Orthodontics/My teeth


I'm Emma and I'm 12 years old. My two front teeth feel like they are pushing together and it hurts a little but it feels really uncomfortable. Would I need to get braces? I would rather not get them.
Would a retainer/plate fix the problem? I would much rather have a retainer because I really want to get the problem fix but I don't want braces or surgery.

Hi Emma! I'm not an orthodontist but I help people find information on the subject so I hope I can help you. There are some devices kind of like retainers that are removable and help move the teeth, but not all orthodontists use them. Mainly it's because as soon as you move a couple of teeth, you're changing the way those teeth line up with all your other teeth, top and bottom, which affects how you chew and how your jaw feels, etc. (kind of a domino effect). That's why the best thing is to see an orthodontist who will check into the alignment of all your teeth, and judge the best way to make a change that is good for your entire smile. I suggest you get at least two opinions. Some orthodontists just put braces on the front six teeth, and some offer removable "aligners" (though they can't cure all problems). I hope you can check out your options, and if you do need regular braces, they really aren't all that bad and will make you happy with your smile at the end. They hurt the first three days you get them, and after adjustment days, but there are lots of soft foods and tips for feeling better. (Check out the resources at www.MetalMouthMedia.net.) Plus, about every other tween your age has them so you're not alone. Best wishes.


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Pamela Waterman


I can supply tips, hints, recipes and resources about a braces-friendly lifestyle, for parents of children and teens in braces as well as for adults in braces. Although I am not a medical/dental professional, I have colleagues in the field and will do my best to point you to additional resources.


I am the author of two specialty award-winning cookbooks of soft-food recipes and tips targeted to all ages of braces-wearers (including adults) and give workshops to dental hygienists to help them help their patients with this type of information. I have worn braces both as a teen and as an adult, and am from a family of three generations of braces patients. I regularly contribute information to the public website of the American Association of Orthodontists and Orthotown magazine.

Women in Orthodontics, American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, Independent Book Publishers Association, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Orthotown, Cricket, Family Fun, Highlights, Better Homes and Gardens Kids' Rooms, Chicago Tribune, East Valley Tribune (Phoenix AZ), Healthy Alternatives, Organic & Natural, Desktop Engineering, Machine Design

BS Astrophysics, MS Radio Astronomy/Electrical Engineering

Awards and Honors
Good Parenting Award from ParentalWisdom.com Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist - Next Generation Indie Books, Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group

Past/Present Clients
American Association of Orthodontists, Smile for a Lifetime

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