The American Dental Association recommends evaluating children for orthodontic braces by the age of seven. The reason for this, is that abnormal bites typically become noticeable between the ages of six and 12, and orthodontic treatment often begins when the child is between the ages of eight and 14. Starting treatment when the child is young and still growing can help your orthodontist deliver better results.
When your child first finds out they will need braces, a common reaction is for them to be emotional. Some may even feel like it is “the end of the world.” They fear the possibility of something foreign in their mouth, the discomfort, the orthodontist and teasing, that may come from other children. They will need reassurance that braces are not the end of the world, but will help create the lasting smile they will have for their entire life. In fact, 80% of the teenagers in the United States are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment so it is just a matter of time before many of their friends are wearing braces too!
Supporting your child with Braces
To support your child through the process of getting braces, start by educating them about braces today, and how they differ from the braces of yesterday. For example, the H4 braces have smooth, rounded edges for comfort. Reassure your child that they don’t need to worry about discomfort from their braces. The brackets of today are much more comfortable than yesterday.
The days of elastic bands to hold the wire are gone as well. With the advancements of today’s braces, your child won’t face having a sore mouth from the bands pinching the wire. Considered a low-friction, light force orthodontic solution, the H4 braces are designed to delivery healthy tooth movement with maximum control.
Additionally, the advanced technology of today’s braces creates beautiful smiles in less time. While individual results can vary, many will complete their treatment up to four months faster than traditional braces. Ease your child’s fears by telling them their braces are temporary. In fact, they will probably wear their braces for less time than you did as a kid!
Encourage the Result
When it comes to getting braces, teenagers may be more difficult to console than young children. Reiterate that the time will pass quickly. Encourage them the end result is well worth the short-term phase of wearing braces.
A good tip is to ask your teenager to get his or her favorite magazine or go to their favorite online site and both of you look at the pictures of the people in it. While you may not see any braces, you probably won’t see any crooked teeth either. Their favorite movie star or singer is another encouragement example you can use. Search the web to see if that person wore braces and, if so, show your teen pictures of that person with braces.
They Are Not Alone
Assure your child that he or she will not be the only child in school with braces. Tell them they are still the exact same person with braces as they were without them. They can do all of the same activities and enjoy themselves while wearing braces.
Encourage your child to eat healthy, clean their teeth with regular brushing and use of a Waterpik. Most importantly, remind them how beautiful their teeth and smile will be when the braces come off!