Braces can make kids self-conscious. Here’s how you can help your child feel more comfortable about wearing braces.
Braces or Invisalign are inevitable if your kids have crooked teeth.
But braces treatment takes a toll on kids physically as well as emotionally.
They cause pain when new, and it’s not easy to brush and floss with braces.
Kids often go through social anxiety and lack of confidence if they wear visibly awkward metal braces. Some also face bullying from friends.
As much as no parent would want their kids to go through such an experience, you can’t leave their misaligned teeth untreated!
So what is your role in making your child’s life easy with braces?
Seven Ways to Help Your Kids Alleviate the Pain and Discomfort of Braces
These seven tips will help you and your child to calmly and confidently sail through the journey of braces treatment.
1. Educate Kids About Their Ongoing Treatment
“Knowledge is power.” Whether your kids are on braces or Invisalign, you should educate them about the do’s and don’ts of their treatment. This is the best way to clear their confusion and build confidence in them.
You can ask your orthodontist to spend some time with your kids, especially in the case of Invisalign treatment. You can find the detailed list of Invisalign do’s and don’ts online as well.
2. Make Dietary Instructions Look Like a Blessing
Kids can’t eat some of their favorite food like chocolate or popcorn while getting treated for misaligned teeth.
They can eat soft food, which prevents their teeth from the pressure of chewing.
Chilled food is also allowed to soothe the sour mouth from the rubbing of the brackets.
Show them the brighter side that they can eat a lot of pasta, frozen yogurt, mashed potatoes, soups, ice-creams, smoothies and so on.
3. Ensure Proper Oral Hygiene
When your kids are on braces or Invisalign, they must brush after every meal.
The flossing at night is also vital, but make them do it in your presence only.
If your kids are not keen on brushing, tell them that their treatment will take longer if they don’t clean their teeth on time.
Try to make them understand that it’s a small price for getting freedom from misaligned and crooked teeth.
4. Visit Your Orthodontist if You Notice Anything Wrong
Sometimes the brackets or the wires of metal braces may become loose.
You shouldn’t underestimate this situation. The tightness of the brackets and wires can only ensure the proper treatment of misaligned and crooked teeth. See your orthodontist immediately.
Also, loose wires and brackets can break anytime. So you should get them fixed before it’s too late.
5. Check if Your Kids Are Wearing Invisalign All the Time
Kids can remove Invisalign when they eat or brush and during their sports period.
But they should always wear them back. To be effective, Invisalign needs to be on their teeth for 20-22 hours a day. Otherwise, their treatment will become delayed.
Make sure they know it and maintain the proper discipline of wearing Invisalign for most of the time each day.
6. Keep Dental Care Products Handy
You would want to stock dental care products like flossers and toothbrushes for teeth with braces and oral analgesics.
These products are required to take good care of their teeth.
These products will also give them relief from the soreness they face after braces tightening.
7. Get Your Child Relief from Pain
A child doesn’t have good stamina for prolonged pain. Therefore, apply dental wax, also known as orthodontic wax, to make your child feel comfortable whenever they are in pain.
Ensure they have a packet of dental wax in their school bags and that they know how to apply it whenever they feel pain.
Give your kids full emotional and moral support when they are on braces.
Tell them that many of their peers are already on braces or will need them soon.
You should reassure them that it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and this temporary treatment for a great smile does not define them.
Dr. Pai is an orthodontist, founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a partner at Brite Orthodontics. Dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients, Dr. Pai also writes about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth and good oral health.