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Millions of children and adolescents have to get braces or other orthodontic appliances during some of their most awkward years. While many kids get their braces and adjust just fine, other children may struggle with the weird feeling of orthodontics and a new oral hygiene routine.
Getting fitted with braces can also be uncomfortable at first, and parents need to be supportive. Here are some ways parents can help children adjust to having braces.
Establish a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Before going to the orthodontist, kids need to have a solid oral hygiene routine already set in place. Children should be brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and using an oral rinse at a minimum.
Children should also be seeing their dentist regularly.
Choose the Right Orthodontist
Next, make sure you choose the right orthodontist for your children. Research the best orthodontist in Annapolis, MD, or your area to find someone with experience and a pleasant bedside manner.
Your child will have monthly, regular appointments with this provider, so it’s important to consider personality as well as quality care in your decision.
Stock Up on Soft Foods
After getting braces put on, your child may feel some pain and pressure in the mouth for a few days or weeks. Prepare for this by stocking your pantry and refrigerator with soft foods that are gentle on the teeth.
After the discomfort goes away, make sure you don’t have any foods that could get stuck in the braces, such as popcorn or sticky candy. Trust me; you don’t want to get food stuck in the wires — it just looks nasty.
Talk to Your Child
Before starting the process, make sure you have an honest conversation about braces with your child. Explain what will happen during the appointments and why braces are needed.
Show pictures of how your child’s teeth will look after the braces are removed to help explain the purpose of the treatment plan. After seeing how braces can fix their problem, they should be all for braces.
Involve Your Child
Finally, give your child some power during the process when choosing your provider and picking a treatment plan.
Most orthodontists allow their patients to pick colorful bands for the braces to make them look more fun. My two favorite band colors were teal and purple when I was in middle school 😉
Some kids may be excited about getting braces if their friends have already started the process. It will make them feel like they are a part of something special.
Honestly, I was sad to get my braces off when it came time. I only had braces for a year, but they became a part of me, and I thought I would look weird without them. Everything turned out fine, but it was an adjustment.
Getting braces doesn’t have to be a terrible experience for your child. Help your adolescent manage the pain and discomfort and use these tips to give your child a better understanding of what will happen at the orthodontist.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.