It is no surprise that children dislike wearing braces. The idea of having a cumbersome and obvious set of metal brackets in the mouth that limits what one can eat is not pleasant. However, braces are crucial for children and teens that need straighter teeth. Fortunately, braces are smaller and more compact than ever before. Patients will not need to wear the braces for nearly as long as in the past. Patients do not need to be afraid that the braces will be obvious since they can even choose clear colors to help the braces blend in with the teeth.
Texas Dental Specialists has a list of tips you can use to get your child excited about receiving braces, so they do not dread their next appointment and straightening treatment.
Tips to Get Your Kid Ready for Braces
Explain the Braces Process
Many patients are nervous about getting braces for multiple reasons including:
- The braces are clunky
- People will notice the braces and make fun of the patient
- The braces can be painful
- The patient cannot eat his or her favorite foods
From an adult's point of view, the braces are crucial for the child's oral health. Thus, parents can explain that braces will straighten the teeth for a healthier and better-looking smile. Crooked teeth can trap food and plaque in difficult-to-reach places and cause an infection. The braces will help to straighten the teeth to make cleaning easier.
We will also help the parent explain the entire straightening process with his or her child, so the child knows exactly what to expect going forward. The child will only experience a minor amount of pain after receiving braces. We can offer suggestions for treatment of the soreness if necessary.
Focus on the Fun Aspects of Braces
Getting braces may be scary at first, but it can also be a fun experience. Tell your child that they will be able to customize the bands on their braces to their mood and current interests. If a holiday is coming up, like Halloween, they can make their bands black and orange, so they look more festive. If they have a favorite football team, they can color code accordingly.
Many patients enjoy this aspect of having braces because it allows them to be themselves and embrace their uniqueness. Parents can also offer their child some hot chocolate or a milkshake to help soothe any soreness from the braces. This gets children excited about the prospect of getting treats when they are feeling down. Make sure to keep up with healthy oral care after these treats, though, so cavities do not develop.
Address the Prospect of Being Bullied for Having Braces
If the child's main concern is that they will be made fun of, tell them that bullying is only a possibility. In most cases, there is only a bit of teasing since the braces are not nearly as large as some people think. Parents can help the child focus on the fact that soon enough, their teeth will look straighter and more perfect. This fact will give the child more confidence than they would have with crooked or crowded teeth. Also, remind the child that braces are temporary, and it is worth the wait.
The best thing you can do for your child who is concerned about braces is to fully prepare them for what to expect. Encouraging confidence and making your child feel special will make the process the smoothest it can be. They will thank you in the future.