We get this from time to time from adults as well as parents who are eager to do the right thing for their children. Here is my stock answer for that question.

“You don’t need braces. Heck, you don’t even need teeth. No one has ever died that I know of from having crooked teeth. I guess the only scenario I can think of where that could happen would be if you were tied up on some railroad tracks and you couldn’t use your teeth to free yourself because of how crooked they were and because of your bad bite? I don’t know….”

Braces aren’t necessary but they certainly enhance quality of life – there are studies that demonstrate this fact. However I never want parents or patients to feel like they are bad people for not getting braces and I certainly don’t want people to get themselves into a financial crack over orthodontic treatment. Remember that people don’t take time off work and out of school to come see you because they don’t want braces. Help them understand what is going on with their body and how you can help them. Help them help themselves in whatever way is best for them and everyone wins in the long run.

2 thoughts on “Do I Need Braces?

  1. Favorite post! I always say that research doesn’t show that having crooked teeth will kill you, however some people do experience side effects from their teeth being crooked (hygiene that’s hard to manage) or their bite being off (TMJ pain). I follow that by saying that I don’t have a crystal ball that will tell me who will have true problems and who won’t – I only have a wall full of the beautiful smiles of happy patients.

    As for adults, the GPs know their patients and I always respect their referral – for hygiene, a deepening bite, whatever.

  2. Dear Ben

    I always enjoy hearing your down home twist to your comebacks. I also enjoyed the response you told me about making mom feel good when the child is not brushing their teeth!

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