1. First things first: Tell your child how exciting braces are!
They’ll quickly realize how exciting braces are, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to raise a little excitement before your child begins treatment. If your child chooses traditional braces, show them all of the rubber band color combinations they can play around with! Show them how they can switch up their style a bit to match their colorful (or not-so-colorful) braces. That’s one of the great things about metal braces; your child gets to choose which colors they want for their smile! If your child prefers an Invisalign treatment, discuss the freedom they have with their aligners and all the activities they can confidently commit to with an invisible treatment.
2. Discuss what your child can expect with braces!
To combat any of your child’s worries or fears about braces, tell them what they can expect before, during and after their treatment. With a clear understanding of what’s to come, your child will not feel surprised or concerned throughout treatment. Mentally prepare your child for the initial soreness and food restriction they may experience with braces. Help your child understand what will happen at his or her initial exam with Dr. King, what will happen when their braces are placed on, and how they can expect to feel once they leave our office with a new set of braces.
3. Give your child a choice in his or her treatment!
One of the most effective ways to get your child on-board with braces (and practically anything else) is by giving them the choice. Help your child understand every treatment option available to them (Invisalign, ceramic braces, traditional braces, lingual braces, Invisalign for Teens) and allow them to have a say in which treatment they begin. (Obviously mom, dad and Dr. King know best when it comes to orthodontic treatment, but it may help your child feel more comfortable if they’re apart of the decision making process.) Listen to your child’s concerns about each treatment, as well as, their desires and preferences, so you can arrive at a decision that excites the whole family!
4. Prepare your child with orthodontic wax and Tylenol!
You are your child have discussed the expectations with braces, so he or she already understands the initial soreness that may occur during the first couple weeks of treatment. Have orthodontic aids, like orthodontic wax and Tylenol®, on hand in case your child experiences friction from the brackets or soreness from the initial placement of braces. Send your child to school with their own pack of orthodontic wax in case a bracket irritates the cheek or a wire pops loose during the school day. Allow your child the recommended doses of Tylenol to keep the soreness at bay. As long as your child has precautionary aids, he or she has greater control over their experience with treatment.
5. Fill the fridge with soft foods for your child!
It’s no secret that your child may have to alter his or her diet for the first couple weeks of treatment. Teeth and gums become sore when braces are first secured in place. Your child may experience some soreness with each wire tightening as well, so it’s important to keep soft foods in the fridge. Allow your child to pick their favorite soft foods (within reason) to eat while their mouth is sore. Suggest meals with pasta, bread, soft veggies, soup, applesauce or soft lunch meats. Once the initial soreness is over, your child is free to eat a wider variety of foods. With traditional braces, your child should continue to avoid hard or sticky foods even after the soreness is gone. With removable Invisalign clear aligners, your child can eat whatever he or she pleases! Your child will remove their aligners each time they eat, so there is no food restriction with Invisalign.
No matter the form of braces you and your child decide on, it’s important to prepare your child before he or she begins treatment.
The most effective way to alleviate concerns and fears is to educate and prepare your child.
Help them understand what they can expect, what they can eat, what they can do to relieve discomfort, and most of all get them excited about their treatment! Show them a visual of how wonderful their teeth will look once their braces are removed. If your child can visualize the beautiful end results, their excitement for braces will grow exponentially!
If you or your child is seeking orthodontics, Jupiter has you covered. It can be tough to find quality adult braces or braces for kids in the area. At Jupiter Orthodontics, we provide the highest quality of orthodontic treatment for our local communities.