Braces..Dentists cash cow, teachers nightmare!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 24aw, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. 24aw

    24aw Member

    I have noticed that the amount of children i see with metal work in there mouths these days is getting more and more frequent. Now nobody in there right mind would want a child who has obvious teeth problems to go with out any intervention from a specialist but the cynic in me cant help but think that telling a caring parent that little johnny needs a brace because he maybe be disfigured in later life would be a bit of a steady earner for a dentist especial as its not uncommon for the things to still be on five years later and added up thats a awful lot of sugary time the dentist can claim from the NHS. Now i know everyone in there own way struggles to make ends meet, and most people have a scam or two which helps keep the wolf from the door...hey even i have been known to teach privately for a bit of money Gordon Brown may not necessarily see come through the treasury. But a dentist (who lets face it does very well) who tells half of the kids he see's they need a brace, directly effects my job as a brass teacher and of cause the potential development of a kid, some i have known to finish because of them!! I think its a scam because to me most of the kids are perfectly normal, if they are goofy then by all means sort them out, but i do wish they wouldn't tell normal looking kids they have a problem, its out of order, and creates problems for teachers!
  2. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    My son had the (stuck on) braces taken off his teeth last week at last.

    He had quite irregular top teeth (one incisor was behind the rest), and has had braces top and bottom for most of this year. It has made baritone playing quite tricky, but he persevered - it has taught him to play without any more pressure than necessary.

    Nowadays, most of the orthodentic work is done in "specialist" places and certainly the one we went to were pretty inflexible about what sort of treatment and brace they would use - we tried to go down the "removable" route, but he wouldn't hear about it. Didn't seem to know anything about kids that play wind instruments. The NHS will fund orthodentics if the appropriate paperwork is done.

    Mind you, I too had a brace when I was young, and so did quite a number of my peers. However, they were a simpler approach of take out 2 teeth top and bottom and push everything into the now larger space with a removable brace. Actually, the bottom teeth were just left to drift into place.... Being a removable brace, it didn't really affect my playing.

    I'm surethe tMp dentist will have lots to say about this :)

  3. Di

    Di Active Member

    Vicki was directed to the orthodontist. She has one top tooth very slightly turned and he recommended a brace to fix it. We talked to the chap, he took impressions and we talked about her music. On the next visit, as requested, we took in her mouthpiece so she could demonstrate. At the time, he was saying that a fixed brace was her only option too, but once he saw the position of the mouthpiece, he agreed it would give her difficulties, so we decided not to go ahead.
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    24AW is spot on and I'm glad your dentist didn't bamboozle you into making poor Vicks use a brace.

    Too often slight imperfections can give a child's face character. We seem to be heading for a society which prizes 'beauty', rather than 'character'. While I agree I'm no oil painting - ok, maybe a badly done one - I don't think my face lacks character. My teeth are less than perfect and they are not like a wall of white sepulchers across my mouth, but they don't interfere with my playing, they're still all my own and they still help to strain crisps and peanuts out of my beer.

    I wouldn't wish any child to have tusks like an ogre, but a lot of the time the braces I see are making purely cosmetic changes and loads of money for the dentist.

    I would encourage anyone whose child has to have braces to get dental wax from the dentist. It helps to reduce cuts. Demand it - they can't (I think) charge you for it!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  5. Di

    Di Active Member

    As I said, her orthodonist was very understanding and didn't try at all to press the point. Look at it from Vic's (or anyone else for that matter) point of view, if she were to have braces, that would most likely cause her some difficulties during the time wearing them, but also, what about the change in the shape of the teeth once fixed? Would this have affected the playing? If it did, there's no going back and making the teeth wonky again to regain what she had before.

    Or am I reaching too far with that one? :rolleyes:
  6. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Methinks you're underestimating the work of a good pair of pliers!
  7. Di

    Di Active Member

    Ouch! :eek:
  8. Because of my brass playing, I had a removable brace when I was young. I don't know if modern removable braces are any better - but It didn't help much. My teeth still have a gap in the middle. I learned to play on the side of my mouth, so that air wouldn't escape at ff.
  9. I refused to have a brace (for other reasons at the time) but when I started to dabble with the cornet, John Berryman said my wonky top teeth which make two sides of a triangle would help the sound and that too many people had braces to straighten teeth which change/ruin the sound. Straight teeth with a brace or wonky teeth and a good sound and character? If people don't like me because of wonky teeth, that's their loss!
  10. sop17

    sop17 New Member

    I decided not to have a brace, although my teeth are really wonky and i probably should have, because I had just moved onto sop at the time, and I thought there's no way i would be able to play that with braces! Now, a couple of years later, I'm glad that I'm still playing sop, which i very much doubt I would be had I got braces, but I do sometimes wish my teeth were straight! I'm not going to do anything about it now though - 6 months time and I would have to pay for it all.
  11. Flutey

    Flutey Active Member

    I have a brace; have needed one for about 7 years and got it about a year ago. At first it did affect my playing, but a year on I'm used to it. Still can't wait to get it off though- hopefully within next few months!
  12. I'm glad I had to wear braces for 1,5 years, othervise I wouldn't have met my baritone:clap: I used to play the cornet, but it was too painful, so I got a baritone, and have never regretted that one.. hihi

    But in general should people be happy for a natural smile, and hope for their teeths to be normal, you shouldn't look like you were wearing a denture. :)
  13. squirrel

    squirrel Member

    My front teeth used to seriously stick out (hence the nickname) and because of my cornet playing, the dentist agreed to have a go with a removable brace, even though it was beyond where they normally go with them.
    I had it on for about 18 months - 2 years (well actually several different ones) and in the end my front teeth shifted back by 10mm.

    The reason for so many people needing this work nowadays is the shrinking jaw size of modern humans, which a little googling seems to suggest is down to the highly processed food of western civilisation.
  14. 24aw

    24aw Member

    Or the expanding wallets of the dentists more like!!! Which with a little research seems to suggests is down to them wanting to earn an awfully large amount of money before moving to a swish hacienda in Mexico leaving brass teachers to pick up the peices!!
  15. cookie2

    cookie2 Member

    Hehehehe! :clap:

    Sorry Squirrel, your nickname is totally inexplicable now, and I know I'm on VERY thin ice with the whole sticky-out-teeth thing (left my removable brace off so much that the dentist had a strop and took it off me!) but you've got to give credit for a quality comeback!
  16. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    In defence of the dentists (no, I'm not involved in any form of dental practice):

    In today's increasingly litiginous society - i.e. sue their asses off - dare a dentist not ensure that a patient has 'film star' teeth, irrespective of other considerations... :confused:

    You've got to to see it from their viewpoint, too, notwithstanding the immediate pecuniary advantages.

    In other words, stuff it, it will look good for years to come, so what grounds might you (the parents) have for complaint?

    (And I probably should have had braces, but hey, my twisted incisors give me a certain 'Vlad' look ;) )
  17. 24aw

    24aw Member

    I just cant help but recall all the hammer the yanks have given us over our teeth, latterly the Simpson's have thrown scorn over our apparently flawed dental pratices....(which personally i always found ironic from the land that brought us Da Vinci veneer's) But hey..which country has produced the best brass players? The fake David Haslehoff yanks or the imperfect Esther Ranson Brits? I would be a awfully big shame if the futile pursuit of perfection ruined something we do the best in the world!!:confused:
  18. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    In my day, if you had perfect teeth you were often accused of having false ones. Sometimes that also went with the smile ;)
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - was that when also black teeth were seen to be a sign of prosperity with all that luxurious sugar intake? ;) (only joking Mike)
  20. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    ...but didn't Esther Rantzen end up having her teeth "done"? ;) But then again, I never rated her cornet playing....:)

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