Getting braces is a big adjustment for children and teenagers. With many new habits, rules of what you can and can’t eat, and being worried about what friends or classmates might say, it can all get a little overwhelming. But braces aren’t the end of the world, they’re the beginning of a brighter one with a great smile waiting. Here are some tips to help prepare your child for braces:
Discuss The Options With Them
As a parent, you may have questions when discussing treatment options with your orthodontist, but your child may have many more. A great way to get them involved is to have them write a list of questions they have for the orthodontist. Less unanswered questions = less worry and anxiety.
Talk Them Through The Procedures
It’s normal if your child is nervous about the big day. While applying braces takes time, it’s a straightforward procedure. Talking with your child about the steps beforehand can help them feel more at ease. First, the brackets are glued on, the wire that connects them is applied, and the elastic bands are wrapped around the brackets. Your child can even choose what colors they want for the bands!
Soft Foods Are The Best
For the first few days, your child’s teeth will probably feel sore. Stay away from hard or crunchy foods! Softer or liquid foods like pasta, mashed potatoes, and soup are good choices. Colder foods like yogurt and ice cream are also a good choice since the cold sensation can help with soreness.
Help Them Adjust Their Cleaning Habits
Brushing and flossing are more difficult with braces. Food loves to find every little space it can hide in, so good cleaning habits are important. Switching to an electric toothbrush is a great start, and there are special brushes that get underneath the wires and brackets. Floss picks can also help for those far back teeth and keep fingers from getting pricked by wires or brackets.
Orthodontic Wax Is Your Friend
Brackets commonly cause irritation or sores on the insides of lips. Another common issue is the wires poking into the cheeks or lips at the back teeth. Orthodontic wax (aka braces wax) is a very easy solution. Simply roll the wax in your fingers (it’s very soft) and apply it to anything that is rubbing or poking. Usually, you can get it for free from your orthodontist.
Focus On The Positives
Braces can be uncomfortable physically, but can also make your child feel embarrassed. Classmates might tease or make fun of them, so it’s important to remind your child that most of their classmates are wearing, have worn, or will wear braces at some point. Wearing braces for a year or two can also seem like forever, and your child may grow impatient or frustrated with them. Try to have them think of how much better their smile will look once their braces are off. Braces are temporary, a great smile is forever.
With two locations in Atlanta and Gwinnett, Georgia School of Orthodontics makes it easy to help your child obtain a straight, beautiful smile. Our friendly staff has the knowledge and experience to help prepare your child for braces.