For kids, braces can seem scary or overwhelming. If you had to wear braces as a kid, you might remember how it felt when you first found out.
Maybe you were excited because a lot of your friends had them and you often admired the colorful bracket rubber bands or the straighter smiles they had once the braces came off.
Maybe you were indifferent because you really had no say on the matter, but you knew that your parents were looking out for you.
Or, you might have been a little annoyed because you weren’t sure if braces were going to cause you to lose friends or cool points.
If you had a lot of reservations about braces back then, just imagine what your child might go through. But don’t panic—and don’t let your child panic. Just listen to them, let them know you support them and even reassure them by sharing your own experience. Let your kids know what to expect with braces, and explain how braces helped you get the wonderful smile you have today.
Talk About The Options
Once you work through the initial apprehension, talking to your child about the different types of braces for kids and answering some common questions they might have can help to put them at ease.
If you need a little refresher on the kinds of braces that are on the market today, here are some common options for younger kids and teens that you can discuss with them.
Traditional or Metal Braces
While they’re highly noticeable, traditional or metal braces for kids actually happen to be the most popular choice among orthodontic patients. Braces of the past were larger and gave that full metal mouth look. But today’s braces are much sleeker and a little easier to manage. They can also be customized with cool rubber bands. So, if your child is worried about not looking cool, let them know a lot of other people wear metal braces too. And once those metal braces come off, their great smile will always be stylish.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
There was a time when Invisalign aligners were only available for teens and adults. Now, there’s Invisalign for kids which is an early treatment system designed for children between the ages of six and 10. A lot of people like the Invisalign system because the braces are actually two clear plastic trays that are molded to fit the teeth. These trays can also be removed to brush the teeth after meals. You can let your child know that Invisalign is a good option because no one will really notice they’re wearing braces since they don’t look like traditional/metal braces. You can also explain that they can still brush their teeth and eat like they normally would.
With lingual braces, your child can really feel at ease because there’s nothing to see here. That’s because the brackets of these braces are placed on the tongue side of the teeth. Lingual braces are designed to fit as comfortably as possible, however, it will take some time for your child to get used to wearing them. So, talk about how they might sound a little funny until their tongue gets used to lingual braces, but once they’ve adjusted, they’ll talk like they normally do.
What To Say When They Ask, “How Long Will I Have Braces?”
There’s no question that you’ll hear this during the discussion. When it comes up, just let your child know this will depend on their treatment plan. Most people wear braces between 18 and 30 months, but it all comes down to how much alignment is needed. Explain to your child that their orthodontist will do their best to make their time in braces comfortable and fun. You might even want to talk about what it’s like to visit the orthodontist or schedule some time to take them by the office for a visit before their fitting.
Tell Them What To Expect With Braces
If you’ve been through the experience, there’s no better person to explain what it’s like than you. We can help with that as well, but you can start the conversation at home. Talk to your child about the care routine. After all, braces are a major responsibility, like driving or having a pet.
Your child should know up front that they’ll have to be more thorough when it comes to dental hygiene. They’ll have to stay on top of brushing their teeth after every meal, including those times when they’re hanging out with friends or at sleepovers.
Your child should also be aware of the foods they’ll need to avoid. This might be crushing if your child is a huge fan of candy and other crunchy or sticky foods that aren’t good for braces. Kids will also need to avoid sodas and sugary juices to prevent staining or decay. You can help make things easier by keeping healthy, braces-friendly snacks and drinks they love in the fridge.
Also, let your child know that they should notify you right away if they’re experiencing a great deal of discomfort, break a bracket or wire, or lose any equipment. This will only help ensure that their braces work the way they should so there are no problems down the road. Just explain that it’s ultimately up to them to do what is needed to create the great smile that they deserve.
Need Braces For Kids?
Beth’s Braces Is The Place For The Best Early Treatment And More!
At Beth’s Braces, our goal is to always make braces fun for everyone. So, if your child needs braces, we’ll help make the process easier by giving them the support and quality care they need during this time. We offer the best braces for kids and teens like traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners, lingual braces and other early treatment solutions. If you have questions about our practice or even want to know more about Dr. Beth, contact us today.