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Prepping for Braces: A Parent's Guide to Smoothing the Journey for Your Child

braces on child fitting braces onto young patient orthodontics being applied to teeth

 Prepping for Braces: A Parent's Guide to Smoothing the Journey for Your Child

 As your child gets ready for orthodontic treatment, they're likely to have many questions and concerns. From wondering how braces will feel to worrying about what their friends will think, it's normal for them to feel a bit anxious.

Both you and your child need to approach this journey with a sense of calm and confidence. Here are some tips to help you prepare your child for getting braces and ease any worries they may have about the process.

Tips to Help Prepare Your Kids for Braces

 1.Discussing Orthodontic Treatment with Your Child

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, there are different options available. However, it's best to have a chat with your orthodontist to figure out what's best for your child. Usually, metal braces are recommended for kids and teens because they're reliable and cost-effective. Plus, kids can choose different colors for them, which is kind of fun.

Having an open talk with your child about why they need braces and what to expect is important. Doing some research together and encouraging them to ask questions during their appointments with the orthodontist can help ease any worries they might have.

 2.Getting Them Ready for Braces

It's normal for kids to feel a bit nervous about getting braces. It might be the longest time they've spent at the dentist! But getting metal braces put on is pretty simple. The dentist will stick small brackets to their teeth and connect them with a thin wire. If they want, they can even pick out colorful elastic bands. They'll need to go back for check-ups to adjust the wire, which will help straighten their teeth over time.

Your child might worry that getting braces will hurt. While they might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, it usually goes away after a few days. Let them know it's all part of the process of getting a great smile.

3.Stock Up on Soft Foods

When your child gets braces, they might feel a bit uncomfortable for a few days as their teeth adjust. Make sure you have soft foods like rice, pasta, yogurt, and mashed potatoes on hand. These foods provide nourishment without the need for hard chewing during this initial period. Chilled options, like ice cream and soups, can also help soothe any soreness, especially if the braces start to rub against the mouth. Having these foods readily available in your fridge can help your child feel more comfortable.

 4.Keep Orthodontic Wax Handy

As your child gets used to wearing braces, they may find that the brackets cause irritation or sores inside their mouth. In situations like these, orthodontic wax (also known as dental wax) can provide relief. Simply soften a small amount between your fingers and apply it to the area of the bracket that's causing discomfort. This creates a protective barrier that prevents rubbing and eases any discomfort.

It's a good idea to have orthodontic wax readily available at home, and it's also helpful to give your child their own supply. This way, they can address any discomfort quickly and independently, whether they're at school, playing sports, or spending time with friends. Most orthodontists provide this wax free of charge to ensure that you have an ample supply when needed.

 5.Level Up Your Smile with Water Flossing

Water flossers are like power-ups for your teeth, blasting away food particles and plaque that try to take cover around braces. This dynamic team keeps your mouth feeling minty fresh and fights off cavities and gum disease while your teeth straighten into a healthier, more confident grin. By adding water flossing to your child's daily routine, you're giving them an extra weapon in their arsenal to maintain optimal oral health throughout their orthodontic journey.

6.Ease Your Child's Transition

 Making your child's adjustment to life with braces smoother can increase their adherence to the orthodontist's guidelines and improve the treatment outcome. Consider providing tools like an electric toothbrush to simplify teeth and braces cleaning.

As mentioned earlier, offering meals that comply with the orthodontist's recommendations helps your child stick to their treatment plan without sacrificing their dietary preferences. Supporting your child through the braces adjustment phase ensures a more favorable outcome, enhancing the value of your investment in their orthodontic care.

7.Support Dental Care

Even if your child has been diligent about dental hygiene, wearing braces requires extra effort. Special brushes are needed to clean between wires and teeth, as well as around the brackets. This meticulous cleaning routine can be time-consuming and tiresome, potentially leading to neglect.

Encouraging your child to maintain their cleaning routine is crucial for integrating it into their daily habits. By promoting consistency, you empower your child to prioritize dental hygiene despite the challenges posed by braces, ensuring optimal oral health throughout their treatment. 

Closing Thoughts

While braces might seem like a hurdle at first, remember it's a journey towards a confident smile! This time will fly by, and soon your child will be showing off their new pearly whites with pride. Embrace this experience as a chance to teach them good dental hygiene habits that will benefit them for life. Most importantly, be their cheerleader every step of the way!

This blog post was contributed by Emily Taylor from Thurman Orthodontics, Fresno, California for ToothShower. 

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