Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oy vey - orthodonture

DW took the the 2 girls (ages 10 and 8) to a long-dreaded visit to the orthodontist yesterday and the news was rather what we feared - they both need extensive work, to the tune of about 7 grand.

Wow.

In case I haven't been clear, I don't have $7,000. We are just barely making ends meet. In fact, we're really not - I just put $300 from savings into checking so we could pay our rent this month. I suppose the orthodontist will have a handy dandy payment plan that I could pay off in, oh, 70 months or so, but I just took on $5,000 in additional debt to buy our way out of our second mortgage and I'm hesitant, to say the least, to take on another 7K! I'm supposed to be paying down our debt, and here I am, prospectively adding greatly to it.

On the other hand, of course, I'm a middle class Jewish father and I want my children to have what they need. (Should I put "need" in quotation marks there?)

It's times like these that cause unrest.

3 comments:

Mary T said...

That's a toughy. When we were told the oldest needed braces--we thought since we have 4 that eventually all 4 would need them. We knew we couldn't afford it and decided to opt to get them for the girl only. Which sounds sexist--but really it is more important to girls I think. Funny though--she's the youngest and ended up with perfect teeth. Oldest was the only one who needed them and was grown and gone by the time we knew youngest didn't. You just can not make a perfect decision in that stuff. You try. We tried. We never had dental insurance until recently and it doesn't cover everything. Fact of life. I still would try to do it for daughters though--these days its pretty important especially since all the other gals will have beautiful smiles. Oy vey is right.

Mary T said...

I will tell you another thing here-I had braces for a while as a kid. My dad couldn't afford the payments and I had to have them removed early. My teeth are still improved from what they might have been--not perfect.
My point in that is that perhaps if you discuss this with the dentist you can find a happy medium someplace? I'm pretty sure there are ways to cut the costs. Also--investigate dental colleges. They aren't free by any means, but can be less pricey.

nkjvcjs said...

I would suggest that you wait. I had braces from 11-15, and I hated them so much. They hurt, and they made me look like more of a dork. I broke brackets, I refused to wear my rubber bands, I left my retainer out and the dog ate it (apparently the plastic tastes sweet to them), each of there cost money.
A friend of mine in 6th grade went out into her garage and broke all of her braces off with a pair of pliers.
Unless it has to be done right away, let them be involved in the decision later in high school, when they can appreciate the cost, and may care less that it hurts and are less likely to take it for granted.