You love your child and want the best for them. At your child's most recent dental visit, their dentist recommended braces or Invisalign to straighten their teeth. As a parent, you see the value of orthodontic treatment but are having a bit of difficulty preparing your child for their treatment. Whether your teen or child is hesitant to get braces or is nervous about getting treatment, you can do a few things as a parent to help them prepare.
You're the parent, so what you say goes. But, it's still your child's mouth and body, so they should be allowed to have some control over what happens to it. Talking to your child about braces for teens can go a long way toward convincing them of the value of orthodontic treatment.
If your child is hesitant to get braces, probe a bit deeper to find out what's behind their concerns. They may be worried that their peers will make fun of them or that the braces will be visible in their mouth. If that's the case, you might consider discussing Invisalign or clear braces with the orthodontist.
It can be tough for kids to see beyond the here and now, but you can try to convince them that getting braces now will help protect and improve their mouth in the future. Remind them that the treatment won't last forever and that it's much easier to have braces as a teen than later in life.
Once your child is on-board with getting braces, the next step is to help them prep for treatment and life with Invisalign or braces. You can prepare your child or teen for orthodontic treatment in a few ways.
Before your first visit to the orthodontist, sit down with your child and make a list of questions to ask the dentist. Your child might be curious to know how long the treatment will take, what they can eat with braces and what they'll need to do to take care of their braces. Brainstorming questions helps your child feel more part of the process and that they have some say over what goes on in their mouth.
Invisalign or braces straighten the teeth and can lead to better oral health. Having your child adopt a good oral care routine also helps improve the health of their mouth and can improve the results they get from orthodontic treatment.
If your child isn't already in the habit, encourage them to brush twice daily and floss daily. Also, talk to them about the importance of regular dental checkups. Maintaining a good oral care routine becomes even more important once they have braces, as they don't want bits of food to get stuck in their teeth. If they get Invisalign, they'll need to clean their aligners regularly.
Depending on the type of braces your child gets, certain foods may be off-limits during treatment. Instead of focusing on what they can't eat, focus on the foods that they can enjoy and stock your fridge with them. Buy plenty of soft foods, such as yogurt and berries. Keep soup handy and have some soft, healthy snacks ready for them to eat.
Life has a way of tossing unexpected situations at you. That can be particularly true when your child has braces. A bracket can break, or a loose wire can poke at the inside of your child's cheek.
Create an emergency pack for your child to carry around with them once they have Invisalign or braces. The pack should include floss, a toothbrush and toothpaste, so they can take care of any pieces of food that might get stuck in their braces. It should also contain hand sanitizer to use before they remove their aligners.
Since broken brackets or loose wires can cause discomfort, include some orthodontic wax in the kit. Your child can apply it to a wayward wire or broken bracket until they can see their orthodontist again.
A pack of tissues in the kit will let your child wipe away any spit that might form at the corners of their mouth, while some lip balm will soothe cracked or dry lips.
Starling Orthodontics provides a full range of orthodontic treatments for children and teens, including Invisalign Teen, clear braces and Incognito braces. We can help you and your child choose the right braces and will give you plenty of advice and tips to help you prepare for treatment. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.