Our tips on how to make your child’s experience with braces enjoyable!
Although many children and teens will end up needing orthodontic treatment, some children aren’t so enthused by the idea. This might be because of the social stigma, the pain they associate with them, or simply with how they will affect their appearance. Unlike adults, children often cannot appreciate the importance and eventual benefits of having braces and can largely see them as a burden. It can be difficult for them to ‘love’ their braces. With our six helpful tips, we aim to help your child to learn to love their braces and the entire orthodontic treatment!
Let them customise their braces!
One of the things children seem to love is customising the colours of their braces and their bands. In the past, braces were limited to looking metallic and bulky. Now, braces are smaller and can be made to be a myriad of different colours. Your child can use them to express themselves! Whether they chose the colours of their sports team or for a special occasion, children often feel excited about getting to make colour choices at each appointment.
Reward orthodontic trips and good oral hygiene
Trips to the orthodontist don’t have to feel like a chore for your or for your child. It is important to make positive associations with their braces, and with their appointments. Make each visit exciting; let them play a game on your phone, or with waiting room toys, take them to eat their favourite food afterwards (provided its braces friendly, of course!), or simply spend some quality time together. Make your time spent at the orthodontist an exciting and rewarding experience for your kids and they will feel much better about the process.
Shop smart for braces
Unfortunately, during orthodontic treatment, there are certain foods your child will not be able to eat or should avoid. Some foods can not only become stuck in their braces, but they can also damage or break them. This includes things like hard candy, nuts, popcorn and ice. It is important that your child is aware of what they can and can’t eat, so they aren’t put in an embarrassing situation or need an emergency trip to the orthodontist.
Some children may grow to resent their braces because of the restrictions, so it is important that you provide ‘special’ alternatives just for them if they are feeling left out or are finding it difficult to know what to eat. For example, replacing candy with jelly, or making delicious and healthy smoothies and soups if they are experiencing tenderness.
Before and after pictures of orthodontic treatment
Showing your child photos of their progress is a great way to keep them both engaged and encouraged. It can significantly increase their motivation to be diligent, excite them and even help to have their braces off sooner!
Show them they aren’t alone in their orthodontics
In recent times, many celebrities have undergone orthodontic treatment to give themselves that ‘Hollywood’ smile, including Tom Cruise, Emma Watson and even Beyoncé! Although your child may feel like they are the only ones going through orthodontics, many of their idols might actually have too. Especially if your child is a teenager, showing them glamorous pictures of celebrities with braces can help them to feel better about their treatment, and show them braces are nothing to be ashamed of.
Tell them how important braces are
Reminding your child to look after their braces or to wear their appliance without explaining the importance to them, will not help them to love having braces. If they can understand just how great having braces are and how much it will benefit them in the future, they mightn’t resent them as much. There are many resources online which you could use to explain things to your child, as well as a wealth of imagery.
If you think your child needs orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team on, 3849 2711 or visit our contact page.