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Braces, Expanders, Orthodontics, etc... I think I need a full-on education.

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Braces, Expanders, Orthodontics, etc... I think I need a full-on education.

Old 05-21-2019, 01:40 PM
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Question Braces, Expanders, Orthodontics, etc... I think I need a full-on education.

Had my first foray into the world of pediatric orthodontics yesterday. It was a free consult that included photographs and x-rays. Doctor and staff were very informative.

Questions.

What are the pitfalls to avoid? I'm pretty much being told to do a "two phase" type of thing. First phase is some expander... and then moving on with braces. Expander is north of $3k and braces are far more.

There is no doubt that the kids need some kind of intervention. Both have "mild crowding" and my daughter has an under bite - but not severe.

Some people are telling me that you can pour cash into this when they're young, but since they're still growing it can all be for naught. This is especially the case with my daughter who is exceptionally petite. Both children have a significant number of baby teeth.

I'm looking how to learn to play all of this. Is there an insurance that might be worth it? What are the scams, what is legit?

We are getting ready to set up other interviews (second opinions) -- but I'd really like to know how the THT brain-trust plays this.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:45 PM
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if they still have baby teeth, there's nothing to do yet.

Both my kids had braces put on as soon as all their adult teeth were in.

Shop around, both my kids full treatments were were 4600 and 5k for basically 2 years of braces each. Once they are out of the braces they have to wear a retainer to keep everything in place.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lookinup76 View Post
if they still have baby teeth, there's nothing to do yet.

Both my kids had braces put on as soon as all their adult teeth were in.

Shop around, both my kids full treatments were were 4600 and 5k for basically 2 years of braces each. Once they are out of the braces they have to wear a retainer to keep everything in place.
Pretty much my experience too... I believe we paid right at 5K also... 3-5 years later, both kids still wear retainers at night, daily....
Although its expensive, I am quite pleased with my kids teeth appearance. and never thought of the cost after it was paid off, of course. IMO, nothing is more of a turn off then poor orthodontia in young people. Money well spent.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lookinup76 View Post
if they still have baby teeth, there's nothing to do yet.

Both my kids had braces put on as soon as all their adult teeth were in.

Shop around, both my kids full treatments were were 4600 and 5k for basically 2 years of braces each. Once they are out of the braces they have to wear a retainer to keep everything in place.

Did your kids have any crowding? Or was it just crooked teeth? Details, please....
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Did your kids have any crowding? Or was it just crooked teeth? Details, please....
crooked teeth with some crowding, they used springs on the wires in between the brackets to make the space they needed.

Worth every penny, a very small investment into the children's futures.

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Old 05-21-2019, 02:26 PM
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The fact they are still growing will give them the opportunity to have any facial/jaw issues fixed. Once they stop growing that is no longer an option. I have a 11 year old that's about to be in a Herbst Appliance for a year then full braces for another 2-3. 4500-5500 seems to be the going rate for your basic 2 year self ligating braces treatment. Luckily my insurance covers 2k and my ex wife's should be able be utilized for the second half of treatment so we won't be out of pocket too much. I think the real issue with younger kids is proper oral hygiene while in braces ( it's a lot more work) and also making sure they wear their retainers post treatment as most dental insurance only covers one round of braces.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:10 PM
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Went thru both with my kids, 2 rounds of braces, expanders and a roof guard.

We used Dr. Wiley, she was in LHP then shut that down and would have to go out to Coral Springs. Liked her office and staff, she was one of those bubbly ladies that was always trying to suck you in to her way on teeth.

All I can say is, cash is king! Whatever price they give you that is your responsibility get a cash discount! Dental insurance and health insurance helped somewhat if I remember, it was a while ago and my wife dealt with it.

Good luck and be ready to dig deep!
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:27 PM
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EVERY SINGLE CASE is different w Ortho Pete, there are a hundred different ways to get your kids to a great smile, most will work. My advice is get three consults and go with your gut. Usually there is limited insurance coverage, check with your policy. If you want referrals, let me know.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:26 PM
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orthos love to jump the gun with treatment, ours would not do anything until they were done growing
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:03 PM
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Put all three of my kids in braces after their permanent teeth came in. Weren’t really all that crooked but I have all girls so they have to be perfect. $5 k per kid paid in full in advance. I kept waiting to get hit with additional costs for retainers, etc at the end but was pleasantly surprised. The one time payment covered everything.

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Old 05-21-2019, 06:42 PM
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We found the best deal through an osteopath here in town.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:29 PM
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When my daughter needed braces, I was quoted on a pay by the month plan. I asked what the price would be if I paid cash up front. I was floored when the price dropped to a little less than half of the first quote. Ask for the cash price
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Had my first foray into the world of pediatric orthodontics yesterday. It was a free consult that included photographs and x-rays. Doctor and staff were very informative.

Questions.

What are the pitfalls to avoid? I'm pretty much being told to do a "two phase" type of thing. First phase is some expander... and then moving on with braces. Expander is north of $3k and braces are far more.

There is no doubt that the kids need some kind of intervention. Both have "mild crowding" and my daughter has an under bite - but not severe.

Some people are telling me that you can pour cash into this when they're young, but since they're still growing it can all be for naught. This is especially the case with my daughter who is exceptionally petite. Both children have a significant number of baby teeth.

I'm looking how to learn to play all of this. Is there an insurance that might be worth it? What are the scams, what is legit?

We are getting ready to set up other interviews (second opinions) -- but I'd really like to know how the THT brain-trust plays this.

Thanks,
Pete
I am extremely knowledgeable on this subject.

The growth and development of the lower and middle face starts at 12 weeks in the womb when we develop a swallowing reflex. The outward pressure from the tongue helps to drive growth of the face and jaws. Ideally, this continues as the child is born and begins to breast feed. As we continue to develop more mature swallow and use our facial muscles, the jaws also develop. Our ancestors all had much larger jaws and pretty much never had crowded teeth.

Due to modern ‘advances’ like pacifiers, formula instead of actually working on a breast for milk (lots of effort by the tongue and facial muscles), Gerbers and processed foods etc., we aren’t using the facial muscles and flexing the growth plates as much. This the modern lower and middle faces tend to be under-developed and don’t have enough room to accommodate all the teeth.

We can mimic the forces that drive growth and development of the jaws with orthodontic expanders, and the teeth should mostly go where the DNA wanted them to go, but there wasn’t enough room in the jaw. Sometimes a second phase is necessary to do some minor clean up and straightening once all the baby teeth fall out. Unfortunately if the muscles of the face are not re-trained properly, as in most cases, the same forces that caused under-development of the jaws cause re-lapse crowding. That’s why we are told we have to wear retainers forever.

If you you go through the project of re-training the muscles and tongue and soft tissues to work properly, they virtually hold the teeth straight themselves. The muscles of the face and the tongue are the scaffolding that support our dental arches. A Myofunctional therapist (a physical therapist for the facial muscles and tongue) can help with this training.

Even better than the traditional orthodontic expander devices is ALF therapy. These are light wires that fit on the tongue side of the teeth and flex and vibrate when the patient chews. They stimulate growth plates of the jaws and face to develop in all dimensions, rather than expanders that only give us lateral growth (still much better than doing nothing).

The ‘wait and watch’ approach to see what happens when the permanent teeth come in almost never works. Usually by then we have to extract some teeth to make everything fit. Ask me how I know.

Dr Ljuba Lemke put together a great little 5 minute YouTube video called Introduction to ALF that is worth a watch.

The combination of ALF and Myofunctional therapy can give the patient straight teeth for life, usually without the need for retainers.

I have practiced dentistry and orthodontics for 18 years and have never seen anything as effective.

Best of luck to you, and tight lines!
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenner21 View Post
The fact they are still growing will give them the opportunity to have any facial/jaw issues fixed. Once they stop growing that is no longer an option. I have a 11 year old that's about to be in a Herbst Appliance for a year then full braces for another 2-3. 4500-5500 seems to be the going rate for your basic 2 year self ligating braces treatment. Luckily my insurance covers 2k and my ex wife's should be able be utilized for the second half of treatment so we won't be out of pocket too much. I think the real issue with younger kids is proper oral hygiene while in braces ( it's a lot more work) and also making sure they wear their retainers post treatment as most dental insurance only covers one round of braces.
Respectfully disagree. Although it is more difficult to grow and develop the jaws once we are ‘done growing’ the DNA can still be activated and we can finish the growth and development of the jaws. I do it daily in my practice with ALF appliances, developed by Dr Darick Nordstrom. Dr David Singh and his DNA appliances, Dr John Mew with orthotropics and many others have shown what we were taught in dental school on this subject was just plain wrong.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rusbob View Post
We found the best deal through an osteopath here in town.
brilliant approach. Who better than a a true expert in the musculoskeletal system? Bravo!
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:25 AM
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Farhangs, interesting approach, where do you practice?
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:08 AM
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You will get an education and it will cost less than sending them to college. Both my kids had them. My daughter very small girl had to use an expander and then bands. There will lots of trips for adjustments. A waterpik is a must. There is usually some crankiness when adjustments happens, both for you and the kids. Dogs like to chew on retainers, hotels usually can’t find the left behinds. When it is all over there may be cavities to fill even if the waterpik is used correctly. The senior yearbook picture smile will be perfect.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:40 AM
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Wow Guys! Thank you x 100! I am truly thankful for the input. I'm going to sit with my wife and learn more about ALF and comparisons.

Farhangs... anticipate a PM from me, if OK with you... in the event that wife has any questions.

Man. I love THT. Thanks again!

DP: I'll also be reaching out to you. You hit a home run with you dentist referral! Wife wants to visit three places to get a complete picture.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Lookinup76 View Post
if they still have baby teeth, there's nothing to do yet.

Both my kids had braces put on as soon as all their adult teeth were in.

Shop around, both my kids full treatments were were 4600 and 5k for basically 2 years of braces each. Once they are out of the braces they have to wear a retainer to keep everything in place.
This is not entirely correct; there are some issues that can and should be dealt with when they still have baby teeth but I agree not most issues. But speaking of braces my youngest son had them as a teenager for 3 years and needed them again at 30.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
This is not entirely correct; there are some issues that can and should be dealt with when they still have baby teeth but I agree not most issues. But speaking of braces my youngest son had them as a teenager for 3 years and needed them again at 30.
This is one of the things I would prefer to avoid -- if possible. As soon as I get squared away at work today I plan to get better educated on ALF. If we have to add a consults to find the right ALF person, that's what we'll do.

Thank you again... wife says thanks as well.
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