We see two types of teenagers every day when it comes to orthodontic treatment. The first teen wants braces and gets excited to begin treatment knowing straighter teeth at waiting at the finish line for them. The second teen does not want braces and makes it known. These kids are often more concerned about how the braces will make them look and the possibility of being teased for having braces.
No matter which type of teenager you have, getting your child excited about braces is something every parent hopes to achieve. Here are a few suggestions to help get your teen on the braces bandwagon, as well as some of the most common protests we hear from kids during the consultation process.
Have Patience With a Reluctant Kid
Braces are a commitment for everyone involved. If your child has a hard time following directions and rules during treatment, this can have negative consequences including broken appliances and prolonged treatment time. The best thing you can do for your child is to have patience and understanding. Remind them that braces aren’t permanent and their new straight smile will be worth every month of orthodontic treatment in the end. Braces are for now, but a straight smile is for life.
If you did not have braces as a teenager, then you might not be able to fully understand how uncomfortable they can be at times, or how difficult having braces can be at times. Having proper cleaning tools that make caring for braces easier, such as Waterpiks and special toothbrushes, can make all of the difference. Educate your teen on why it’s more vital now than ever to take proper care of their teeth so when the braces do come off, the teeth left behind will be healthy.
Keep Braces-Friendly Foods in the House
Being a teenager and having braces is difficult in an aesthetic way, but the food limitations are really what many teens struggle with most. Keep your pantry stocked with braces-friendly foods. Get rid of any hard or chewy candies, popcorn, or any other foods that can’t be enjoyed by everyone. Keep the foods your teen can have in stock to keep them happy and full.
Encourage Good Hygiene Habits
Small encouragements can make a significant impact on your child’s oral health. If your teen has a hard time remembering to rinse with salt water or to floss, you can help them to remember by encouraging good oral hygiene habits. If you see your teen skipping things that can be productive to their treatment, gently remind them how important it is to take great care of their teeth.
Keep Communication Channels Open
Orthodontic treatment can often leave teenagers feeling like they’re the only one suffering in silence. If something such as a bracket or wire doesn’t feel right, that’s something you want your teen to discuss with you. If your child is ever feeling discomfort and pain during their treatment, let Dr. Thomas know at your next checkup so we can make adjustments. Talk to your teen, so they understand that it’s ok to talk about how they’re feeling during treatment.
Thomas Orthodontics offers a wide selection of braces that fit your teen and their lifestyle. We offer an array of colored rubber bands that can be placed on the brackets in your child’s favorite color, school colors or current holiday. We also offer braces that are nearly invisible and highly effective so orthodontic treatment won’t be the first thing someone notices.
Ready to take the first step in giving your child a straighter smile? Call Thomas Orthodontics today to schedule a free consultation appointment.