It has become increasingly commonplace for kids to have braces nowadays. For the child getting braces, the feeling is like a rite of passage, from childhood to the teenage years. If your child needs braces, your dentist may recommend you see an orthodontist. This is the person who specializes in correcting teeth alignment. If this is your child’s first visit to the orthodontist, you’ll need to prepare them and demystify all the horrific tales they’ve heard about braces. Here are some ways to make this treatment easier for them!
1. Talk to Your Child So They Know What to Expect
Kids and adults get braces for different reasons. If your teeth are overcrowded, this can be rectified with braces. If you have an overbite or an underbite, the braces will also be handy in correcting this. For the thumb-sucking child and the one with problems chewing or biting food, the braces can fix the problem as well. Helping them understand what the treatment is for and how it will help them can be beneficial to how they look at this new experience. It can also be helpful to write down all the questions your child will want to ask the orthodontist. You’ll have all the time you need to discuss these questions at your consultation appointment. Around age 7 is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment, so be sure to advocate for your little one at this young age!
2. Have Soft Foods and Comfort Food Ready
The orthodontist will not take long to fix the braces in your kid’s mouth. However, getting used to them will take some time. The child will likely feel discomfort as the mouth gets used to the new addition. Since the child’s mouth will be sore, stock up on soft foods. Feed them with meals of rice, soups, yogurt, pasta, and other easy-to-chew diets. Most kids get braces from ages 10 to 13, a time when picky eating is at its peak, so be sure to consider this beforehand!
3. Be Ready to Help Them Deal With the Discomfort
Give your kid pain medicine to help relieve painful teeth and gums when necessary. This will bring comfort and help your child sleep better. Don’t feed them crunchy snacks such as chips, hard candy, or other hard foods because their mouth is sore now. You can give them ice cream and yogurts. The cold drinks will ease the soreness by numbing the gums. If the discomfort persists past what medicine can do to help, take your child to the orthodontist’s office for further inspection and treatment.
4. Teach Your Child New Oral Habits
Food likes to hide in every little space in the mouth. Let your child understand that regular teeth cleaning will be crucial with braces. Since it’ll be tougher to brush and floss now that they have braces, buy them an electric toothbrush to help remove dirt in difficult places. Teach them how to use special toothbrushes that can get under the wires and brackets. Flossing after meals helps remove food from the back teeth, bringing relief to the child. They won’t have to keep touching the wires and brackets.
5. Buy Orthodontist Wax Early
This refers to the dental wax or braces wax. Wires can poke your kid’s cheeks or lips from the back teeth. Brackets may first cause irritating sores inside the lips. Orthodontic wax will help your kid’s braces feel comfortable. Show them how to roll the wax on the fingers and apply it to anything poking in the mouth. You can also help rub the wax in the trouble areas. Let your child carry some wax to school or whenever they’re away from home to ease the nagging discomfort. This experience can irritate younger kids, but older kids may brave it.
6. Remind Them It’s Going to Be Okay
Your child might dread the burden of wearing braces, usually prescribed for long periods. Remind your child of the benefits that wait for them after the process is complete. Tell them this is a temporary phase in their life and encourage them to be patient as their teeth go through the treatment.
As a parent, you may be concerned if your kid is anxious about a visit to the dentist or orthodontist. Nonetheless, loosen up a bit as statistics from the National Institute of Health indicate that 64% of children report liking their dentist visit. With good preparation on your part, your child will relax and enjoy their experience.