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My parents didn’t love me, so I never got braces

This post was commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists.

OK, how’s that for a headline?  It’s only half true, of course.  My parents did (and do) love me very much.  And in fact, when I was a kid I was thrilled not to have braces, because everyone I knew who had them hated them.  And for whatever reason, I never got braces.  But now I’m an adult who absolutely hates her smile.  I’m almost glad that I have such a big overbite, because at least it mostly hides my hideous bottom teeth.  But my top front teeth are crooked too.

My kids are six and nine, and I’ve been thinking about orthodontia more often lately.  Both kids have lost some teeth, but something happened with Fiona’s last lost tooth that really had me wondering if I should take her to an orthodontist: an adult tooth came in almost all the way, far behind the row of bottom teeth, before the loose tooth came out!  As far as I know, that’s not supposed to happen.  According to the AAO, kids should first see an orthodontist no later than age seven.  Oops, sounds like I have to make an appointment for both kids ASAP.

I was dreading putting my kids in braces some day.   There was only one option back when I was a kid: big and metal and on the front of the teeth.  Until I checked out the AAO site I hadn’t realized how many different kinds there are now.  From their site:

Today’s braces may be nearly invisible, made from clear plastic, or unseen, mounted on the back (lingual) side of the teeth.

Plus, I’ve seen teens wearing really bright colored braces too, almost like fashion accessories (remember the mean girls making fun of Miranda’s plain braces on Sex and the City?).  I happened to spend the other night with a friend in D.C., and her daughter showed me her braces: she’d had the little rubber bands changed to orange and black for Halloween!  In fact she gets them changed for sporting events, holidays, and other special occasions too.  She was actually really excited about it.  So it seems that getting braces might not be the huge nightmare it was when I was a kid.

Plus, maybe there’s hope for my smile yet: according to the site, one in five orthodontia patients is an adult. :-)

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 13. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.

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