If your child is a candidate for braces, chances are both of you have a least a few questions and potential concerns. Young children and even teens may feel a combination of apprehension and excitement as they begin their journey towards a straighter smile. Here’s what you can do to help them prepare for orthodontic treatment:
1. Include them in discussions about treatment options.
Orthodontia is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution. Talk to your orthodontist about all of your child’s potential treatment options and include your child in the conversation. While metal braces are the most popular choice for children and teens, there may be other methods that are equally effective and affordable.
2. Describe what to expect during treatment.
Ask our office to help you anticipate common questions. Plan to be as candid as possible and honest when it comes to discomfort – braces take some getting used to, but assure your child that any potential discomfort will ease with time. Also emphasize the commitment needed to keep their teeth clean during treatment; brushing and flossing will take longer with braces, but the time investment is well worth it.
3. Stock up on soft foods.
Your child’s teeth may feel sensitive for the first few days after getting their braces fitted. Keep them comfortable by stocking up on softer foods that will make eating easier. Rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, soups, yogurt, and pudding are all great choices.
4. Invest in orthodontic wax.
Your child may experience some mouth soreness as they get used to the brackets on their braces. Orthodontic wax offers a thin layer of protection between the brackets and their tender gums. Show your child how to use it so they can keep it handy in their backpack for use at school and during extracurricular activities.
5. Focus on the benefits.
Explaining the benefits of braces to your child will reinforce the importance of adhering to their treatment plan. Children are often impatient and want immediate gratification, so remind them that while a year or two may seem like forever, the pay-off will be a beautiful, self-confident smile they can be proud of for years to come.
If you and your child are embarking on your first orthodontic journey together, we’re here to help. Contact our Elizabeth City Pediatric Dentist office for additional tips to set your child up for treatment success.