It is extremely common for children and teenagers to have to get braces put on their teeth at some point during childhood. While it is an exciting and rewarding process, many children and teens are nervous and skeptical about getting braces. They can be unsure of what the experience will be like and, at a fragile time in the development of their self-image, may begin to feel self-conscious about what they will look like once their brackets are put on. During this time, it is important that your child feels supported and comforted by you to ensure the best results during their experience. Below are some things you can say to your child to ease their worries.
#1: Keep up with your hygiene
Stress to your child the importance of brushing their teeth after every meal. If they didn’t before, get them in the habit of flossing and provide them with a floss threader or orthodontic floss that they can maneuver around their brackets. We should always be keeping up with our oral hygiene, but it is important for your child to understand that it is especially important now as food debris and plaque are more likely to get stuck in brackets. If the food reacts with the bacteria in the mouth and the metal braces, it can permanently bleach the teeth, leaving small white marks once braces are removed.
#2: Make the proper food choices
When dealing with braces, there are certain foods that your child should stray away from, but it can be difficult to make sure they’re not eating these restricted foods when you’re not with them at all times. The best rule of thumb is to ensure that they are informed of what they can and cannot eat and why. Sticky food like chewing gum, dried fruit, and candies should be avoided as they can attach to the brackets or wires and are difficult to remove. Harder foods like nuts, popcorn and hard candy can loosen the brackets or break wires requiring an extra trip to the orthodontist. Carrots and apples may be eaten but only if cut into bite-sized pieces.
#3: Remind them of the outcome
Keep encouraging your child and remind them that this treatment will eventually come to an end and that their beautiful smile and healthy teeth will be worth it. This may be a time where your child is feeling more self-conscious about their appearance than usual or could be bullied for their braces and reassuring them can make a world of a difference for their outlook on the experience.
Elegant Orthodontics is proud to offer braces and other orthodontic treatments to the children of Boston, Norwood, and Framingham. To inquire for more information or to schedule a consult, contact our office today.