It’s never easy breaking the news to your child that they need braces. It’s natural for both of you to feel a little nervous about setting out on such an important journey, and it’s definitely normal for kids to feel less than enthusiastic about the whole process. After all, braces are a pretty big unknown! Many children are already apprehensive about anything new, and even more so when it involves changes to what they see when they look in the mirror.
Here at Clauss Orthodontics, we’re no strangers to orthodontic anxiety. We treat many children and teens, and we know what a big step this is for them. That’s why we’re committed to helping each of our patients feel comfortable with and confident in the orthodontic process.To help you turn apprehension into excitement and fear into fun, we’ve put together some of our favorite ideas for getting your child on board with braces! Keep reading below to learn more.
Comfort in a crowd
Thousands of people get braces every year, but it can still feel a little bit lonely in the early days of treatment. If you or someone else in your family ever wore braces, let your child know they’re not alone by digging out some old photos! Let your child see how normal you looked (or at least as normal as you could look depending on the hair and clothing trends of the time.) Remind them of all the celebrities who have had braces, too, starting here. Seeing how those famous faces achieved their A-list smiles through orthodontic treatment can inspire your own tween or teen to feel more at home with their braces.
Throw a braces bash!
We won’t sugarcoat it. There’s no denying that braces come with their share of food restrictions, something that can be frustrating for kids and teens. Why not throw them a special party to say farewell to treats that aren’t orthodontist-approved? Go big with decorations, games, and activities, along with all the assorted foods your child will have to avoid while they’re wearing braces. Invite guests to dig into big bowls of popcorn, sticky candy, pretzels, chips, and bubblegum, but don’t forget dental hygiene! Throw in some toothbrushes and flavored floss as party favors, too.
It won’t be forever
It might feel like it to patients sometimes, but braces really aren’t a life sentence. Every patient responds to treatment differently, so there’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long a child will need braces. However, most treatments tend to average about 18 to 24 months.
That may sound like forever to someone just beginning braces treatment, but rest assured, it’ll fly by. When things are new or different, it might seem as though they could never be a normal part of life, but braces will be just another part of your child’s daily routine before they know it. Remind them that however long this journey takes, at the end of it will be a healthier, straighter smile staring back at them in the mirror. The wait is definitely worth it!
We’ve come a long way
For much of their history, traditional braces were pretty clunky and awkward, not to mention obvious. However, modern braces have come along in leaps and bounds in recent years, and are more comfortable and sleek than ever before. They can also look fun, even if they may not always feel that way! Depending on the type of braces your child has, colored bands for their brackets may be an option. This allows patients to choose their favorite colors, coordinate with holidays, or even show off their school spirit with a smile. Being able to express themselves through colored ties can help take some of the bite out of braces!
Play up their progress
Make it a point to regularly update your child’s orthodontic progress with pictures by starting right before they have their braces put on. Keep track of their journey by photographing them, or encouraging them to take selfies, every month or two to remind them of where they began and how far they’ve come! If you’re really creative, you could even take a photo of your child’s teeth every day, then create a time lapse video when their braces are removed and their beautiful new smile is revealed.
Clauss Orthodontics: supporting your family through braces treatment
Choosing to put your child in braces can be stressful, and we understand the kind of anxiety it can produce. While braces may not be the most popular decision you ever make for your child, it can certainly be one of the best and most important ones! Dr. Clauss and the rest of our talented team are committed to working with your family to create the most comfortable and stress-free orthodontic experience we can.
If you’re looking for information on orthodontic treatment for your child in Watertown, Woodbury, or the surrounding areas, we invite you to schedule a FREE consultation with us. Our practice takes pride in staying up-to-date on the latest in orthodontics and braces technology. Because we combine state-of-the-art techniques and equipment with comfortable treatment options, we’re able to offer the very best orthodontic care to patients of all ages. Get in touch with our practice today and take the first step towards your child’s best smile!