Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Early orthodonture--don't even remind me!


When my daughter was about 9, a dentist suggested we see an orthodontist. Little idiot that I am, I thought that was for teenagers. Oh, noooo.

The woman said starting early meant avoiding it during the HS years—that if she got braces now it would have a 95% chance of not getting them later. A mere $75 a mo for yrs—which is a chunk in single Momland.

But we did it—the headgear (extra), the retainer, the lost retainer, the pain, endless visits, etc, etc. At the end of the time, oh dear, she would still need another round as a teen.

I said—you said 95% chance. The ortho said, “You misunderstood—I said 5% chance.” Well, trust me, as a pennypincher, I would have kicked it down the road if it had been 5%! Lie, lie, lie.

Now, Nancy Keates writes in the WSJ (Nov 16, 2010) about this early stuff. Treating under 17s is up 50% in the last 10 yrs.

Seems, though, that early treatment before the adult teeth is no guarantee against later need. Well, well, who’da thunk?

Seems this early idea started in 1990—my daughter would have been 8. Sounds about right.

Early treatment, this story said, might be good if the problem is an underbite or narrow upper arch—while the jaw is growing.

The famous malocclusion or overbite—there is no evidence early treatment helps or even makes the needed later treatment easier.

Some of this may be unnecessary, one doctor said. Yeah, tell me about it.

When it came time for the “second round,” I saw my kid was never wearing her retainer. I didn’t go for it.

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