When can I get my braces off?

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How many times has your child thrown this question at you?

In all of my years of working in an orthodontic office, occasionally there’s comes that patient that just doesn’t want treatment.  They don’t care about having straight teeth (at least not while there going into 7th, 8th, or especially 9th grade).  All they want is to be left alone with their crooked teeth and are not interested in anything that has to do with straightening their teeth.

Usually, they have muddled through with treatment but during the entire process they complain, “this hurts, that hurts, everything just hurts!”   They say things like “I can’t take it!”, “These braces aren’t doing anything!” and even “ You’re mean!”   Now you, the parent, are feeling guilt as heck and sometimes you feel as though your child is right.  Why are you torturing them with this orthodontic nonsense?

Well, I’m hear to tell you must stay strong and try (notice I said try) to hold out as long as you can.

There are a few things to keep in mind…

Your child may try anything to get them off.
The guilt trip is the best weapon and they will use it until you break.
Most of the time they are being this way because some of their friends don’t think it ‘s cool to have braces or their friends have had their braces and now that they’ve graduated to retainers.  So these friends may taunt and ridicule your precious one into thinking braces aren’t cool anymore because they no longer have them.

Best thing to try to do is to talk with you child about how they feel about their teeth.

Ask questions like:
Do you want to have a beautiful smile?
Do you want to be able to keep your teeth clean until you’re 101 years old?
Do you think your friends like you less if you have braces?
Try to explain this is an important step in their life and it’s not forever, just a couple of years out of their now very young life and they will have plenty of years to do what they want with their teeth, brush or not brush.
Let them know that you understand their drama now but this too shall pass.

If your child is really not having the whole orthodontic scene and continue to badger you about ending treatment, speak with your orthodontist about helping you to reinforce the reason why they need treatment.

If it comes to the point where you just can’t take it anymore, discuss a suitable and compromising conclusion of treatment with your orthodontist and your child.  Although it will not be the most ideal outcome for you or your orthodontist and treatment may not make it until every tooth is in it’s proper or most optimal place, the orthodontist usually can achieve an satisfactory result without you feeling as though you wasted time and money trying to give you child the best smile possible.


We are passionate about promoting healthy, white smiles and hope you are too! What to know how to maintain and beautiful smile? That is what we are here to help you with!

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