5 Tips to Help Your Child Deal with Braces
By: Dr. Satish Pai
Have you ever wondered how stressful it can be for your child to get accustomed to braces? The thought of having a foreign material in the mouth is nerve-racking for both you and your child, but it’s worth it once you see positive changes in your child’s teeth and jaw structure. It is your responsibility as a parent to prepare your child to deal with braces by discussing its benefits, the procedure involved and the possible consequences of wearing them. Nowadays, it is common to see children of various age groups wearing braces. Now, it is socially acceptable and no longer a reason for embarrassment to the people wearing them. With the advent of technology, braces are not just a metal wire in your mouth – they have evolved into hassle-free devices that come in trendy styles and colors too.
To overcome the initial apprehension about wearing braces, your child needs your support.
Here are 5 ways you can help your child deal with braces:
- Follow dietary instructions– Following the dietary instructions that are given by the orthodontist is probably the toughest challenge children may have to face as it requires giving up many of the foods that they love. Usually, hard fruits, chips, caramel popcorns, and sticky foods are not recommended for children with braces.
Soft foods such as puddings, mash potatoes, and soft noodles that do not require a lot of chewing are generally recommended by the orthodontist. You can help by making food tasty and interesting so that your child finds it less difficult to cope with drastic dietary changes.
- Stick to the cleaning routine – Brushing and flossing can be a very challenging routine for children with braces. The use of special brushes to clean the areas between the wire and the teeth and around the brackets adds to the challenge. Help your child stick to the routine by always being accessible when the cry for help comes your way.
- Pay attention to the concerns – Your child may experience low self-esteem and could be bullied at school. It is your responsibility as a parent to pay attention to the tell-tale signs that point at your child’s mental state. Hear out the concerns, however small they may seem to you, but they mean a great deal to your child. Don’t judge or ridicule your kid.
- Reduce the pain – Whenever the braces are adjusted, your child may experience intense pain and discomfort. Painkillers prescribed by the Orthodontist would help reduce pain caused by the braces. A small bowl of ice-cream can also help to soothe away the pain. If the pain persists despite all the measures taken above, then you might want to schedule an appointment with your Orthodontist in order to check the reason for persistent pain.
- Make the process easy – The easier the process is for your child, the better are the results of the treatment. You could invest in an electric toothbrush that can make routine brushing fun and easy. A water flosser can be an excellent flossing option compared to the conventional flossing method as the pulsating water has a soothing effect on the gums.
Children mostly experience discomfort during the first few days of wearing braces and get used to it eventually. They might experience tenderness after adjustments, but once the child starts noticing the apparent changes, the new improved smile overshadows all the discomfort and pain. Orthodontic treatment is essential, but more important is the support and encouragement you give to your child to overcome the stress of dealing with braces.
Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great, but a person feels great while boosting confidence. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing.