Gratituesday: Saving a Few Grand


When you’re an un-informed parent, you have to just trust the doctor you’re talking to. 

I don’t like that feeling…just listening and blindly nodding as someone tells me what I have to do. They’re the expert right? They must know what they’re talking about.

That’s how I felt a couple of months ago when we took our eight year old to the orthodontist. She did ALL KINDS of x-rays and examinations and mold taking and picture taking. Then she told us that Elias would need braces…starting now. After the braces would come retainers and some other stuff I don’t remember because I was the smiling, nodding parent just trying to take in all this information that was all so new to me.

We didn’t think we had much of a choice. It sounded like we were going to need to fork out the big bucks.

Then…because of some weird (and obviously God sent) circumstances…we ended up taking Elias to a different orthodontist.

This one took a nice (free) thorough look at Elias’ teeth, turned to me and said, “With a little work, I think we can take care of this without braces.”


Yep. She showed Elias how he needed to use his fingers several times a day to try and push his front teeth together to help give room for this side teeth to grow in. Then, she showed him how he could use his tongue and push on his lower front teeth to create more space for the missing bottom tooth.  And that’s it. 


I could have kissed her. But I didn’t. But I really wanted to. I would have just settled for a hug, but she had other patients she needed to go see.

Elias has been pushing on his teeth ever since we got home.  Oblivious about the cost, he’d rather not have metal in his mouth that might have the tendancy to cause pain.   Quite aware of the cost, Matt and I are so thankful that we were able to seek a second opinion and to learn that indeed…we do have options. 

Wahoo…we just saved a few thousand dollars!! And…we saved our little boy quite a bit of trauma.  Thank you God!

What are you grateful for this Gratituesday? Write about it on your blog, then come link up here so we can come read about what God is doing in your life. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re thankful for!


  1. Kristin says

    A lesson learned from my childhood, when my siblings and I all had braces…DO NOT put braces on children younger than 12, who haven’t lost all the necessary teeth, or grown in all their permanent teeth. So much can change during that time that braces may not be necessary, and children under 12 tend to do poorly with all the extra care necessary for taking care of teeth with braces.

    I’m so glad you got a second opinion!


  2. Barbara says

    My son was 6 when we started visiting the orthodontist. He had an under-bite and a cross-bite. He could not chew food properly, especially meat. He wore braces for 1 1/2 years and now at 9 years old, not only does he have beautiful teeth, but he can eat food without me pureeing it!

    I know that most disagree with little ones going through this treatment, but for us it wasn’t an option. At this age, you’re still checking to ensure they did a good job brushing and flossing, so it wasn’t any extra work.

    I’m thankful that when we started treatment, we were able to pay for it up front, which saved us several hundred dollars. He’s wearing a retainer now and will for the next 2 years and we’re still not paying anything additional.


  3. Susie says

    Ohhh Elias… you are blessed! Take it from someone who had to wear braces twice! Keep pushing those teeth back, avoid braces if there’s another way of fixing your teeth!


  4. Serenity says

    What a blessing! Our eight year old just started wearing a retainer and I am very thankful we have ortho coverage that covers half!!! I have to disagree that its silly to put braces on an eight year old. I started braces when I was eight and if I hadn’t I would have had to have the same 16 hour surgery as my Dad. He had his jaw wired shut and couldn’t talk or eat regular food for six weeks. I think braces for an eight year old is FAR less cruel!!!! My son actually thinks his retainers are awesome and his friends are pretty amazed by how cool they are. I’m sure that sometimes orthodontics are unnecessary this early but in my family they are far less invasive than the alternative….


  5. Danielle says

    Oh you don’t have to pay all up front. My parents could have paid for it all at once, but I know everytime I went I always had to take a check in w/me.

    I definitely agree w/the above poster about the age of kids. I got mine at age 10 (4th grade, off in 7th grade) and i never wore my retainer, or head gear (yes, back we had to wear this contraption on our heads!) or the rubber bands.

    Years later, I had my wisdom teeth removed, and all my teeth shifted. I say wait until AFTER the wisdom teeth are removed (if he needs braces).


  6. Candace says

    Oh the fun of braces. I had them starting in 2nd grade and continued on through 6th grade. You won’t find many pictures of me with a wide smile between those years; but every photo since 6th grade has my giant pearly whites for all to see. For me, braces weren’t a trauma. They helped me to accept myself the way I was; and even though I was going through an “ugly” spell, everything would be better in the end. Sixteen years later, and my teeth haven’t budged (for those who have children w/ braces…research getting their fibers cut). Today, my husband tells me I have a beautiful smile and I can thank those braces for that.


  7. Mary says

    What a blessing you found an affordable treatment option.

    Orthodontics is different for every person. Certain problems need attention early (cross bite palate expansion) while other ortho problems can wait until the person is older. We had a daughter who needed treatment at 8 and two other children who could wait until 12.

    The bottom line in everything is to always get a 2nd opinion. Last summer, our sewer line collasped. Bids were from $699 to $3,600 (guess which one we picked). We had trees taken out several years ago: bids from $1,200 to $8,000.


  8. says

    I had a bunch of windows open on my computer, entering links to different Linky lists, and I entered it on yours. I didn’t mean to! I didn’t do a Gratituesday post this week; I was reading your post. Could you delete my link? I don’t want to be disrespectful to you or your other readers.



    Laura Reply:

    All taken care of!


  9. lcg says

    I don’t know…..some times you get what you pay for. I hope that the tongue guidance is all he needs, but perhaps a 3rd opinion in a few months might be a good idea. Good teeth alignment and proper bite aren’t just a matter of fitting the teeth into a big enough space. More and more adults are choosing to have braces in their 40s and 50s–and not for the sake of vanity. Improperly aligned teeth will eventually wear unevenly, leading to cracks and cavities. And often to really, really, really expensive gold inlays ! There is a great deal of controversy among dentists about when the ideal timing is for braces–i see a lot of merit in starting early because the the bite is more easily ajusted before the solid bone growth phase has occurred. Best of luck to you with this.

    btw: made your yummy homemade pancakes last night. so good


  10. says

    Oh boy. I’m so glad for you.

    (I will skip telling you about our $$$ at the dentist and orthodontist for my sweet small-jawed babies and their relatively sized horse-teeth…)

    *I AM thankful* that we haven’t spent that much money at the medical doctors!



  11. says

    I am so glad you got a second opinion. Perhaps like another reader noted to check in a few months to see if there is progress.

    I wore brace for 4 yrs. Not Fun, but now I do have a nice smile:)


  12. Amara says


    I think we have a tendency to believe that doctors are unquestionable authorities on many matters, including the health/development of our children.

    I happen to be a mom who is a proponent of extended breastfeeding, and have nursed all my children into their toddler years. When I had an pediatrician who continually questioned this practice (more as a matter of his amazement that anyone would continue to do something like breastfeeding long-term!) I finally decided that I needed to seek medical care for my kids elsewhere. I happened upon a female pediatrician who not only supported my choices, but actually nursed her own daughter for 18 months as a result of “seeing how well it was turning out for you” (me!). Imagine the thrill of moving from a practitioner who scoffed at the idea that my children were easier to discipline and more obedient due to the breastfeeding, to someone who was teachable enough to actually learn something from her patients! I’m now, obviously, her lifetime devotee…and really value her opinion and the choices she makes for her own child.

    Good for you…second-opinion seeking is a good thing! So is a healthy sense of skepticism about medical “experts.”


  13. says

    I missed out on “Gratituesday” this week due to a certain ice storm that left us without electricity for 5 days, but I wanted to post another “hint” about front teeth with a gap. Someone may have already mentioned this….I didn’t take the time to read the comments tonight. Anyway, the little rubber bands that are used for braces were recommended by our dentist. You just put them on the two front teeth and it gradually moves them together…much the way your son can do with his fingers, but maybe easier because it would work during the night. It does make the gums sore at first and if not worn until “set” they can move back apart. In fact, we’re needing some more little rubber bands for one of our children right now.


  14. says

    I know someone will disagree, but I NEVER just trust a doctor. That could have gotten me killed once. I had a condition, and was having different, more severe symptoms. From my own research online, and from what I was feeling, I KNEW what I had. Knew it for certain, deep down in my soul. Went to a doctor, who patronized me and treated me like an anxiety-ridden woman. He said “you’re too young to have that.” (What an ignoramus…there are medical journal case studies of children dying from it.)

    Went to an ER that night, they treated me the same…until I told them I was “extremely uncomfortable” going home without a CT scan to be sure. They actually gave in. Boy, they sure changed their tune when they found exactly what I said they’d find, in the exact SAME spot. “You need to be seen by a specialist ASAP.” I was a ticking timebomb. It all turned out alright, but I could have died at any moment.

    By the way, I found out via my medical records that this condition was detected at multiple tests I’d had over the years, and was NOTED on the test results, but I was never given those results. That part was “overlooked” somehow, every time. GET A COPY of any test results, EVERY time you have one, and read them. Had I done that, I would have seen the anomaly on the test results, and said “hey, what’s this here…?”

    No matter how nice your doctor may be, no one is looking out for you as much as YOU (except God of course…who saved my butt on this one).

    I could give other, less severe examples, especially with my children, where I or they were prescribed medication that was either unnecessary, or even dangerous, and I only found out when I went home and studied the risks of the medication BEFORE filling the prescription. I would check out natural cures first, in non-emergent situations, and listen to’s radio show. Quite an eye opener.

    Instead of trusting a doctor, trust your God-given intuition (guardian angel) instead, do your own research, and don’t let ANYONE treat you like you are stupid…that is the first thing a bad or apathetic doctor will do, so run like the wind if that happens. A doctor should respect you first and foremost before they get to treat you.

    Sorry this got so long. It’s a soapbox issue for me. But if it saves one person’s life, it’s worth boring the rest of you, lol.


  15. Coral says

    Wondering if there is an update for his teeth?? Are they moving?


    Laura Reply:

    They are actually. There is still a tiny gap, but nothing at all to be concerned about at this point. I’m so thankful!


    Coral Reply:



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