Needless Handwringing Over Delaying Braces

My daughter doesn’t need two rounds of braces, according to her dentist. Her bite is fine, and she’s got plenty of room, which gives us the green light to wait until she loses her baby teeth (which is slow going). Hooray! This is great news right? Not only will we be saving money (even if doing orthodontia in two stages isn’t that much more expensive than doing it once), and it will be one fewer regular appointment to schedule, no emergency equipment malfunction appointments, and less whining about pain. This should be a straight win, but I have this one little concern:

Her teeth look like she hasn’t had braces.

When I was young (which is how all boring lectures began), we only had braces once, but the downside of that is that some kids had severe enough problems that their braces stayed on for years. Now orthodontists are more proactive, and work can be done early to correct big problems, like making sure there is enough room to avoid teeth crowding. It’s crazy to see a mouth full of hardware on little mouths, but it’s become common. The upside is that these young kids suddenly have these fabulous smiles with straight, perfect looking teeth. That is, unless you haven’t had braces.

My daughter’s teeth are normal for a nine year old, and this means she retains that great juvenile smile, but as moms are wont to do, I worry that this may become a point of embarrassment. It’s completely superficial to worry that her teeth aren’t perfect, and while her bite is my real concern, I just hope this doesn’t come up as we enter the age where girls can be really nasty to each other. I love my little girl’s smile because she looks like a little girl.  I just hope the rest of the world sees it that way too.

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