Kids usually start wearing braces at the age of twelve, when primary teeth are gone and molars are at least partially erupted. For a kid, especially a teenager, getting braces can often seem as the end of the world. At this gentle age, kids usually think more about their looks than their health.
1. Reassure your child
First of all, you should reassure them that it’s not the end of their life. The braces are not as they used to be, not a big metal contraption in child’s mouth. It doesn’t cause pain and humiliation. The physical pain is controllable and it only lasts for the first two adjustments and it can be eased with painkillers. But there is psychological pain which you have to help your child overcome. Especially if your child plays an instrument or participates in sports, you should inform the orthodontist about it to check for the available options.
2. Preparation for braces
Before your child starts wearing braces, you should prepare her/him by talking about it. It is difficult at any age to predict how the kid will react. Some younger children may accept it better than teenagers. For younger children wearing braces can be a more underlying health issue, such as underbite, so they have to understand the benefit of the braces. On the other hand, a teenager, especially if she/he is starting a new school, can be quite a handful. Maybe you can try with their favorite magazines, where they can see their idols wearing braces. Also, if you didn’t wear them as a child, you can start now and be a partner to your kid through this survival challenge.
3. Build relationships with orthodontist
The most important thing is that your kid has a complete trust in hers/his orthodontist. When you go for the first time to the doctor’s office, it’s not likely that your kid will exit the office with braces. Getting to know what kind of braces there are is a good way to start a process and it is highly recommended by orthodontics from Sydney. The number of kids wearing braces in Sydney increased in recent years and this came up as the best solution. Once you met the orthodontist and you have chosen the braces, the process can start.
4. Create oral hygiene kit
From the moment your kid gets hers/his braces, you should prepare a kit with toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and wax. They should carry it all the time. It is important to brush their teeth three to five times a day.
5. Watch for the hooks
If the braces have hooks be sure that your kid wears the rubber bands all the time, they prevent hooks from digging into their cheeks. If, by any chance, one of the wires brakes, take your child to the orthodontist as soon as possible.
6. Braces friendly food
Always prepare “braces – friendly “food especially if you are packing them for school. Soft fruits, sandwiches, pasta salads are quite safe. Avoid any kind of food that can get such in the braces. Carrots, apples, peanut butter, popcorns, are not good for your kid. Also, try to avoid soft drinks because they can leave stains once braces are removed. At any given opportunity remind your child that she/he is not alone.
7. Bolster self-confidence
Up to 60 percent of kids wear braces nowadays. Encourage them to smile. Wearing braces, especially for highly sensitive kids can be devastating for their self-confidence. Always tell them how beautiful they are and how even more beautiful they will be in the future, once the much – hated contraption is off. Try to have some fun with the rubber bands. Change them so that they match the kid’s outfit.
8. Don’t skip check-ups
Never skip check-ups, if you do so bear in mind that if you do, your child will have to wear the braces longer. Follow ups are meant to adjust the braces and make sure that teeth are being set in the right direction. Check regularly for some dental issues that may occur such as demineralization, gingivitis, sensitivity, plaque, tartar or bad breath. If you notice any of these problems in your child’s mouth visit the orthodontist immediately.
The next step
So, you and your kid made it and its time to take the braces off. But you are not quite finished yet. There is some more advice to follow-up, before you take the kid for whitening or bleaching the teeth. Don’t let her/him immediately eat the crunchy and chewy food. And, again, make the child smile. Always.
About the Author
A regular contributor, Peter is a lifestyle a writer for HighStyleLife magazine located in Brisbane, Australia. A graduate from the Australian Institute of Creative Design, he works as a freelance writer .