Braces can come with a whirlwind of emotions, especially for young people. Some kids are excited about a straighter smile and can’t wait to get their braces on. Other children may be nervous about their mouths having a new look and feel. If your child is getting braces in 2022 and feels a little worried, check out these tips to help them enjoy their braces journey from start to finish.
1. Set optimistic expectations
Children may worry that their routine will be interrupted by visiting the orthodontist. However, visits to our office are thorough but still streamlined for your convenience! When you introduce your child to the idea of an orthodontic appointment, let them know how excited we are to meet them and the beautiful smile that awaits them.
2. Start kids young
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist by age 7. At that age, our experts can predict problems that may develop down the road and take care of them early. It is possible your child will not need to start treatment immediately, but regular monitoring helps us screen for changes as baby teeth fall out, bones grow, and teeth shift. It also helps your child get used to our office environment and look forward to visiting once treatment does begin!
3. Keep children informed
Helping your child know what to expect can encourage them to have a positive attitude. Children might hear about orthodontic treatment (and myths!) from peers. At your child’s visit, we are happy to give you and your child all the correct information and encouragement they need. It is excellent for children to have reminders at home, too! Keep them informed about why they need to maintain proper care of their appliance and emphasize all the positive aspects of the process. Missing out on non-braces-friendly snacks can be a bummer, but the beautiful smile they’ll achieve will be worth it!
4. Let our orthodontists know about anxiety.
If your child is afraid of going to the orthodontist, let our doctors and staff know! We are happy to explain to patients what’s happening during the appointment and how appliances work. Helping your child understand their treatment can help ease their anxiety and get them excited about this experience.
5. Throw a pre-braces party!
The path to a healthier smile is something to celebrate! Since certain foods should be avoided with braces, serve some popcorn and hard candy for your child to enjoy before their braces are installed. For arts and crafts fun, cut out and glue aluminum foil “brackets” on tooth-shaped cutouts of white construction paper. Celebrating this smile-worthy event is a great way to get kids excited.
6. Reward your child for taking good care of their braces.
Kids need to learn proper dental hygiene habits, especially when they wear braces. To encourage flossing and brushing, keep track of your child’s braces upkeep. After a week of excellent oral hygiene, treat them with additional video game time or an extra scoop of ice cream. Setting your child up with these good habits is something that will keep their smile healthy.
7. Help your child look forward to visits.
Regular office visits with our team help us keep your child’s treatment right on track. At Petty & Bielik Orthodontics, we want to keep patients and parents engaged and excited about the orthodontist, which is why we have a rewards program with Patient Rewards Hub. Joining the program provides opportunities to earn points, enter contests, and redeem cool gift card prizes! If your child needs some extra encouragement, start a new appointment day tradition. Grab a smoothie or milkshake after an adjustment or stop at the playground on the way home.
Get started today!
Our team is committed to keeping our patients comfortable to ensure that your child will have an enjoyable braces experience. Book a free consultation today!