How to Prepare Your Child for Orthodontic Treatment
If your child is about to undergo orthodontic treatment, it’s understandable that they might be apprehensive. After all, their dental situation is about to change in a big way. But with your help and guidance, orthodontic treatment can be a journey of discovery and adventure rather than a scary one.
You can help your child to get ready for braces by preparing them in the following ways.
Go Through the Options Together
Your child has various types of braces to choose from, so you don’t have to settle for traditional metal braces. For instance, ceramic braces are the less visible alternative to traditional braces. This is because they consist of clear brackets and wires. Your child may also be interested in clear aligners, which have the added benefit of being removable.
Explore the different types of braces with your child, and talk about the pros and cons of each one.
Talk About the Positives of Braces and Involve Your Dentist
At first, your child may only focus on the negatives of orthodontic treatment, such as how it will affect their appearance. But they can learn about and focus on the positives to orthodontic treatment too. For instance, braces help improve speaking and chewing abilities.
Ask your child’s orthodontist to explain the benefits to your child so they understand them.You could even have your dentist show your child some before and after pictures of other orthodontic cases they have undertaken.
Choose Brace-friendly Foods and Make It Fun
Sticky, stringy, or hard foods are not very brace friendly. And eating those kinds of food will make oral hygiene more difficult. This means that your child will have to give up some of the foods they enjoy. Fortunately, if you choose some alternatives before your child starts their treatment, they can get used to those foods first.
For example, if your child loves caramel, you could switch to caramel pudding instead. And a softer alternative to steak is roasted chicken.
Stock Up on Some Soft Foods That Your Child Likes
Your child’s mouth may be sore for a few days once they get their braces. This will make eating a little painful at first if you decide to go with traditional or ceramic braces. But you can prepare by going shopping together for soft foods. Make it fun for your child and let them choose the soft foods.
Prepare to Track Their Progress Together
One way to reduce your child’s anxiety about orthodontic treatment is to involve them in the process too. Do a photoshoot before their treatment starts of their teeth as they are now. Then discuss with your orthodontist the times when changes are likely to occur so you can prepare to take pictures in stages.
This will get your child involved in the process and give them something to look forward to as well.
Prepare Some Approaches for Pain Relief
Your child will likely experience some aches and pains as their jaw responds to the braces. This is only natural since braces work by gradually moving teeth to positions that are more favorable. To prepare, purchase a number of different pain relievers, like paracetamol (if your child is old enough), oral gels, ice packs, and saline solution to reduce swelling.
Your orthodontist may also prescribe some pain relief for your child if you ask them in advance.
Consider Purchasing a Mouth Guard If Your Child Plays Sports
Does your child play sports at school or as a hobby? Then purchase a custom mouth guard from your dentist. While over-the-counter mouth guards provide some protection, they aren’t meant for mouths with braces. Have your dentist or orthodontist create a custom mouth guard for the times when your child will play sports while in braces. This will protect them from injury.
Are you considering orthodontic treatment for your child? Then you need a dentist that specializes in treating children. Contact Kids Choice Dental/All About Kids Dental today and we’ll help you choose the right orthodontic treatment for your child.