Our expert says:
Sorry to hear about this. If what you describe, concerning the boy's phobias and unusual, and extremely severe fears about metal in his mouth, etc., it was extraordinarily unwise for anyone to insist that he have braces fitted against his wishes. I wonder about the legal situation after this divorce, whether the father should have had the right to insist and enforce his wishes for a non-essential treatment with a high potential for deeply upsetting and disturbing his son, over the boy's own wishes and yours.
So far as I know, nobody has ever died from not having braces fitted. But someone could indeed be harmed by imposing such a non-essential treatment while ignoring the highly important psychological aspects of the situation.
From your description it sounds as though your son has a far more serious and distressing set of psychological problems requiring far more urgent attention. Do find a way for your unhappy son to see a good child psychologist for a thorough assessment and diagnosis, and a discussion of treatment options for the problems he definitely does have, rather than the comparatively trivial dental problems he might have.
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