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Brace Yourself

Brace Yourself

When you are given your child’s Mitzvah date, you typically make three immediate phone calls: one to each set of grandparents so they are in the loop, and the third to an orthodontist like Dr. Keri Greene of Jericho, NY. We all know braces take a while, so we want the planning to begin to get our child’s smile Mitzvah-ready.

“I would say half of my clients bring up their child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah date during our initial consultation,” Dr. Greene explains. “Planning around that special day is very important.”

Of course the burning question is: Will the braces be off in time for the big event? And the answer to that is: When did they go on?

Dr. Greene gives us Mitzvah Moms some useful information and some very sound advice to help us plan ahead. Here are some considerations:

  1. Braces (the “garden variety” as Dr. Greene calls them) are typically on for 24 months. These are for correcting an overall mouth.
  2. A child’s “dental age” not his/her “chronological age” determines when the child is ready for braces. Typically, a child is ready at the age of 10 or 11, but only if the mouth is ready.
  3. Dr. Greene says that parents can shorten the time braces are on near a child’s Mitzvah date if they consider “interceptive” treatment between the ages of 7 and 9. This treatment will attack a specific, targeted problem such as a severe overbite or crowding. (See sidebar for more details.)
  4. The child’s teeth need to be in good health before any type of orthodunture work can begin. Dr. Greene suggests you keep up with regular check-ups and cleanings to keep the teeth and gums in good health.
  5. Braces can be removed for a Mitzvah and replaced after the Mitzvah. Dr. Greene says that for example, she has taken off braces on a Wednesday; the following Tuesday, after the child’s Mitzvah weekend, the braces go back on. There is a cost incurred for this service, but it is an option.
  6. Dr. Greene says the trend is starting to be that parents want their Mitzvah child’s braces removed for a month instead of a week. This is often due to photos the parents wish to have taken in preparation for the event. Dr. Greene says this is “totally do-able,” but if treatment is interrupted for an entire month, a retainer may need to be created and worn during this time to keep teeth from shifting. There is a cost associated for the removal of the braces as well as the creation of the retainer.

Every child is different, so the best way to find out what your child needs is to consult with an orthodontist. Together, you can come up with the most time-effective and cost-efficient program. But brace yourself; it will suddenly occur to you that your child is really growing up!

Mitzvah Offer

Call The Smile Station at 516-433-1422 and set up a consultation to discuss your child’s individual needs. Consultations are free at The Smile Station. When you call, mention the Mitzvah Moms and new families will receive a timely appointment and a 5% discount on services! No expiration date!

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