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Post in Besides Beauty


I was always one of those kids growing up being deathly scared of getting braces. I'm now turning 24 this year, and also going into my second year of having braces. I wanted to improve my confidence kind of like what some of us do with makeup. The braces really have improved my teeth, smile, and confidence over the past year which I'm very thankful for. They are also barely noticeable (clear ceramic) which is great for my profession right now, and wearing red lipstick Smiley Wink So long story short, I went to get them tightened yesterday and to no surprise I'm told they will be adding something onto my teeth...a "tongue crib". Without giving me anytime to ask questions or think about this option, they placed the anchors into my back molars to get ready for the device next visit in June. Now, you guys maybe wondering what this tongue crib appliance is...It is basically an orthodontic appliance to resist the tongue from thrusting against one's teeth which causes an overbite and protruding front teeth overtime. After doing some pretty extensive research, I've found it to be a very impractical option for me. I don't have an overbite for one and my front teeth are not protruding forward. I work in a corporate environment and have to socialize with people often, which the crib actually gives you a horrible lisp (which I already have a slight lisp as is). They said I would have to wear it for 1-2 years. I'm just so frustrated right now and don't really know what to do. I already feel like a 12 yr old in a suit with braces on, but adding a tongue crib that has metal spikes in my mouth will make me now talk like a 12 yr old. Ugh! Does anybody have any advice or has experienced orthodontic appliances as an adult?


I took a pic of the crib at my orthodontist yesterday. It looks like something out of a horror movie! IMG_1818.JPG

Re: Braces.

Thank you for your input, but doctors DO NOT always know what is best for their patients. It is important to get to know the patient-- their fears, goals, personality-- before thrusting an appliance onto them. What is simple for one person, can be traumatic for another, especially a child. I was very hurt by my orthodontic treatment, because NO ONE asked me what I wanted. The tongue crib was terrible. At the very least, it is an aggressive treatment, and I have heard other orthos say the same thing. I understand your point that  fixing the teeth are important, but so is psychological health. Do orthos EVER think about that????? Children have feelings and can experience shame and embarrassment too, especially when they can't speak. Please think about that next time. 

Re: Braces.

Katzen--I couldn't agree with you more. My orthodontist wanted me to wear my headgear to school, not just at night; mind you, I was in 6th grade at the time. I flat out said no--I was at an awkward enough stage in my life as it was-- and that's when I found out I had a say in my treatment. Your comment is exactly how I felt then and how I feel about that experience now. Thanks for putting that into words.

Re: Braces.

Okay first off, calling us lay folk is very disrespectful. She simply asked a question as to what we would do in her situation. In no way shape or form are we telling her "this is what you have to do." As her orthodontist, he/she has a responsibility to the patient to explain what procedure he is performing and why. She is paying for a service, a lot of money I might add, and for him/her to put an appliance in her mouth without talking to her about it first is extremely disrespectful. If you go to a doctors office and they give you a shot, would you be mad if they just gave it to you and didn't tell you why? I'm guessing you would. It's the same situation. As her orthodontist, he should have a meeting with her to give her an update on what is going on with her teeth (like my orthodontist did), and based on the conversation, she can then make a decision on what the best treatment option is for her. If there are other solutions to the problem (like another girl posted in this forum, drilling a hole in the top of her retainer to retrain her tongue), then she has a right to know what the other treatments available to her are. So, I would say you shouldn't talk down to us like we know nothing. She asked for our opinion and we gave it to her. She has the right to refuse treatment, and if that is what she so chooses, then so be it. But, as a patient, she should be fully informed of what she is getting into, rather than having something forced upon her that she didn't agree to in the beginning.

Re: Braces.

If there are alternative treatments (such as wearing a retainer for 17 hours a day) that better fit a person's lifestyle and maintains their quality of life then it may be best for them as an individual to refuse.  If it hurts too much to speak, or eat, or anything for months, then maybe it's in their best interest to decline.  I've been forced into those situations due to orthodontia, granted most things were for the best in the fastest time, but good lord was I absolutely miserable for the duration of those treatments.  If I'd had a choice at the time I would have said it's not worth it, I'd rather have a small workable imperfection than perfection at the cost of my happiness.

Re: Braces.

Since you're 24 you are paying for this service. You should absolutely tell them that 1. they are giving you unnecessary treatment and 2. that you were never "asked" for that service to be provided.


I had an expander for 1 year.. Painful as heck. I absolutely hated it. It was on my upper teeth and it looks just like your crib but instead it had a bar going through the middle of it and you have to rotate it twice a day, which causes it to push on your teeth and make your jaw wider. Idk I was kinda young when I had it so I guess I'm not 100% sure if thats what it does but I think it does. lol. But I hated it. It also gave me a lisp but that lisp was less noticeable after awhile. But, since you already have a lisp with just your braces, I assume it won't go away for you like it did for me.


But I read your other post that they have not put in the crib yet. I really hope you at least petition it and ask them if it really is necessary. Smiley Happy

Re: Braces.

When I was in 4th grade I had spacer bars put in to make room in my small mouth. I would constantly play with the lower one with my tongue and developed the habit of my tongue hanging out pushing on my lower teeth. After going through braces my orthodontist drilled a hole in the roof of my retainer and told me to keep my tongue where the hole was. My tongue has been retrained and now sits properly. I doubt you need the tongue cage, I am sure they just think your tongue doesn't rest naturally, and if you are even a bit concerned, have them drill the hole in your retainer and just teach it to stay there. Hope this helps! Also, if it feels wrong to get the cage, I think it is good to refuse it!

Re: Braces.

I agree with what others said. You have the right to refuse. As a patient, you have the right to have an active role in your treatment. Are they giving you the crib because of a tongue thrust? There are other ways to handle a tongue thrust. I have heard of exercises to re-train your tongue to swallow back in your mouth. Perhaps also check into getting a removable tongue crib (on a retainer or something) that you can wear when you are not working or talking.


I had a tongue crib when I was 9 years old, and it was terrible. As with you, no one asked me what I wanted. They said they were putting it in. I didn't know what to expect. Mine consisted of 4 metal loops that hung down far below my teeth. Like this:




When they were done putting it in, I was shocked. I couldn't talk. I cried to have it taken out, but they wouldn't. It was horrible to try to eat and it hung down pretty low, showing below my front teeth. I wore it for about a year. It did get easier with time, but the first month was awful. The spikes cut my tongue, which was always raw. I never was able to  talk without a lisp or say all of the words without trouble. Also, people would ask about the metal in my mouth, because it showed when I opened my mouth. At one appointment, my orthodontist tried to lower the crib, so that the loops would come down further. I said that was awful and she moved it back up.


It's your choice. I would personally ask for options, especially given your job. Maybe the removable retainer is the route to go. It would look like this:

crib retainer.jpg


Good luck!

Re: Braces.

I would just let them know that you don't feel like you need it. Don't forget it's your mouth and your the one in charge. On your next appointment just say what you're feeling. If it's impractical and it's not going to benefit you don't get it.

Re: Braces.

Here's my two cents:  If you don't want the tongue crib, say no!  It's ok to refuse something even if your orthodontist thinks it's the best idea on the planet.  I don't think it's silly or trivial that you would be concerned with a device negatively impacting your speech for up to 2 years, because if you work in a corporate environment that can be a HUGE problem (for you, if you feel insecure about speaking to people).


Talk it over with your orthodontist and see what your options are.

Re: Braces.

Though I guess I wasn't technically an adult yet, I had braces from the first week of high school to the summer before I started my junior year of college.  This time included two surgeries and a lot of moving around of my teeth, which resulted in my teeth "bucking out" at a strange angle (so that with my mouth closed I looked like I was pushing out my lips stupidly), gaps in my teeth in the front that were a whole tooth wide, and just utter embarassment. 


When I had an expander filling up the whole roof of my mouth, I talked funny at first, but I learned how to talk around it after 1-2 weeks.  I hope that happens for you!!


My teeth look awesome now, but my dentist says I have to be super careful because 6 years of moving my teeth around so much has caused my roots to shrink and my teeth could fall out by 45. Smiley Sad

Re: Braces.

Wow! You went through a lot with your braces... Serious props to you.

Re: Braces.

Braces are making a comeback girly! So dont feel too, too bad Smiley Happy

At my last dentist appt I was told I should get braces because my wisdom teeth are finally popping in at freaking 30 --- so imagine that 30 with braces.... Im sorry about the lisp thing I worry about that too, but remember that in the end your teeth will look awesome Smiley Happy

Re: Braces.

I have a bar of some sort on the back of my front bottom teeth and it's been there since I got my braces off in high school (15 years ago).  I wish I had one on the back of my top front teeth because those went crooked within a few years of getting my braces off.  I'm thinking about getting braces again. 


I wouldn't let them put a contraption like that in my mouth either.  Especially if it doesn't serve a purpose for you.  I think many orthos and dentists do things simply for more money.  My son needs braces and they wanted to pull some baby teeth and put in spacers because the grown-up teeth "might come in crooked".  Um... he's getting braces because his other teeth are already crooked.  You can wait until they fall out on their own thankyouverymuch.

Re: Braces.

Glad you stood up and said something! I think it's crazy when kids around the age of 5 get braces...I mean your face structure is still growing and by the time they're in their teens they will need some more tweaking or braces AGAIN! 

Re: Braces.

Oh my gosh... I'm so sorry they're trying to do this to you.

I had braces before highschool, my sister had braces in highschool (underbite), my boyfriend had braces too. I have never heard of a tongue crib...

I had braces to correct an overbite where my teeth were pushed forward by sucking my thumb as a child. Obviously, no one knew about tongue cribs when I was in grade 7. My tongue still rests on the back of my teeth/top of my mouth, and my bite and teeth are still fine. 

Have they installed the tongue crib yet? If they haven't, I would call the orthodontist and say you don't want it installed. You're a paying customer (or your insurance is). You can tell them you don't want it, and you should. I have a permanent metal retainer glued to the back of my front row of top and bottom teeth and my teeth have never budged an inch. Double check if they're going to do that, green light it, and red light the tongue crib. 

Re: Braces.

I love my permanent retainers...Actually I hate them, but I'm tired of feeling stuff in my mouth, and it certainly beats a clear retainer by miles >.<

Re: Braces.

A permanent retainer? Wow. Props to you!

Yeah, through my research the "tongue crib" seems to be a fairly new appliance on the market and very few adults have gotten them from what I can tell. I feel like I'm being set up as a guinea pig in research of some sort with the adult mouth oppose to the children's growing mouth structure. They haven't put the device in yet, just the coil springs to make room on my back molars along with the anchors. I think I'm definitely going to reject this thing though!

Re: Braces.

Ouch I had something like this and instead of attaching to the back, it was held on by two caps that went over my teeth. I had two silver front teeth for awhile.


I have invisaline right now and its a pain! People sometimes stare at my teeth and I have to explain what it is. I think that taking care of your teeth is very important since its a major part of your face!


I think that it will all be worth it in the end, just hang in thereSmiley Happy

<3 Melissa

Re: Braces.

You're 18 or older right?  You can refuse it!  Honestly, I've spent half of my life in various forms of orthodontia, if you deem it to not be a procedure you want, you can refuse it.  


And truth be told, it looks more painful than expanders, I'm wondering where the battery goes that makes a tesla coil out of those protrusions O.o 

Re: Braces.

AHAHAHA! You made my morning with your knowledge of tesla! 

I leaning more of a refusal, and will think about it today. Just wanted to see if other people have stepped in my shoes before I make a decision. 

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