parents

BERN: I need advice. About teeth. Children's teeth.

When did teeth become so expensive?
We pay fortunes for our kids teeth to be white and straight. Elsewhere… not so much.

 

By BERN MORLEY

Children’s teeth. I remember when they were a source of constant amazement to me. That thrill of spotting the first pearly white jutting out of their tiny little inflamed gums. The nights spent rocking a drooling, often sick (although no doctor in the land will ever associate teething with a cold) child in your arms, wishing you could take away their pain, just for a night….

Oh how times have changed. Seems the only pain I associate with teeth these days is with my hip pocket. And I doubt I’m alone.

See those babies grew up and around the age of 6 or so, they started to shed teeth. The tooth fairy came and paid them handsomely in exchange for their baby teeth (unless she got side tracked or caught in FOG or something) and the new, adult teeth started to eventually make their mark in their ever expanding jawline. THIS, this is the precise moment that I should have made my way down to a financial institution and asked for a personal loan. I so wish I were kidding.

I guess my husband and I were quite lucky, we have straight teeth and neither of us required anything more than a visit to the school dental van twice a year to keep it all in order. Well, the school dental van doesn’t appear to exist anymore and unfortunately genetics haven’t been as kind to our children as they were us.

My 13 year old daughter is my first worry. Her canines didn’t descend when they should have and now they sit just above her other teeth. I don’t mind it, neither does she but apparently, according to the orthodontist, it’s hideous and we may as well just take out a second mortgage because this will require YEARS of treatment and consequently, hours of overtime.

Ironically enough, in Japan, they are paying to have their teeth fashioned exactly like Maddies:

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See how the teeth on the edges of her mouth are poking out? This is not natural. This is Yaeba.
See how the teeth on the edges of her mouth are poking out? This is not natural. This is Yaeba.

“Indeed, there is a dental salon located in Tokyo, which helps young girls get the “crooked teeth” look. Through a dental cosmetic procedure, the canines of young girls are being sharpened and elongated, in order to go with a trend called “Yaeba”.

All throughout the world, people pay hefty fees at the dentist to have their canines straightened, since crooked teeth are considered an imperfection.

In Japan on the other hand, young girls with perfect dentures visit this salon in order to have their teeth look crooked and imperfect.

In Japanese, the word “yaeba” actually means double teeth, and it does not refer to a medical condition, but rather to getting one’s teeth look like that of a vampire.

Several sources say that with the help of yaeba, girls will get that “feline look”, which supposedly is extremely attractive. Others state that girls with such imperfection are much more accessible, compared to the perfection that is being advertised on the covers of the magazines worldwide.”

Right then, looks like all we need to do is move to Japan..

I’m dubious. I mean, I understand that Maddie will require work done to her teeth but I am floundering here. I’m no dentist and I want to make the best decision but I keep hearing SO many stories. One of my friends tells me about a certain brace she was sold for her child to wear at night that cost a fortune that ended up being nothing more than a gimmick. These people are professionals; we believe them and mostly, we want to do the best by our children.

In the meantime I guess I’m just hoping you could share your stories or experiences with me.

Have you had effective treatment? If so, what has worked? What didn’t work?  How much is too much?

Bern is a Gen X, child of the 80′s. Kept busy being a working mother of 3 children, one with Aspergers, renovating the original money pit and drinking too many coffees in the space of 24 hours.

One day she’ll remember to leave the meat out for tea but until then she writes beautiful and amusing posts on her blog which you can find here. You can also follow her on Twitter here.

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