On occasion, your orthodontist might work with a younger patient who just can’t wait to get braces. If that’s your child, you’re in the minority. Usually, school aged patients dread the thought of braces because they’re afraid braces will make them look funny or because they’ve heard terrible tales from friends about how much braces hurt. As a parent, you play a huge role in helping your child feel better about orthodontics by creating an understanding environment and helping them manage fears and expectations. Today, we’re offering a few simple – but often overlooked – ways you can help ease your child into orthodontics and help them stick with it.
1. Investigate the Options
When we think about “getting braces,” we tend to imagine big bulky metal braces and headgear. Advances in orthodontic technology over the past few decades have tossed these old fashioned notions out the window. While the type of braces your child needs will depend on several factors including age and the severity of his or her case, knowing that different types of orthodontics are available will help your child or teen feel more in control. Invisalign Teen, ceramic tooth-colored brackets, and smaller metal braces with fun colored bands are all options younger patients gravitate toward.
2. Help Them Understand Long Term Benefits
From a purely biological standpoint, your child does not have the fully developed pre-frontal cortex that allows you, as an adult, to think ahead and understand consequences. You understand that braces are temporary and will provide a number of long-term benefits. Your child will only see braces as an immediate inconvenience. Talk to your child regularly about how great their smile will look at the end of treatment. Keep a count-down calendar marked with milestones that your child can check off throughout treatment.
3. Keep Them Comfortable
Braces will almost always cause discomfort in one way or another. Different children and teens deal with discomfort differently, but to keep them comfortable as much as possible, always have plenty of the following on hand:
- Over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as Tylenol.
- Orthodontic wax to protect the inner lips and cheeks.
- Anbesol or another topical anesthetic.
- A selection of softer, braces-friendly treats such as chicken noodle soup, frozen yogurt, and ingredients for making smoothies.
About Dr. Cabal
Dr. Ciro Cabal is a dedicated family orthodontist whose lifelong passion for providing exceptional dental care continues to this day as he serves patients of all ages from Ft. Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment to discuss invisible braces at our Ft. Worth orthodontics office, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846.