Three Simple Ways To Prepare Your Child For Braces

Posted on: 27 July 2015

A child who is ready to begin visiting an orthodontist to receive braces might feel a little apprehensive about the changes he or she will soon undergo. Although your child might mostly understand that having perfect, healthy teeth will offset any temporary inconveniences caused by the braces, he or she could still use a little encouragement. Whether you benefited from braces as a child or not, you can take a series of steps to ensure that your child embraces the changes head-on and that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Reinforce The Benefits

It's always helpful to consistently reinforce the many benefits of having braces. Remembering these advantages is especially key if your child is dealing with a degree of anxiety about the uncertainty of the process. Don't focus on saying that having braces will give the child a nice smile -- this sentiment could potentially send a hidden message that with crooked teeth, your child's smile isn't acceptable. Instead, focus on the other benefits, such as helping chew food with ease and enunciate words correctly. You can also stress that many children experience improved self-esteem upon having their teeth straightened by braces.

Plan Fun Meals

There's no getting around the fact that in the couple days after receiving braces, your child might experience mouth soreness. Instead of minimizing this short phase, take advantage of the opportunity to prepare some fun snacks and meals for your child. Work together to brainstorm your child's favorite treats that are easy to eat or drink with new braces. Ice cream, milkshakes, chocolate pudding, soft pancakes and well-cooked pasta are all easy to eat after getting braces. This exciting meal plan will be encouraging for your child -- he or she will get a kick out of slurping a milkshake at dinner while his or her sibling eats broccoli.

Talk About Oral Hygiene

Part of the responsibility of having braces is taking care of them through proper cleaning and avoiding certain foods. Talk to your child about the importance of not only brushing two to three times per day, but also flossing daily. Flossing is a little more work with braces, but your child's orthodontist will provide special floss threaders that allow patients to floss around brace wires. Remind your child that hard foods, such as corn on the cob and popcorn, as well as gummy foods, such as candy and dried fruits, can damage the braces and make it difficult to keep the teeth clean.

Follow these tips and also consult with a family dentist, like those at Clark Family Dentistry, for more information and advice about your child's upcoming braces experience.