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How to Talk to Your Kids About Getting Braces
How to Talk to Your Kids About Getting Braces
Braces give your kids a beautiful smile! However, the process can seem intimidating for many kids. Here are some tips to help you talk to your child about getting braces.
1. Talk to Your Child About Why They Need Braces
To ease your kids' anxiety, help them better understand why they are getting braces. They may need braces to straighten out their teeth or correct an over or underbite. They may also need braces if their teeth are overlapping or overcrowded. Children usually get braces once all their baby teeth are gone and their 12-year molars are present.
Knowing why they need braces, takes away their fears and replaces them with logical thoughts. It also gets them more involved in the process. When talking with your child, be patient and willing to explain things more than once. Also, you may want your orthodontist to go over the procedure in detail.
2. Explain to Your Children the Different Treatment Options
With advancements in the medical field, there are now multiple options for braces. Discuss all the different choices with your kids.
Here are the different types of braces you can choose from:
- Metal Braces: These are the standard type of braces and the most cost-effective option. Although, they are the most noticeable choice.
- Ceramic Braces: These are similar to metal braces in size and shape but blend into your teeth more naturally. Keep in mind these are a more costly option and may stain if not cared for properly.
- Lingual Braces: These are made from metal but attached to the inside of your teeth, making them less noticeable. However, they may be less effective than metal braces and take longer to align your teeth. Also, they can be harder to clean.
- Invisalign: This type involves a series of custom-made plastic aligners worn over your teeth. Invisalign aligners are easy to remove and replace. The main advantage is that they are barely noticeable. However, they can be more costly than other options and can only be used for teenagers.
- Self-Ligating Braces: These are similar in appearance to traditional braces, but use clips to hold the brace in place. Some of the downsides are the cost and the fact that they are still visible from the outside.
Going through these options with your children can make them feel more included in the process. Keep in mind they are the ones wearing the braces, so try to factor in their opinions. If your child is more self-conscious about their appearance, metal braces may not be their first choice.
3. Speak to Them About What it is Going to Be Like to Get Braces
Make sure you go through the step-by-step process of placing the braces. To better prepare them, let them know it will take around one to two hours for the braces to be placed. Come up with a game or toy they can bring along to keep them occupied. Also, remind them the procedure won’t hurt, but they may feel slight pressure.
During the visit, the orthodontist will place the spacers, clean their teeth, and attach the wires. You may want to talk with your orthodontist ahead of time to clarify any questions your child has. Consider writing down their questions and even add some of your own to the list.
Here are some common questions your kid may have:
- What can I eat while wearing braces?
- Does wearing braces hurt?
- What will wearing braces be like?
- What if I don’t look good in braces?
4. Make Sure They Know How to Care for Their Braces
Wearing braces comes with certain responsibilities. Kids have to be careful about what they eat and keep up with their oral hygiene routine. To better prepare them for these expectations, talk them through the steps they will need to take.
First, cover the foods they should avoid when having braces, such as:
- Sticky or hard Candy
Then discuss how they can keep their braces clean. Remind them to brush their teeth twice a day and floss.
Along with proper maintenance, remember they need to attend regular orthodontist checkups. During the visit, the orthodontist will adjust your kid’s braces and tighten their wires. The main purpose of these check-ups is to examine the progress of your child’s teeth and how much they are moving. The orthodontist might also give your child new rubber bands.
5. Play Up the Benefits of Getting Braces
To help encourage your kids to be more excited about the process, be sure to play up the benefits. Talk about how they will have a beautiful smile or be able to chew better. Let them know with their lovely new smile; their confidence will grow. Also, remind them that braces can prevent cavities or gum disease.
Once your child is more focused on the positives, they will forget about the negatives.
Things to Remember When Preparing Your Kid for Braces
When it comes to getting braces, it can sometimes be a scary process for kids. To help ease their anxiety, make sure they understand the procedure and its benefits. You also want to encourage them to be involved in the process as much as possible.
Before taking your kid to the orthodontist, keep these tips in mind to have a successful conversation with them about getting braces.