As an adult I always wished my parents had the money to put me in braces when I was little. So after I graduated college and started working I put myself in braces. It is so much more expensive as an adult because no insurance will cover it. I paid 6,000 for braces alone, then I had to have all 4 wisdom teeth removed another 1,600 ( which my insurance did pay for part of that). Results, I feel so much more confident having nice teeth, and I know as vain as it sounds it has helped me in the work force as well.
I have 4 kids and I took the 2 oldest for an ortho consult. My husband (Mexican born in Mexico who came to the states in his 20's) says he doesn't understand that. He never went to the dentist until he was an adult ( I'm amazed his teeth look as good as they do). He said " que pinche ortho, para que, con que los lleves al dentista de vez en cuando que mas quieres!" I explained to him that I want my kids to have all the opportunities, even beautiful straight teeth. I told him what good is it to have 2 beautiful girls if their teeth are going to be ugly. I told him that as sad as it is the fact is that when they apply for a job or have any type of interview, physical appearance matters a lot. Unfortunately we can only make a first impression once. Yes skills also count but you know what I mean. He said that's how gavachos think. I told him and those gavachos are the ones that gave me my opportunities and will do the same for our kids. So anyway, I wasn't debating with him, I was merely informing him that this year our 2 girls will be getting braces. He looks up at me and says, "tenemos 4 hijos". I said we sure do. So ponte a trabajar porque en unos anos tambien los boys van a tener braces. Did he not think about this when he was all hot and heavy saying "hay mami quiere tener muchos hijos con tigo." Ok fool, now its time to pay for those babies! I just think it's funny at what my idea of the kids needs are and his idea of the kids needs. Bottom line I think braces are important and see it as an investment.