What do you do if your kid refuses braces?

Anonymous 1

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Dd is 13, she’s been to both the dentist and the orthodontist, gotten the X-rays and measurements, both doctors agree it would be good for her to get them; but Dd refuses. She says she refuses to go to the appointment to get them, she still not sit, she will get up out of the chair and leave. She won’t get them, adamantly refuses. Her reasoning is that she doesn’t care about the changes they would make . She doesn’t want to deal with it hurting, she doesn’t want to deal with any of it.


So what do I do? Should I try to force her? Let her make the decision?
AZOldGal66
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Frustrating as I'm sure it is, give her more time to reconsider.

It's her mouth and IMO, her decision. I'd lay out all the pro's of getting it done now, if you haven't done so, then leave it be to get revisited in the future.
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In my son's case I let him say no and a year or so later he changed his mind. Thankfully because it turned out he needed his upper palate widened or something like that. If we'd waited longer he'd have needed surgery. If it's just that her teeth need to be straightened she might be able to do that as an adult. If she needs the palate extender then it's better to do that when she's a teen. As others said, lay out the pros and cons or have the dentist do it. But she has to be compliant with wearing the rubber bands, the retainer afterward, and going to appointments. If she won't be compliant don't bother now. It can always be revisited in a year including the palate separator. I think ds was fifteen when he did it I don't remember now. I do know he got it off right before he graduated hs.
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carterscutie85
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My son is 15 and has said the same. He has said he'll do his best to ruin them and not care for them. So I'm not paying for it. I've laid out the pros and cons and said when he's an adult it'll be worse. He insists he'll take care of it as an adult.
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RIZZY
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It depends on how badly he needs them. Overall, I don't have the energy to battle with my kids about this kind of thing. I would insist on good dental hygiene. My step son's teeth aren't that bad and he doesn't want them so oh well. It's so weird to me, though. Remember when we used to put gum wrappers on our teeth and pretend they were braces? Everyone wanted straight teeth. In the age of overly done veneers, now we have teenagers not even wanting straight teeth. LOL
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LiveWhatULove
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Although in some cases, orthodontics are recommended for bite & mouth hygiene health issues, it is rarely life threatening obviously. And many cases are, at the end of the day, cosmetic. I would not force my child to get them, but I would ask her a lot of questions about her concerns & feelings.

However, as someone else said, my kids are dramatically different humans from age 13 to age 17, she may still change her mind, and plenty of young adults get orthodontic work done too.
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SisterSomeone
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To me this is an issue of basic bodily autonomy. Unless the consequences of not doing it were severely life altering, which I can't think of many scenarios where braces would be that serious, I just can't imagine a world where I would ever force my child to have something in or on their body that they adamantly don't want. That would be against not only my personal morals and principles, but more importantly, against every single thing I've ever taught my son about the sanctity of bodily autonomy.

I would lay out all the pros and cons of doing it now vs waiting vs never, make sure he understands it, periodically revisit the conversation to see if he changed his mind, and otherwise leave him alone about it. At the end of the day, it's his mouth and if he doesn't want them, he doesn't want them.
Anonymous 2

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I didn't want them as a teen, and was too clueless to know I needed them. My parents didn't push for them, probably because of the cost - my parents divorced when I was young and they would've just yelled at each other over who would pay, I barely had clothes as a kid - but as a 40-something who hasn't had them, I regret it everyday. I mean, my teeth aren't horrible, but there are two on top that are just not right. I looked into invisalign, but that's not as good as it seems (the lady at the consult said they needed to file my teeth and I've read and seen photos of horror stories of those that had it done that way - f that!)

Every single day I think about getting them, but yes, I hesitate because of possible pain, what it'd be like having them as an adult, etc. (Cost isn't a HUGE issue, I'm not rich or anything, but it wouldn't break the bank.) It would've been so much easier to have it done as a teen, then look at all the people around me and on tv and videos who have perfect teeth, and wonder if I'm being judged as an adult for NOT having perfect teeth. I also think I worry a lot more about possible food stuck in my teeth and things like that. I know I'd go with traditional braces if I did it get them, but I still keep putting it off.

Maybe gently let her know the cons, maybe show pictures of adults without straight teeth to see if she thinks it matters (not like, BAD teeth, just not straight), and then let her think on it and make her final decision.
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At 13, it's ultimately her decision. If it's cosmetic and she's happy with her teeth then let it go. If it's something that needs to be fixed or it'll cause serious issues down the road then you need to sit her down with the orthodontist and lay it out so she can make an informed decision.
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Is it mainly cosmetic or is it something that will effect her bite and will cause problems when her wisdom teeth come in?
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