This isn't about your daughter's dental health as much as it is about her desperate need to FIT IN with her peers and be accepted by them. THAT is what's really behind this whole "I want braces" routine. Your daughter has noticed that all the kids who have friends and who are considered to be "cool" at school also all wear BRACES, and naturally, because she wants them to accept her, she now wants to wear braces too. Being able to fit in and be accepted by one's peers is a matter of LIFE OR DEATH at your daughter's age. Lack of acceptance and social ostracism are the reason why lots of children her age KILL THEMSELVES, ma'am, and you need to be made aware of this. Or, if they don't kill themselves, they develop body image issues and eating disorders.
We ALL have a need to belong, to be accepted, and to be loved by our families and friends. It's a primal drive, and one that is crucial to our survival as a species. Your daughter's attempts to get you to get her braces is being fueled by that need, which in her case isn't being met. Your daughter doesn't want to end up alone, and she has fixated on getting braces as a way to avoid this. To her mind, it doesn't MATTER that two dentists have told her that she doesn't need them. That's because her dental health is of little importance to her right now. What matters to her is not being the "odd kid out" who is likely to be bullied, picked on, teased, and ostracized because she DOESN'T wear braces. And your attempts to ignore her aren't helping her. This begging for braces is indirectly an attempt on your daughter's part to get you to intervene in a situation which she KNOWS is likely to turn bad very quickly.
The way to combat this is with education, not punishment. You need to find a way to connect with your daughter's peers and their parents, so that your daughter can see that wearing braces is not all it's cracked up to be. Have you considered letting your daughter hold a slumber party at your house so that she can invite her friends over? Then you could take advantage of the kids' being there to talk to them all a little bit and get these girls to tell your daughter what having braces is like for them. Because that's really what your daughter needs- to hear from the mouths of people her own age what having braces is really like. Once she understands and hears for herself that it's an expensive, painful process that often takes years to complete, she may rethink a few things and drop the subject. You won't have to do a thing, except be willing to put up with a houseful of giggly pre-teen girls for a night or two. Your daughter's friends will tell her all she needs to know about what they go through with their braces. By the time they get through, I'm sure her attitude towards having them will do a 180, and she'll actually be relieved that she doesn't have to go through what her friends do.
Give it a try. I think the results will surprise you. It's certainly better than just having adults lecture to her.
· 3 months ago