Must We Have Orthodontic Procedures, Or Are We Just Being Vain?

Imagine a child that goes to the dentist and is told they need braces. In most cases, this procedure will be neither cosmetic, nor for health reasons. If this child you are picturing has some tooth crowding (one of the main reasons to recommend braces), their smile actually looks very nice, which means that the procedure would not be cosmetic. Crowded teeth also do not cause any pain, nor do they necessary lead to cavities, so it isn’t a health issue either. Even though there is often no real reason to use braces, parents still choose to spend between $3,000 and $10,000 a year on these braces. So are braces a cosmetic procedure, or a health procedure?

It seems that braces can be both a health treatment and a cosmetic treatment. If poorly aligned teeth cause a child pain, difficulty in eating, mental distress or will lead to cavities, the treatment is a health treatment. The most controversial of these reasons is the mental distress, which can often be cited to claim it as health treatment, when it really isn’t. A child who feel uncomfortable about a single misaligned tooth is not the same as a child who is bullied relentlessly for having buck teeth, for instance. It is very difficult to figure out whether this treatment is purely cosmetic, or whether some health reasons can also be sited.

There are plenty of examples where the treatment really is purely cosmetic. In fact, almost every patient actually has cosmetic treatment. Naturally, if a parent is happy to pay for this, they have every right to do so. At the same time, financial experts have spoken out against parents who choose to do this without thinking. This is mainly because we know that only very few people end up having to pay just $3,000. Kids know fine well that braces such as Invisalign and Damon are out there, and they will push for those. This is because they want that million dollar smile, but they don’t want to walk around with a mouth full of metal for ages either. If, as a parent, you agree with your child and want to get them Invisalign or Damon, then you will have to pay around $10,000. The majority of us would struggle to come up with $3,000 and $10,000 really is way beyond our reach. This means that parents have to take out loans or find themselves in great financial difficulty. The solution, according to financial experts, is to wait until the children have grown up and have a job that allows them to pay for this themselves.