I am so worried my daughter ruined her teeth. We’d talked about orthodontics and I know she needs them, but I’m a single parent and the cost was just more than I could do at the time. Apparently, she got these “invisible braces” from the internet. I can’t believe they were treating a 14 year old without her parent’s permission. She had been hiding it from me by only wearing them at school. I only noticed when she got really sick and had to stay home for a few days. My boss let me work remotely so I could care for her. Something I am grateful for on two counts now. I found her wearing them and I’m really worried about her teeth. Is there a way to know how much damage these have done to her teeth? I feel like the worst parent ever.
Please don’t beat yourself up over this. You would not believe the things dentists see young people trying because of the internet. For a while, there was a YouTube video going around about how teens could straighten their teeth with rubber bands that caused damage to a lot of teeth. In this case, she was using invisible braces, which I’m guessing look a bit like the clear aligners pictured above. If that is the case, the situation may not be as dire as you think. Some warning signs would be if she is in pain or if any of her teeth are loose.
There are legitimate clear braces, such as Invisalign, but they are accessed through a dentist who monitors the case throughout the procedure. One thing I do worry about in a situation like your daughter’s is the bone density. Sometimes young people don’t realize to wear their aligners for the full time period and skip ahead to try to straighten their teeth more rapidly. This can cause the bone not to have time to integrate with the tooth roots. Take her to your dentist to have her bit e evaluated.
It Is Possible to Get Affordable Braces
While you are there, I would also talk to your dentist about your financial situation. I know there are affordable dentists who would be willing to work with you to get your daughter the treatment she needs without making you pay for all of it up front. If your dentist is not, there are dentists who will. Communication is key.
On a separate note, I would contact your state’s attorney general about this company treating a minor without parental consent. You are probably not the only family this has happened to.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Ryan Noah.