Estimates provided by orthodontists show that slightly less than half of all children require braces for an issue, such as misalignment. Some children also could benefit from braces to straighten crooked teeth. Once your child's dentist or orthodontist recommends them, the next step is to help your child prepare — keep reading to learn how to make braces a positive experience.
Getting braces is a big step for many children, and your child may have some concerns. This is normal, but kids' braces are not as scary as they may seem. The first step to helping your child is to discuss with them how braces work.
Explain your child that braces apply a tiny amount of pressure to teeth to alter their position over time. Additionally, talk to them about the process about getting braces put in. You want your child to understand what they can expect so they don’t have to worry.
Your child may worry that braces will cause them discomfort. Modern braces, such as T-1 braces, are significantly more comfortable than older styles, so your child doesn’t need to be afraid. Let them know that while braces might feel strange for a while, they won’t cause pain, and your child will get used to them quickly.
Braces will help your child look their best and protect their teeth. If your child seems unsure about braces, make sure to explain and emphasize the many benefits of braces.
Not only will braces make your child’s smile brighter, but they have practical benefits that your child can appreciate as well. Mention that braces can help them chew better to enjoy their favorite foods and that straight teeth are easier to take care of and can prevent oral health issues, which means further dental problems later.
If you had braces in the past, let your child know. Focus on the upsides, and tell your child how glad you were that you wore braces when you were little because you’ve enjoyed the benefits for the rest of your life. Smile for your child and show them firsthand how beautiful your teeth look now.
You also need to ask your child if they have any questions. If you can answer them confidently, feel free to do so. However, if you're unsure, jot down these inquiries for when your child visits the orthodontist and make sure that they get the answers they want.
Besides questions, ask your child about their fears and concerns. For example, if your child feels like wearing braces is embarrassing, help them understand that many other children wear braces — your child probably has friends and classmates who wear braces already. Let them know that the braces are only temporary and very normal.
Encourage your child as much as possible during every step of the process. Make sure you tell your child how great they look after the orthodontist applies them.
Your child may experience anxiety about braces for several reasons, so make sure you compliment your child regularly. You want your child to feel as comfortable and confident as possible immediately after they get braces, and continue the positive encouragement as their smile changes.
If your child needs braces or would benefit from having straighter teeth, schedule an appointment with TenBrook Orthodontics today for a consultation. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you or your child may have, and our experienced staff will put your child at ease. Braces can be a fun, positive experience for children, and we’re committed to making sure your child feels comfortable with us.