Braces are an orthodontic appliance used to correct crooked or misaligned teeth. Despite advances in cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics, braces remain one of the best management options for straightening teeth and correcting bites in children. They work by applying pressure on the teeth and jaw to move them to the desired position. Braces have come a long way and current models are inconspicuous with a better feel in the mouth. They are also more efficient and have fewer complications. As a result, children have become more receptive to the management. Nonetheless, it’s imperative to prepare your child for braces. Fitting an orthodontic appliance can be scary for a child. Moreover, considering how long they will have it, a lot of preparation is needed. Here are some few ways you can get your child ready for braces.
Visit the Orthodontist
An orthodontist is the best person to visit when you notice your child has crooked or misaligned teeth. They offer professional advice and ensure your child is on the best management option. During visits to the orthodontist, your child will get an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarifications. You will be shocked by the kind of scary stories surrounding braces that circulate among children. Moreover, keeping your child on the loop ensures they prepare psychologically for the installation and maintenance of braces. Children like surprises but not the kind that involve installing wires or bands in their mouth. Before your child gets braces, ensure they are on board with the idea.
It’s unfortunate that many children and young adults have braces but don’t know the expected outcomes. They probably think it’s a problem unique to them and this can be discouraging. Your child needs to know what to expect from the orthodontist treatment. From the initial visit, it should be clear why braces are being fitted, what the installation procedure involves and how long they will have them. Moreover, the expected outcomes should be discussed. Your child needs to look forward to a revamped smile. This will keep them calm and cooperative.
One of the biggest drawbacks to fitting braces is discomfort. Braces make chewing hard and unpleasant. However, a good solution is adjusting diet. Before going to the orthodontist, stock up your fridge on soft foods. This includes pasta, mashed potatoes, soup, rice, bananas, yogurt and other chilled foods. Immediately after the braces are fitted, your child might be on a soft food diet for a while. As the discomfort eases, you can transition to normal food. Nonetheless, anyone with braces should avoid extremely hard foods, sticky foods, and some crunchy foods. A change in diet doesn’t mean your child cannot enjoy their favourite meals. Be creative around the kitchen and find a way around the limitations.
Reward Positive Behaviour
It’s hard for a child to adapt to a life with braces, but a bit of encouragement makes it easier. It’s important to reward positive behaviour to encourage compliance to the management plan. Promise your child a trip to a fun place after fitting the braces and ensure you keep your promise. Let your child take their mind off their mouth. Moreover, reward attempts to maintain proper oral hygiene and get involved in their tooth brushing experience. If you show interest in their oral health, their compliance to braces will be seamless. Rewarding positive behaviour builds motivation to overcome all the challenges that come with fitting braces.
Listen to their Concerns
When it comes to braces, it’s important to listen to your child’s concerns. The appliance is going in their mouth, therefore, their views count. If they report any unusual pain or discomfort in their mouth, it warrants an orthodontist’s or dental review. Not every complaint from a child is unfounded.
Now that your child is ready for their braces, ensure they are fitted by a professional. Don’t compromise on your child’s oral health