Becoming Debt Free in 2009

November 25, 2008

What is a beautiful smile worth?

Filed under: Budget,Kids — ambercouric @ 4:55 pm
Tags: , ,

My son came in today and asked, “what is a beautiful smile worth?”  He gave me a great big smile without braces.  This is the first time in 6 years he hasn’t had braces on at least some part of his teeth.  I know not everyone wears braces this length of time but he had unusual circumstances.  His front teeth were really bad and needed to be fixed early.  Then he didn’t loose a lot of his baby teeth until he was 15 and had them pulled.

This made me think of a conversation I had with a friend a couple of years ago.  She said she didn’t owe her children braces and when they could afford to pay for their own they could get them.  She insisted she couldn’t afford them.  My position was that I chose to have children and to me braces fall into the same category as health care and I owed it to my children to provide braces.  

During this same time my friend bought a new house worth twice as much as the one they sold.  She also got a new Cadillac every two years.  I don’t try to tell people what to do with their money but I do get a little put off with people who are always saying that can’t afford something and then two days later buy the latest greatest TV, car or whatever.

Anyway, to the original point.  My son’s new beautiful smile is worth $7,400 cash value.  PRICELESS to me.  Paid for in cash with each phase of the work.  I am happy to say that even though I do have some current debt and have made some poor financial decisions I would gladly pay the $7,400 again.

Have you made a financial decision that may not look good to outsiders but you wouldn’t change if you had to do it over?



  1. I would pay big money for a smile that gave me confidence.

    Comment by Movingonup! — November 25, 2008 @ 5:02 pm

  2. I think a good smile is priceless. My brother came to visit for the holidays, and now that his braces are off, his smile is amazing.

    Comment by Michecox — November 25, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  3. I would definately be in the same boat with my dd — I had braces growing up & if she needs them, then so be it.. .we pay for them. That in my opinion is just setting them up for their future… a smile is the first thing you see… future employers or possibly future clients will see that — I know that people shouldn’t do it, but if I were hiring for a sales position & a person with a beautiful smile & a person with crooked teeth were in the running with both the same background (college/experience) I would choose the person with the beautiful smile… (sorry, that didn’t need to be so long!)

    did you see my post – it is labeled ” a wonderful surprise” from Sunday…

    Comment by jpkittie — November 25, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

  4. Wow, your orthodontist must love you. Your son must be so happy to be free of those things, I only wore them for 3 years and that was bad enough. Sad to say in this world you are judged by your appearance and a good smile is an important part of that. Your investments will pay off for him later in better salary and opportunities.

    Comment by Miss M — November 25, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

  5. “She said she didn’t owe her children braces and when they could afford to pay for their own they could get them.”

    As someone whose parent’s really couldn’t afford braces and is figuring out how to manage them and their expense at the age of 24 when braces are no longer covered under most dental insurance, I really want to kick this lady in the head. Who wants to coordinate their braces around their wedding?!?

    Comment by Slinky — November 25, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

  6. Wow I forgot how much braces cost these days. I had mine from 6th-7th grade. This was back 1995, which makes me 25. I will never forget the day I had them off, this one teacher pulled me aside after class and told me that my smile looked even more amazing now with my new pearly whites. Things like that are memories for a lifetime.

    Comment by doctor S — November 25, 2008 @ 8:22 pm

  7. Hi there-we are lucky in the UK. My oldest had braces put in last year, top and bottom braces worth £3000, but we don’t have to pay for under 18s, when the work is deemed necessary. In my sons case, it was thankfully. They are also coming out in 2 weeks time!!I understand your point how people ‘can afford’ certain things when it suits them.

    Comment by sharon rose — November 26, 2008 @ 3:39 am

  8. I agree with you completely. I too needed braces young – I was 10 when I got them. If my parents had made me wait for until I could pay for them as an adult, I would still be looking like bugs bunny, as it would have been far too late. My son also needed braces too, and I gladly paid every cent – even when things got financially tough paying for them. For me, this fell into the same category as health care. I also feel that I have repaid my parents ‘in kind’ by providing for my son in the same as they provided for me.

    Comment by evjam — November 26, 2008 @ 4:47 am

  9. My daughter got her braces off yesterday too! She was so happy all day long!

    Comment by Kristie — November 26, 2008 @ 8:49 am

  10. I’m with you when it comes to paying for braces. It’s part of the child-rearing package. Assuming that mom’s kids are hers biologically (as opposed to adopted, as all my children are), just whose genes contributed to her little buck-toothed darlings?

    Sadly, though, (and no one told me this!), once the braces come off, the teeth start moving back. My kids were good about night retainers throughout their teens, but as adults, not so much.

    Comment by Grace — November 26, 2008 @ 11:18 am

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