Braces Left on Kid's Teeth for 11 Years Left Him With Mouth Full of Rot

Say What!? 37

bracesHow's this for strangest lawsuit of the week? A dentist is being sued for allegedly leaving braces on a kid for 11 years, leaving the poor kid with a mouth full of rotten teeth.

That got your attention, didn't it? Most kids I know who went through the metal mouth period were forced to wear them for two years, maybe three if their teeth were a truly crooked mess. Eleven years sounds insane, at best.

But the story Devin Bost is telling sounds like it's missing a big piece. Namely: where were his parents during all of this?

Bost is now 22, and he says his braces were first put on when he was 7. Then his family changed orthodontists, and Devin became a patient of Dr. Brad Chvatal. Over the years, his lawyer admits that his client didn't return to follow-up visits as often as he should have. But it wouldn't be until Devin was 18 that Chvatal, the dentist named in the suit, finally yanked those suckers off.

Is Chvatal a bad doctor? Maybe.

But it sounds like Devin Bost's parents played a role here too -- and not a good one. They didn't take their son to his regular office visits? They left braces in his mouth for 11 years without consulting another orthodontist?

It sounds like someone abdicated the role of caring for this kid, and the result was a mouth full of rot. Just another reminder that simply taking your kid to a doctor doesn't mean you're "caring" for them.

In the scheme of things, we don't get a lot of time with our kids. The average American may live into their 70s or 80s, but we get them until they're 18. We have to make that time count. And part of that is taking care of their health. We are ultimately responsible, not some random person in a lab coat.

Does it suck having to take time off from work to shuttle your kids to the pediatrician, the dentist, the eye doctor ...? Yes, it does. It's a pain in the tuchas. But it's our jobs. There aren't many excuses for missing follow-up visits that really fly.

As for the length of time that those braces spent on his mouth: let's get real. If it sound excessive to you and me, it's because that's common sense. Doctors, dentists, aren't infallible. We have to read up, we have to question. We have to decide when they're crossing a line ... and we have to look out for our kids' best interests. If we don't: who will?

Have you had to tell a doctor or dentist that their care wasn't good enough for your child?


Image via Jenn Durfey/Flickr



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Ang9403 Ang9403

I don't get why the dentist is being sued. Its the parents fault 100 percent for not taking there child to get them taken off.

nonmember avatar meghan

Well, when this same thing happened to me, my mother was struggling to pay the house expenses while my dad was too busy pretending he didn't have kids in order to duck his responsibilities. In other words "Sh!t happens" and the orthodontist should have known better. I'm 30 and my teeth look worse then when they started and I will not be in a financial position to change that any time soon. I hope the kid gets a settlement.

meaga... meagansmommy07

I had my braces on for 5 years and 3 months and I was so ready to get them off! My back teeth enamel left on them from the back brackets though, hasn't caused to much of a problem because they put a sealed on them when they took them off. I went to every appointment and brushed 3 times a day the entire time I had them on.

nonmember avatar chelsie

I had braces when I was 7 because I had a severe overbite that would have required corrective surgery if I had waited any longer. I had lost all my baby teeth by the time I was 7 and then had braces for 6.5 years. I remember being told that braces were only for about 3 years, and then the orthodontists kept changing the date until it was 6.5 years.

the4m... the4mutts

Pinkbutterfly- I had braces from age 7 to age 12. When there is NO ROOM for baby teeth, much less newly incoming permanent teeth, the braces have to be put on sooner. What age they were put on, isn't exactly the point, though, is it?

These parents are 100% fully at fault here. Why didn't they take him regularly? Or see that his teeth were rotting? My mothe inspected our teeth once a week until I was 16 effing years old! And I will do the same with my kids. These parents need the shit kicked out of them.

Heather Duso Johnson

This is the parent's fault, pure and simple.  And honestly the kid is partly to blame too, he looks smart enough to have begun to question it himself after a point.  My mom couldn't afford my braces but she did it because my overbite was so bad and my lower teeth were so far back that I had almost no bottom lip.  I also saw the dentist twice a year during the 2 1/2 years I had braces on top of all the orthodontist appointments.    

2many... 2manydiapers

This guy should sue his parents not the dr. And why wait till your 18? I dont know a single teen who doesnt think the know all, and tell you exactly what they want.

AniAngel AniAngel

I started with a permant cross bite retainer at 6 years old and wore braces until I was 15, I had an overbite, underbite, cross bite, and you could see the sides of some of my teeth. These days they would have broken my jaw and wired it. My back teeth are all porcelain filled, I went for every vist, but at that length of treatment it's almost unavoidable.

nonmember avatar CrystalMP

My orthodontist was a crazy old coot. Plain and simple, parents think they're doing the right thing by taking them to the orthodontist and getting braces and all that jazz but sometimes its a mistake and you end up with something way worse than what you started out with. My orthodontist put on and took my braces off twice the second time he was poking around in my mouth and nonchalantly told me he planned to take my braces off soon but I would have to have them again later, I told him nope you'll take them off now and I'm nit coming back. My teeth now have sensitive spots where my brackets were but hey at least I don't have holes like my sister, she actually let him put hers in a third time.

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