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View Full Version : Has anyone ever asked to have their child's braces taken off early?


Karista
08-11-2006, 11:13 AM
My oldest son has had his braces on for 3 years and is so ready to have them off. His teeth look beautiful to me, but I'm not trained and respect the orthodontist's opinion.

Where the issue lies, is that her practice has become so busy that when she says "come back in 4 weeks" we can never get an appointment earlier than 6 weeks (and we're very accommodating about times, days, etc.). After this being the case for the past year or so, I'm convinced that this has pushed the treatment into being longer than necessary.

Plus, I have been holding off senior pictures until the braces come off. Last fall, I mentioned this to her and she guaranteed me they would be off by spring - then it was late summer - now it's by the end of the year. We have a yearbook deadline so I'm not sure if I should go ahead and have the pictures taken with the braces (which my son is not too happy with), or just ask that they be taken off now and risk not having the end result be the best that it could be. The orthodontist's advice is to find a good photographer that can airbrush out the braces.

Any suggestions? My friends say just to have them removed, but I just don't know if that's the best solution. I'm desperate for impartial advice.

puffkin
08-11-2006, 11:30 AM
If the teeth are in the correct position, the braces won't do anything more than continue to hold them there. You can get the same effect by wearing a retainer (which are a complete pain too, but at least removable for things like senior pictures). I would ask to have the braces taken off, but realize that you may need to wear the retainer for a longer time.

padams
08-11-2006, 11:31 AM
I had my braces taken off early because I was tired of having them after 4 years and I didn't want them on for my senior year. I wished I hadn't done it. My teeth shifted back (even though I had retainers) and are not straight. You would never think that I had spent 4 years in braces. I got caught up in thinking that senior year was such a big deal and I didn't want to have the braces as a senior (ortho had originally told me 2 years of braces). Now I'm an adult and I want braces to straighten my teeth. :rolleyes:

Zandy595
08-11-2006, 11:48 AM
Is there any way you could get another opinion, from a professional? Maybe call another orthodontist or ask your regular dentist? If his teeth are straight and there aren't any problems with crowding (that could eventually make them crooked again) it seems like they should be able to come off now.

I wore braces for 3 1/2 years and then retainers for many years after that. It didn't matter how straight my teeth were with the braces, once they came off they started to get crooked again. But this was because I had too many big teeth in my small mouth. The ortho said he could pull a few teeth and put the braces back on to correct the problem. I was getting ready to go to high school at that point and the last thing I wanted to do was get braces back on again. It was a long painful road and I just couldn't do it again. I've never regretted not getting braces again, but I do wish my teeth were straighter. I may try to do Invisalign at some point.

Sherri
08-11-2006, 11:54 AM
I'm feeling the same as you. My son has been going to the orthodontist since 3rd grade, he is now in 9th. He has seen his friends start later and end earlier. I learned my lesson and sent my daughter somewhere else. She is just about done and started less then two years ago.
My sons orthodontist never runs on time and you can never get an appointment. If I want one at our scheduled time then I have to take him out of school during the school year. At first we heard at the end of the summer, then we are now being told Fall. I hope they take them off soon.

hlbtimes2
08-11-2006, 12:09 PM
My first question- as an adult (37) who just got braces off after 2 1/2 years is- has your child done EVERYTHING they were supposed to? Have rubber bands been worn as directed, etc? I probably cost myself a good 2-3 months because I didnt wear my bands all the time.

Second, are you willing to have spent all the time and money to not have the perfect? Since the 6 grand was coming out of my own pocket, not my parents, I was willing to wear them as long as needed. Why settle for a 1/2 done job?

I dont see the big thing about senior pic's. Your child has spent much of their high school career with braces, why not capture that in the pic's?

Allie322
08-11-2006, 12:15 PM
We have a friend who is an orthodontist and we discussed something similar one time. Braces not only straighten teeth but they also correct bites. So sometimes even though the teeth themselves are straight, maybe the bite isn't completely corrected yet. Could this be what's happening with your son? I don't know what effect taking them off early would have if there was a bite issue. Good luck with whatever you decide.

CathrynRose
08-11-2006, 12:20 PM
Well - not my childs.

I popped mine off early - I was tried of being told "one more month, two more weeks, wellll one more month"

I figured once I'd popped them off, they'd have to go along with it and they did.

You'd be suprised (honestly) how quickly they'll pop off with plyers. :rotfl:

rbuzzotta
08-11-2006, 12:26 PM
Did you get a care plan or plan of treatment at the beginning of your son getting braces. I did for my DD. She is getting her off in 2 weeks............and one month early from the treatment plan!! She convinced (so she thinks) the ortho to remove them before school starts!!

She did have issues with her jaw line. She wore braces for one year in 4th grade. A permanent retainer type object in her lower mouth, had a palate expander and now braces since 7th grade. She will be a sophomore!! She has had it with braces!!!

Arielle22
08-11-2006, 12:37 PM
Rosemary,

My dd,11, has the same treatment plan as your dd. She had upper braces for 1 yr (just completed 5th grade) and had them removed in June. Previously she had teeth removed. The dentist said her lower jaw was not growing properly due to her overbite so she needed the braces. She will have to have another full set in 2 years. She has the space holder for her bottom teeth and a retainer. She loves to get different color bands.

DD had a very snaggle tooth look and she is thrilled with the improvement.

OP, I can't tell from your post if your son has passed the time he should have them off and you just can't get the appt or if he needs more time in the braces.

Personally I would not have them removed early for any reason. It has been too much time and effort to get this far to jepordize the results.

almacdonald
08-11-2006, 01:58 PM
I wanted my braces off so i could smile for my university grad pictures. The orthodontist told me they'd be off by then but they weren't. We compromised. He said he'd take the front brackets off my front teeth. He cemented a retainer behind my teeth and told me to come back in a week to have the brackets put back on. I agreed.... Until he took them off!!! It felt so good, my teeth were straight and big and shiney and white and there was no way he was putting those torture devices back on. Now, at this point it'd been 6 months or so where he didn't change the wires or anything, just check ups. Talk about dragging things on longer than necessary! Oh, and my smile was GREAT in my pictures and still is!

HugsForEeyore
08-11-2006, 02:12 PM
Personally I would do everything the ortho says. The orthos won the war a long time ago - every kid needs straight teeth, and you just got to do what the ortho says to finish treatment to ensure the child has a pretty smile. The ortho is god, you know! :)

Being a senior in high school doesn't sound too bad with braces. I just got mine off after three years and 2 months, from ages 33 to 36. It's much worse being an adult in braces, going on interviews and trying to present yourself well to get ahead on the job! Being still a kid in braces isn't so bad in the big scheme of things! I was also suppose to get mine off at 2 and half years, but went 8 months over. I learned early on to never question a thing, and just accept the fact the ortho is in completely in charge.

Must say, it was all worth it to finally have a nice smile for the 1st time in my pre-childhood life! :)

Karista
08-11-2006, 08:25 PM
I suppose you're right - in the grand scheme of things having the braces on for senior pictures isn't the end of the world. I guess I'm just frustrated but then again we've come this far......

Thanks for the opinions. These darn firstborn kids - no matter how old they get everything is a new experience!

Breezy_Carol
08-11-2006, 08:30 PM
One of DD's friends had the front bands removed for her senior pictures then replaced after. Really it is only about the front 4 upper teeth that show.

DD was going to be in her cousin's wedding. Her braces were to come off a year before then but it kept getting pushed back and I kept reminding the ortho of the deadline and they were off in time.

PrincessPatty
08-11-2006, 08:36 PM
One of DD's friends had the front bands removed for her senior pictures then replaced after. Really it is only about the front 4 upper teeth that show.

DD was going to be in her cousin's wedding. Her braces were to come off a year before then but it kept getting pushed back and I kept reminding the ortho of the deadline and they were off in time.

This is exactly what my ortho did. I had an appointment a day or so before my senior pictures (took off 6 brackets from the top) and a day or two later went back to have them put back on, in fact my ortho asked me if I would like for him to do that. It looked much better, but my hair was another story :scared1:

texasthree
08-11-2006, 08:46 PM
I wore braces for 3 years until I finally demanded they be removed. My teeth are still perfectly inline. I had an underbite that was corrected and everything went fine. I had them removed before senior pictures. They are an important part of graduation to a senior. If his teeth are fine I would certianly talk to the dentist about going ahead and removing them.

drgnfly30
08-11-2006, 08:59 PM
Another vote for keep them on!!! I put my complete trust in the orthodontist, he's older than dirt....I have friends that have older siblings that went to him!

My DS16 just got his lower braces off & a permanent retainer installed, which he'll have for about 5 yrs; his uppers came off about 3 weeks ago with a removable retainer (about 2 yrs for that)... I know it's torture, rubber bands, no rubber bands, one side, the other side, 4 weeks, 2 weeks...but hang in there.... it was 4 years for him!

Hedy
08-11-2006, 10:41 PM
Honestly, it seems pretty shallow to take them off just for grad pictures, just airbrush them out if they're that important.

Caradana
08-11-2006, 11:01 PM
I don't think it's shallow at all -- I think your orthodontist isn't really focusing on your particular case, and that's inexcusable - you should leave and find a new ortho. This is a mid-four-figure investment and you deserve mid-four-figure service. Here's what I always recommend: somewhere in your area, there is an amazing pediatric dentist, and that guy knows the name of the best orthodontist within 100 miles, because he makes referrals and sees all of the results. The key is to find the right pediatric dentist to ask the question. There are a few methods. One, ask your kids' friends' parents. Two, ask the school nurse at their school. Three, check your area magazines for a "Best Doctors and Dentists" survey. When you find the right guy, call him and say you've heard amazing things, and you have just one question - who is the best orthodontist in the area? Don't be afraid. This guy won't mind having a conversation with an intelligent person asking an intelligent question.

Generally he'll immediately give you the name and offer to make the referral for you. You'll be in that office within a week.

The whole key is to wear the retainers every single night. I started out with a stage 4 underbite and pronounced buck teeth, to the point that when my mouth was closed, my bottom teeth were cutting the roof of my mouth and my top teeth protruded over my lower lip. Braces were a medical necessity. One outstanding orthodontist and six years of night retainers later, here are my teeth.

http://caragine.com/images/Dana_s_Birthday_Mike,_Dana,_Fun_050106.jpg

Alex2kMommy
08-11-2006, 11:24 PM
My (adult) friend had her braces removed for her wedding and honeymoon, then put back on afterward.

I had them as a kid for 2.5 years, and just had them removed after having them as an adult for nearly 2 years. I would definitely follow the ortho's advice unless you have lost confidence in him/her. Then you might consult another ortho for a 2nd opinion.

Just as a note, I thought this 2nd round of braces would be off after 9 months to 1.5 years, but needed them for nearly 2 years. I know it wasn't to extend out payments or anything because the contract stated that the cost was the same regardless of how long it took. He did caution me that the timeframe they gave me is an estimate, because it varies greatly by individual, and also their commitment to following instructions. I followed everything to a 'T', and it still went longer, so sometimes it just takes longer.

sara74
08-11-2006, 11:36 PM
Had my braces taken off for the wedding and put back on a week later! I even had a retainer with 2 teeth on it to fill the spaces that I had! (I was born without 2 of my upper teeth and it took a long time to correct it!)

My question for the OP is more about scheduling. If the orthodontist is still actively treating changing wires, rubber bands, etc, but is too busy to see you in 4 weeks, can't you make appts a few ahead at a time? I'm thinking of myself with the OB lately. I knew I would need a ton of appts and wanted the times that worked with my schedule so I made 2 ahead and then each time I went and 'used up' one of my appts I made another one. That way I was always ahead of myself! Sure, things can change and need rescheduling, but better to have a date and time to reschedule than no date and time at all!

I'd see about getting the upper brackets taken off for the photo shoot. There may be a charge, though. Remember that the human body is dynamic and unpredictable and the orthodontist doesn't have a crystal ball to tell you when the teeth will shift. It's just a best guess sort of thing. If you are paying for it, why not let them finish out the whole job.

Oh, and please let me add that home dentistry - including but not limited to removing orthodontic brackets - is rarely a good idea. Maybe Tom Hanks in Castaway, but no other time that I can think of!

disneyjane
08-12-2006, 12:23 AM
My sister had her braces taken off after four years. They kept telling her, "just three more weeks" and she got tired of waiting. She never wore her retainer and her teeth still look good many years later. However, that does not mean this woud be the case with everyone. If you do decide to remove them, the retainer would probably keep the teeth from shifting. Maybe my sister was just lucky....not sure. Good luck with whatever your decision is.

The Mystery Machine
08-12-2006, 12:50 AM
Braces not only straighten teeth but they also correct bites. So sometimes even though the teeth themselves are straight, maybe the bite isn't completely corrected yet. Could this be what's happening with your son? I don't know what effect taking them off early would have if there was a bite issue. Good luck with whatever you decide.

We are having this problem with my dd. Her bite just does NOT want to move. Her braces were supposed to come off in June, no dice.
The ortho has changed that darn wire on the bottoms and pulled them so tight to get her bite to move.

Find out what the trouble is....Frankly every six weeks does not sound right as far as treatment goes.

3102chelsea
07-08-2011, 12:14 PM
I am 16 and I have had my braces on for a year now and i was suppose to where them for 2, and my sister is getting married soon and I am the maid of honor. So i asked my ortho if i could get them off for her wedding and he said he would think about it and if i tried hard and wore my bands I could get them off. Well now I get them off in 2 weeks right before the wedding. So i say yes ask to have them off earlier because you might actually get them offf

diznygirl
07-08-2011, 12:35 PM
I had braces as an adult that I had taken off early - after 5 years. My bite was 3 mm off, and still is. Oh well - I figure that's something I can live with. As long as nobody dives in and measures my bite. ;)

Orthodontists are perfectionists. Perfection is very rarely able to be achieved.

mjkacmom
07-08-2011, 02:01 PM
No way! Dd14 has had them on for 3 years, they're all paid for, and she's begging! Nope, I trust the orthodontist. I know kids who have gone to the same one, who got them off in under a year. He's not making any money on dd, so I assume he has them on her for a reason. I'm not flushing $6300 down the toilet.

DizBelle
07-08-2011, 02:04 PM
My guess is that since this thread is from nearly 5 years ago that those braces are long gone.

Lisa loves Pooh
07-08-2011, 02:08 PM
Old thread bump strikes again..NM!

diznygirl
07-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Old thread bump strikes again..NM!

:headache:


:laughing:

Snowflakey
07-08-2011, 02:27 PM
WOW :scared1: I'm shocked at how long a lot of you have had them on for.

My DD(14) gets them on in a week and the orthodontist said a year and a half at most!

joviroxx
07-08-2011, 02:39 PM
my guess is that since this thread is from nearly 5 years ago that those braces are long gone.

lol!

kacaju
07-08-2011, 03:03 PM
WOW :scared1: I'm shocked at how long a lot of you have had them on for.

My DD(14) gets them on in a week and the orthodontist said a year and a half at most!

Wait and see...they all say that!! I had him take my dd15 braces off. She could not wear the rubber bands.So it became pointless to keep them on any longer.

aprilgail2
07-08-2011, 05:40 PM
Have rubber bands been worn as directed, etc? ?

Wait and see...they all say that!! I had him take my dd15 braces off. She could not wear the rubber bands.So it became pointless to keep them on any longer.

What are these rubber bands people keep mentioning?? My daughter has had braces for over 2 years now and there was never any mention of any rubber bands or anything she needed to wear.