven't been told or maybe just never considered the possibility that braces would be needed right now. They are expensive and for most of us, it's hard to come up with that much money that fast. He could be concerned about finding the money to pay for it, but it sounds like he's mostly upset that he wasn't part of the decision-making process. You told him that if YOU choose to do this, then he must pay whether he likes it or not, and that you don't care what he has to say. I don't disagree with you that he's responsible for half, but I would be pretty upset if my child's other parent started making unilateral decisions without consulting me, too. He's her father, just the same as you are her mother. Doesn't he have a right to any say in this? If you have a disagreement like this with your husband, then don't you try to come to some sort of compromise that works for everyone? Are you open to including your ex in making this decision, seriously taking his feelings into consideration and working with him on a timeframe that will work for all of you?

Braces are not a life-or-death thing. Crooked teeth do not constitute an urgent medical situation. Yes, we all want our children to have beautiful smiles and straight, healthy teeth. Whether the braces are put on now, six months from now or a year from now probably won't make a huge amount of difference. Putting them on too young could mean she'd need them again later. (This happened to a friend of mine. She put her daughter in braces at eight, then she needed them again in high school.)

Once he's had a chance to calm down, I would approach him again and say, "Hey, no one is making this decision without your input. I'm just trying to tell you what the orthodonist said so that you'll be prepared. If it's a money issue and the orthodontist says it can wait a few months, then maybe we can delay it to give you time to come up with your share." You can be hardnosed and fight about this or you can ask yourself what would you do if the two of you were still married and facing this decision. What would you do if your skids' mom sent them over one day with braces on their teeth and a big bill for you to pay, and your DH wasn't even consulted about this decision affecting his children and his wallet?

♥ Georgia ♥

"Good men don't just happen. They have to be created by us women." (from ROSEANNE)

sparky's picture

I would not do it for a 10 yo because so many times the kd is not ready for it. If someone attempted to force me to do it at 10 I would make them sign a contract stating if the kd needed it a second time that I would not be requested to pay, especially for a luxury item instead of a medical necessity. Remember those people making the recommendations are in it for the money and they don't care if it needs to be done the second time. As far as BD is concerned I would tell him that this is going to be an expense in the near future and he should start saving for it. As far as the age goes, I would seriously consider it between 13 and 15.

soontobeastep's picture

I had mine a little later (14-17), but I don't know if there is any reason not to do it earlier. Seems to me the orthodontist would know best. If the concern is she is too young to take care of them (and has exhibited responsibility issues in the past) maybe compromise with bio dad and wait a year and a half until your child is 11/12 (didn't he say 13/14 was better). Whereever possible I try to compromise with people where I can so that both parties feel better about what's happening. Good luck! I know things like this can be difficult choices where there are differing opinions about what to do.

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey."- Wendell Berry

sweetthing's picture

with my step son. Braces are not a medical necessity so whether or not your ex would be required to pay for half could be up for question. Our BM did this with us where my DH was not included in any of the appointments leading up to the decision. BM herself got braces put on the same day step son did. We had the same questions that your ex is having.

I too had braces as a child & my father had to do brick work in exchange to pay for my braces. Had he not been able to barter my parents NEVER could have afforded to do that for me. Back in the day many kids needed braces but didn't get them because their parents could not afford them... that concept is something that has changed in this society.

We went along with our BM's forcing us ( and that is truly how it felt as we had no say or option ) & I not my husband paid our half. My husband NEVER could have afforded his half after his child support. I did my research & orthodonitistry has changed & they are putting braces on earlier. There is some chance SS will need them on again later down the road & I will not be paying anyones half then.

I am very glad we did it. ( surprised you didn't I Smile ) My step son's teeth are looking wonderful ( they were really bad before so I had no doubt he needed them it was just a matter of doing them so young and her never considering if DH could afford them, she makes twice as much as he does and CS does NOT take that into consideration) He did go through a lot that if they had waited a few years probably would not have been needed. His teeth were too big for his mouth so they pulled teeth & he had this AWFUL expander on the roof of his mouth. I had to crank this before bed time, food got caught in it, it hurt, and he drooled. Had his mother held off a year or too his jaw would have probably grown on it's own to accomidate his teeth making this unnecessary pre braces treatment.

I agree with everything Georgia said, you need to include your ex in this process just as if you would if you were married. Get a second opinion, I would if this was my bio son. Some DR's are out to make money, as sad as that is it is the truth. Let him go with you to the appointments & learn first hand. My step sons ortho has a payment plan available, BM opted to do it that way, I paid in full to be done with it. Also you can deduct out of pocket medical on your taxes. Smile I did.

I know it is not easy having to deal with an ex husband. ( I have no kids with my ex & never see him, I speak from dealing with my own husband. Smile My BM doesn;t realize it but sometimes I am her biggest ali.

SoFrustrated's picture

I personally got mine at 14. We waited because I knew too many kids who had gotten them young, didn't wear their retainers once the braces were off, (really, most kids won't, I knew a lot who would take them out as soon as their parents weren't around) and needed them again or just wasted a few thousand of their parents dollars and ended up with crooked teeth anyway. The key is the retainer. You can do a wonderful job with your braces, but if you don't wear the retainer correctly after, the teeth will go back. I know my skids will need braces. I will definitely be putting up resistance if BM tries to get them braces too soon. I just saw too many friends mess theirs up because they started too young.

Elizabeth's picture

SD got braces when she was 11 and she did not take care of them. I wanted everyone to wait, but my husband is very sensitive about his teeth (he never got braces and has a big gap). SD only needed them for two misaligned teeth that you can't even see when she smiles! Seemed like a waste of money for a cosmetic issue that doesn't even show! But by disagreeing I was being the bad guy, again.

Anyway, SD did not take care of her teeth and ended up with multiple cavities as a result of having braces. She also does not wear her retainer, so the money and hassle (monthly appointments) was basically for nothing. Waiting isn't going to make it any more difficult for your child and it might appease your ex.

Colorado Girl's picture

had an ortho consult when he was 10 and the orthodontist said no to braces until he loses more teeth. They lose a bunch right around 10 and a baby tooth doesn't have the proper enamel to support braces (I know this from experience because I got braces when I was 22 and I have a missing adult tooth BUT a healthy baby tooth still in place that I didn't want to have pulled - but the othodontic glue wouldn't adhere for very long on the baby tooth, so we ended up just leaving it off that one tooth)My BS11 is in need of some serious orthodontic work...his lower jaw is growing more rapidly than his upper (think of a bulldog bite) and the orthodontist said to wait. He's just now being fitted for a spacer to help widen the upper pallet and he's almost 12.

I'm sorry, but I agree with your ex. I would get a second opinion, maybe at his cost. Let her grow into her teeth a little more before you do any major (or even unnecessary) orthodontic work. Orthodontists can be just like mechanics, doing unnecessary work....and then overcharging you.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."

no validation's picture

That I put braces on BD at the age of 11......however, it WAS medically necessary. She had retainer at 7 to re-align her jaw because of a massive underbite (why did I ever think that was cute on Ex hubby shesh?) that was making it difficult for her to bite. By the time she was 11 2 of her teeth were literally in the middle of her mouth so I HAD to get the braces put on her. After the braces came off she was to wear a retainer basically forever, but only at night. Why do I say I almost hate that I did it? Because although it was medically necessary, once the braces were taken off at 13 she stopped wearing her retainer (about 6 months later that is). Now her underbite is back and her teeth are crooked again, although not nearly as bad as they were. She is now 18 and a senior in HS. I told her the next set was at her expense. 4K later (ex was supposed to pay half but didn't so it was all on me) I have very little to show for it.

Nothing comes easy thats worth fighting for.....thats what they tell me!

sweetthing's picture

I know they do this for adults but you can have a permanent retainer done on the inside of your teeth where it is not visable.

ColorMeGone2's picture

I had one put on when my braces came off at, I guess, 14. Then I moved away and never did go back to the orthodontist to have it removed. It ended up finally falling off when I was 35. But hey, my bottom teeth are PERFECT!

♥ Georgia ♥

"Good men don't just happen. They have to be created by us women." (from ROSEANNE)

Mary Louise's picture

SD is more than likely going to need braces and BM claims she is taking her to an orthodontist soon. She just turned 9. However, I hadn't thought of the whole giving the mouth time to grow aspect. She doesn't remember her deoderant and she doesn't brush her teeth without reminders. my fiance has 50% legal and physical custody so the way I understand it, he has to give permission for her to go through with the appointments. I think she should wait at least a year or two to lose a few more teeth. She has most of her baby teeth still and it seems retarded to try to put braces on baby teeth. Their dentist recommended filling multiple cavities on both SS and SD - all on baby teeth. Seems like a waste to me. Any dental workers out there to explain why they are recommending this now days?

sarahbernheart's picture

If I remember correctly when my sons had a cavity on a baby tooth, they needed to have if filled cuz decay works thru the whole tooth and could effect the adult tooth.

dont quote me on that memory is not what it used to be.

“You will never be on top of the world
if you try to carry it on your shoulders.”

alwaysthemom's picture

her adult teeth already. I just called BF to give him the heads up. I never said I was going to go through it. I do agree BD may need to wait a while, but BF acted like a jackass about it. That's what made me outlash at him. The quote from ortho was $5700 and right now that's alot of money to me. I do want the best for her though. She has an overbite, a huge front gap like mine and her teeth are not aligned. As far as medical decisions either one of us can make them without consent of the other unless it is major surgery. But I always give a courtesy call on important stuff.

My kids biggest cheerleader