Kids and teens who will be getting their braces soon will be going through a couple of changes. Most of the time, they will view these new experiences as painful and inconvenient, which is true, to a certain extent.
As a parent, you want to see your child get the best results from his or her orthodontic treatment. However, you don’t want to see him or her feeling discomfited or complaining about his or her braces as well.
Preparing your child for the treatment will help him or her (and yourself) go through the journey stress-free and more confident. Before you finalize your plans of getting your child braces for kids, follow the tips below to prepare him or her for the process, and put him or her completely at ease about getting braces.
Ensure your child understands why he or she needs braces
With your child’s dentist or orthodontist present, have a sit-down talk with your son or daughter. Your child needs to understand why a dental professional would recommend braces. This may be because your kid’s teeth are too crooked or are overlapping. There may be other orthodontic issues that can only be fixed by braces as well.
If your kid completely understands issues the braces will fix, he or she will be more accepting of the treatment and cooperate better with the dental specialist.
In addition, make sure your child knows about all the aspects of the treatment such as the duration and possible outcomes.
Discuss what your child should expect before the braces are fitted
A few days before your child’s braces fitting, talk to your child again. This time, give him or her details about what will happen during the fitting.
You need to tell your child that he or she will likely spend several hours in the dental chair for the fitting process. The brackets will be glued to his or her teeth and then connected with a thin wire before colourful elastic O-rings are placed over the top if this is what he or she wants.
Explain to your child that he or she may feel a little discomfort while his or her teeth are getting used to the brackets. However, this discomfort often lasts for only two to three days. The dentist will also prescribe a pain reliever which your child can take.
Finally, it is important that your child knows he or she will periodically visit the orthodontist or dentist to have the wire adjusted which is crucial for straightening his or her teeth.
By sharing these important details with your child, you will help dispel some of his or her fears.
Stock up on the necessary supplies
As already mentioned, your child will feel some discomfort during the first few days after getting the braces. Ensure he or she still eats something by stocking your fridge and pantry with soft foods such as ice cream, yogurt, mashed potato, oatmeal, and soup.
You also need to stock the bathroom cabinets with floss threaders so that he or she will have an easier time flossing.
Make sure you have a steady supply of dental wax or braces wax as well. The wax will form a protective layer that stops the bracket from rubbing against the insides of his or her mouth. This will help prevent your child from getting painful mouth sores.
Remind your child to practice good oral hygiene daily
Good oral hygiene is essential for a successful orthodontic treatment. Because of this, you have to remind your child to continue brushing and flossing regularly even if his or her braces can make this a bit difficult.
Regular brushing and daily flossing will help fight plaque and remove any food debris caught between teeth and braces.
In case your child is having a hard time flossing properly, ask his or her orthodontist or dentist to give him or her a refresher course on brushing and flossing. Ask the dental specialist for advice and other dental aids that will make it easier for your child to practice good oral hygiene.
Always be supportive
Aside from bringing your child to scheduled dental checkups and ensuring he or she has everything he or she needs during snack or mealtimes and for practicing good oral hygiene, you have to constantly give your child emotional support.
Take the time to ask if he or she is still feeling any discomfort. Additionally, you won’t go wrong with reminding your child about the benefits and result he or she can expect after the treatment.
With your continued support and the help of the right dental specialist, your child will have an easier time coping with his or her orthodontic treatment. In the end, your child will see how he or she has a healthier, more beautiful smile after the treatment as well.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.