How to Prepare Your Child for Orthodontic Treatment
So your child is about to get braces soon? Moms and dads, don’t forget to prepare your child emotionally and to be extremely supportive all throughout the treatment. Tender love and care especially within the first few days is a must.
SEE ALSO: Orthodontics For Kids: Why Start Early?
Here are a few things your child needs to know before starting the treatment.
Why do they need to get braces?
The child should fully understand the reason why they are getting braces, so they can cooperate better with the orthodontist.
Braces or orthodontic treatment is aimed to align crooked, overlapping teeth and improve the smile and to fix the existing problems between upper and lower jaws. Let your child know that the younger he or she is, the lesser time the treatment will take. Involve your child in all aspects of the treatment - what to expect, how long the treatment will take and the possible outcomes of the treatment.
They are not alone!
Every child has a friend, cousin or classmate who are already wearing braces or have had braces before. So it’s not only them!
Your child most probably knows why he or she needs to wear braces, and the brilliant outcome of the treatment. Relating with their peers makes it easier for your child to tolerate the duration of the treatment and to be positive in this journey.
Some parents let their children track their own progress by having them take photos of their teeth before starting the treatment, and after each appointment so they can see how much have changed. That makes it so much fun and encouraging!
Patience is a virtue.
Treatment duration varies on each individual. We all wish we could straighten our teeth overnight but when it comes to orthodontic treatment, your child should understand that the treatment cannot be quickened, as Mother Nature cannot be rushed.
Dos and don'ts!
Every child should know that once they get their braces on, it might take a while till they get used to it. Very soon they will forget they even have them in their mouth but that doesn't mean they should forget about the commitment they have to certain things for the whole duration of treatment.
- Oral hygiene – Proper oral hygiene is more important than ever because of the possibility of food or plaque getting stuck between the braces and make it easier for teeth to decay and the gums to get inflamed and swollen. The orthodontist will make sure that your child knows how to take care of his teeth and braces. If there is anything that is not clear, don't hesitate to ask the orthodontist.
- Diet – Children can still eat most things while having braces but keep in mind that there are certain food that they need to AVOID while having braces. Hard, chewy and sticky food are prohibited while having braces. During the first few days or weeks they need to stick to soft diet.
- Manage pain – They might experience pain during the first few days they get their braces but they can easily alleviate the pain by taking regular painkillers. Press a small piece of wax on the pointy brackets to avoid irritation on the inner side of lips and cheeks.
- Report breakages – If any bracket is loose try to make an appointment with the orthodontist as soon as you can so the treatment stays on track. Keep in mind that any breakages will delay the treatment duration so they need to try their best to avoid them.
Your orthodontist is always the best person to go to if there is any question about the treatment procedure. They will thoroughly explain every aspect of the treatment, what to expect and how to cope with the changes.
It is always rewarding when positive changes are seen in teeth alignment and smile. Remind your child that it is always better to follow the orthodontist’s instructions in order to complete the orthodontic treatment on time with the best results as planned.