Crooked teeth and similar conditions such as malocclusion are visually unappealing and could affect one’s confidence. Not only that; if left untreated, they could lead to serious health issues. This is why braces and other orthodontic treatment to straighten and correct teeth alignment is very vital. And it’s best to start treatment early to avoid future complications.
However, as a child, the prospect of getting braces could be quite terrifying; you’ve heard all the stories from friends or relatives about how much it hurts, and even the mere look of it seems so alien and intimidating. Consequently, as a parent, convincing and preparing your child for braces becomes a huge challenge.
So, before you take your child back to your local orthodontics laboratory or clinic to have their braces installed after their initial checkup, here are things that you’d want to know:
Explain Why They Need Braces
It’s essential for your child to understand why they need braces, so you should listen carefully to the orthodontist as to why your child needs braces. You can even ask the orthodontist details as to how long it would take and what the procedure would entail for you to explain it clearly to your child.
Being authoritative and saying “Because I’m your parent and you should do what I say” may not only make the entire experience unpleasant for your child, but they may start blaming you every time their braces hurt and may even strain your relationship. You also need to explain why it’s crucial to have braces, not only because having misaligned teeth are unappealing, but also that there would be serious health complications and issues that would arise. Let them know that the earlier they get treated, the less time it will take for the treatment.
Let Them Know That They’re Not Alone
Your child might be worried that having braces would make them alienated from all the other kids that don’t have braces at school. But just let them know that they’re not alone and that they understand that having braces at their age is entirely normal and that braces are only temporary.
Walk Them Through the Process
During your initial visit with the orthodontist, your orthodontist would have already discussed why braces are needed and what the treatment entails. As such, you need to explain and simplify it for your child when you get home or before scheduling your appointment to install the braces. Children would fear what they don’t know, and may even have misconceptions about braces from stories they’ve heard from friends or schoolmates. So let them know that it’s a relatively simple procedure and that they can even choose to customize the brackets. Assure them that the pain would be temporary, and they’ll get used to it eventually.
Stock Up on Orthodontic Wax and Soft Food
So, even before your child gets their braces, it’s important that you’d stock up on their favorite soft food so they wouldn’t have trouble eating when their braces make it uncomfortable to eat hard food. This would ensure not only their comfort when eating, but so that they wouldn’t lose weight or get sick from not eating. Prepare some pasta, mashed potato, liquid meals, or even ice cream for them. You should also have a stock of orthodontic wax since brackets would hurt, irritate, and cause sores on the mouth. Orthodontic wax would help your child avoid all these and make wearing braces less uncomfortable.
Yes, braces could be scary for a child, but with patience and preparation, you can make the procedure and the months to follow a little less terrifying and uncomfortable. So make sure you keep these steps in mind when you’ve decided to have braces installed for your child. He/she will surely be thankful for it.