For a kid, getting braces might feel scary. As an in-demand dentist in Orlando, Florida, we’ve seen our share of kids entering the office, wide-eyed and worried that getting braces will hurt. We know it won’t hurt, but no matter how many times you tell them that it’s still something they’re afraid of. With over four million Americans wearing braces today, according to The Atlantic, your kids will be in good company. However, what do YOU do to prepare for your kid getting braces for better dental care in Orlando?
The month of February has been designated as National Children’s Dental Health Month. As a parent, your kids’ oral health is not just their concern – it’s yours as well. Being well-prepared to deal with the lifestyle changes that braces will bring to your household is the first step in ensuring that your kid doesn’t feel as though they’re doing this all on their own. It’s a team effort, and you have to do your part to help them achieve their goals. How do you do that? Let’s find out!
1. Talk to Your Child About Treatment Options
A lot of parents don’t treat their kids as though they have any say in what’s going on. However, including your kid in the discussion allows them to at least feel as though they’re part of the decision, making it easier for them to adjust to having braces in. Your dentist will be there to advise you on the best option for your child, but your child will also feel as though their input is being considered in the final determination.
One of the most engaging ways to help your child get used to the idea of having braces is to do some online research with them about the different types of braces. If you do that, then you might learn alongside them so that the discussion with the orthodontist won’t be such alien territory for the both of you. Psychology Today mentions that anxiety disorders might be heightened by the fear of the unknown. The more you and your child knows about what’s happening, the better prepared you can be as a parent.
2. Get the Right Foods for Braces
The holy grail of braces is soft food. A lot of parents think that braces mean that their kids will be limited to thinks like smoothies and shakes, but that’s not true. Planning out a diet for eating with braces does require you as the parent to adjust how you cook things. Hello Motherhood mentions that right after your child gets braces, their mouth will be sensitive for a bit, and soft foods will work best for them for eating during this time. Even after the first few days, you can’t just revert to what you were allowing them to eat before.
Braces are mechanical devices, and the wrong type of food could damage them permanently. The best options for a kid with braces include grains, soft cooked veggies, and soft fruits. Options for a varied diet can include lean meat, tofu, yogurt, and milk. You would be best advised to avoid nuts, seeds, hard fruit or vegetables, and especially candy. Anything that limits the amount of sugar that could potentially cause problems alongside braces is a good thing.
3. Don’t Forget the Orthodontic Wax
When your kid first gets the braces placed in, he or she might experience a little discomfort from it. Orthodontic wax is one of the best ways to deal with these situations. Also called braces wax or dental wax, it can be applied to the sensitive parts of the mouth to make the braces easier to deal with. The wax forms a protective layer that saves the kid’s mouth from irritation.
Most dentists and orthodontists provide dental wax to their patients as they need it. However, keeping it on-hand within the house is an option that you should explore. There’s no telling when a child will start getting irritation due to braces rubbing on a spot it shouldn’t. A home supply helps you to deal with this situation whenever it arises.
4. Make Life Easy for The Kid
Your child will obviously have to change the way they do a lot of things. Kids are resilient, though. They are very well suited to adapting to new situations quickly. You will need to support them as they adjust, and helping them out is part of that support. Teaching them new ways to floss around their braces (if they’re non-removable) or buying them a fancy electric toothbrush might help to motivate them to stick to their dentist’s instructions.
Making meals that work around the problem of them having braces is also part of making life easy for them. As mentioned before, this is a team effort, and your child ends to know that he or she can depend on you to help succeed. It would be best if you also spent time helping them adjust their braces so that it’s less uncomfortable for them. Cleaning of teeth with braces might also require a little help. It’s a good bonding experience to show your child that you care as well as ensuring their braces and their teeth are both taken care of.
5. Remind Them of The End Goal
Kids Health mentions that for an average child, braces take around two years to perform their job. For us, as an adult, two years is the blink of an eye. For a child, two years can feel like an eternity. However, wearing braces is a temporary measure, and reminding them that they won’t be needed for the whole of their life can be a comfort. Your kid might get frustrated that they’re supposed to wear this contraption in their mouths for so long. It’s good to remind them that good things take time. This process is going to help their teeth remain straight through their life, so a couple of years isn’t such a huge deal.
Communicating this type of thing to your child may be the most challenging thing you’ll have to do through the entire preparation process. Kids see things a lot differently from adults. The “rest of their lives” feels like forever to them. But it’s also something they can’t quite grasp at their age. You know your child better than anyone else, so you’d know how to communicate this to them in the best way. Helping them realize the situation isn’t permanent will help them to settle down and bear out the treatment, even if they do so grudgingly.
Braces Aren’t the End of the World
With so many people wearing braces today, the stigma associated with them has lessened to quite a degree. Even so, braces technology has also improved to make it less visible that you’re having your teeth straightened. Braces with wires placed along the interior of your teeth as opposed to the exterior have made them less noticeable. New technology, such as invisible braces, has helped this effect. Serene Dental is dedicated to providing the most modern methods of dental care, including braces to patients of all ages.
Moreover, we’ll even help you discuss things with your child. This can help you both understand the procedures and what to expect. Want to experience superior dental care in Orlando, Florida? Give us a call today!