My Forum Comments
I agree with some of the other comments. It really depends on why he needs braces. Are his teeth super crooked where getting them clean because of overlapping could be and issue? Or is just for a perfectly straight smile, which might not be worth it? My son (9 ys old) may need braces, he has SPD and can barely tolerate going to the dentist for cleaning. For cavities he needs nitrous oxide (laughing gas). His dentist told me to get an orthodontist consult a little over a year ago. His mouth is small and the dentist was worried his teeth wouldn’t come in properly. My daughter just got her braces off, she needed two expanders, and then braces. So I was so worried my son would need an expander which would be torture for him (and for me as I would be the one tightening it everyday). I found a really good orthodontist. I explained his anxiety. I explained he can barely tolerate a cleaning at the dentist, etc. The office person was so nice. The orthodontist is so nice and understanding. Usually orthodontists have all the exam chairs in one room. He has that but has one room off to the side for patients that are anxious. He is still only going for consultations, we are on our 3rd or 4th one. He’s just checking on how everything comes in and waiting. Since he knows and understands my son’s issues, his attitude is to not use an aggressive treatment.
So, call around for a consultation, they are free. Visit more than one orthodontist. They all have different philosophies and how to treat, some are more aggressive than others.
I would say, as this is my plan for my son too, wait. Because like the other post says. Teeth shift even during and after the treatment. My daughter needed an expander twice because after the first time, we were waiting for one baby tooth to come out and her pallet moved back so she needed the expander again. She had braces on for about 18 months, and is now in a retainer-“nighttime for lifetime” is what they say. If she goes one night without her retainer it is tight the next night. That is how quickly her teeth shift. Now, she needed braces. She sucked her finger and her teeth were horribly crooked. For my son, his are coming in a little bit crooked. He never sucked his thumb/finger/pacifier. So I am hoping it will be up to us if we go with braces. I think for him it will be purely cosmetic, and honestly not worth the pain-literally. And for the retainer, it’s hard to say how compliant a child will be. I never thought my daughter would use it but she likes it after having braces in her mouth for so long. Now, I don’s see my son wearing the retainer (but you never know), and if you don’t wear the retainer your teeth will move. If your teeth move enough then all that time and money for braces was a waste.
I had braces as a kid too. And while the process is better than it was way back then, I can tell you it hurts. It hurt back then and it hurts now. And you go every 6 weeks to get them “tightened” It hurts.
Another thing to consider is waiting until he is a little older and getting Invisalign or a similar product.
The key if you choose to get braces, is finding a really good, understanding orthodontist. And convenient since you will go often.
My advice is like the others. Try to find a gaming club or some club that he is interested in. There’s nothing like a shared interest to help build friendships, just like with adults. Both my kids are similar to your son. My daughter doesn’t like groups or to go someplace she doesn’t know anyone unless it’s something that really interests her. Our library had a teen book club that I talked her into going (sometimes you just have to insist to try something) and she loved it. They also have had Harry Potter clubs. For my son the library has a Pokémon club and a Lego club and when he is older they have a gaming club. I’m also going to have him try a bowling league this fall. He likes to bowl. He doesn’t really like team sports but I thought a bowling league might be good. A little bit of activity, out of the house and with other kids his age. And like the other posts say, he is probably an introvert and will have only a few good friends. Which is fine. And I’d like to say that I think it’s great that all of you have said that your son/daughter can tell you why they don’t like social situations. I was surprised to read that they say they don’t want to say something inappropriate, etc. That’s the first step. My husband has ADHD, diagnosed when he was in his 40’s. He has social skills. He always says inappropriate things, and then when the other person gets offended blames the other person for not being able to take a joke instead of apologizing. My husband sees nothing wrong with his behavior. I think it’s great these young people can see where they need help and encouragement. That really is a huge start. Good luck.
I am in the same situation. I love how you put it-I expected more seriousness in the marriage. That is so true. I was just thinking that the other day-I wish I was married to an adult (we are both in our 40’s). I can’t have a serious conversation with him because he is always making jokes, I think it’s a defense mechanism or something. And I think another part of the problem is, he really doesn’t want to be an adult. His ADHD aside (he’s been on meds for 4 years and I honestly don’t notice any difference), I think he doesn’t want to be involved, to help raise the kids, to make decisions about the house or finances. I think he wanted a mother when he got married even though we lived together first and I was not like a mother then so I don’t know why he would expect that after we got married. I feel like the thinks his only role is to provide financially. Which fortunately he is able to do. He may be present but he is not a father or a husband. I am raising our kids on my own. And he truly sees nothing wrong with that.