When the time comes for your child to get braces, readying yourself with these helpful tips will make the process much smoother.
Since so many teens have braces these days, your child will very likely be excited to get them because their friends have them. However, it’s not uncommon for them to be nervous about the prospect. Because of the fear of the unknown and overall unfamiliarity of a new situation, we can see why. Certainly myths abound, as with any other unchartered territory, and this may lead to apprehension about visiting their orthodontist. So the main thing for your child to remember is that braces are temporary, but straight teeth and a spectacular smile will last a lifetime!
The following are some helpful suggestions to quell any trepidation, as your child settles in to life with braces:
No Pain, No Gain
Part of the unknown is the potential for pain, and it’s pretty common for children to worry about that. The truth is, getting outfitted with braces is virtually painless. The bracket and wire application doesn’t hurt, but soreness afterward should be expected. Taking a Tylenol before coming to the bonding appointment will lessen the discomfort after leaving our office. The braces may rub the inside of your child’s mouth, but orthodontic wax will help ease that discomfort. If the wax doesn’t soothe the pain, try having your child gargle with warm salt water to heal any sores.
Remind your child that braces are temporary. Depending on the issues we are correcting, treatment varies from patient to patient, which in most cases is anywhere from one to three years. The Middle School years are easy enough, since their peers are also wearing them. If name-calling or bullying becomes an issue, remind them to simply walk away or to kill them with kindness.
Color Me Happy!
If traditional braces are chosen, remind your child they can show personal style while in treatment because they are able to change the colors of rubber bands each month. Get them excited about their next orthodontist appointment by talking about what color combination they will choose at the next appointment. Will it be bright colors for summer? Green for St. Patrick’s Day? Or colors to support their favorite sports team? This is the fun part, so GO BOLD!
Who Doesn’t Love a Reason to Splurge?
Once the braces are on, those favorite sticky snacks will be out of the equation. Leading up to that point, splurge a bit and make a special bag of favorite treats. Some snacks to add to the goodie bag could be chocolate with nuts and caramel, beef jerky, hard candy, bubble gum, and popcorn.
Ice Cream, You Scream!
Plan a mini celebration, and give them something to look forward to after leaving our office. Find a braces-friendly snack they will really enjoy. Frozen treats are always a hit! Ice cream actually is a great treat that also will help soothe the soreness after getting braces. You can even say we prescribed it!
You Get to Chill With US!
We want your child (and you!) to look forward to orthodontic appointments and have fun when you’re here! We provide a fun, upbeat atmosphere for our patients. We have lots of fun technology and games available for your child to have fun and forget about the stress of the day. We believe that the short time you’re waiting should be a fun time to de-stress from the chaos of the day!
We want your child to be excited about this new look when they finish with their orthodontic treatment. Nothing boosts confidence better than a stunning smile, so amidst any apprehension or complaining, remind them to keep their chin up, and SMILE BIG!
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.