Braces have come a long way in the past 30 years, but they’re still braces. They still represent a major change for your child and, frankly, that change can be a little scary and uncomfortable at first.
To help your child successfully navigate their new (temporary) life as a braces-wearer, we here at Bluffton Orthodontics suggest the following:
- Acknowledge their fears no matter how superficial or silly they might seem to you in the moment. We know you love your child’s face with or without wire and brackets, so it might cut your heart in two to hear that they think they’re ugly right now (especially because it’s untrue), but getting braces can be a huge physical and psychological adjustment. This is normal. Listen to their worries and offer your hugs, understanding and reassurances. Repeat when necessary.
- Give them time to relax when they come home from their placement appointment. They’re going to be sore for a few days. Now is not the time to ask them to finally finally finally clean up their rooms. Nope. Now is the time for Advil and ice cream.
- Encourage them to smile at themselves in the mirror. Help them get used to how . it looks and feels to smile with braces. The more they smile in the mirror, the less self-conscious they will be when smiling in public, the more easily their smile will come. It sounds cheesy, but it works.
- Teach them how to care for their new brace-face. Admittedly, the toothpaste aisle isn’t the most exciting place to shop, but giving your child some control over the products they’ll use to keep their new mouths clean can go a long way in getting buy-in from them on the good oral hygiene front. Also consider taking a few moments to sit with your child and write out a list of practical day-to-day questions they might have about braces. Google the answers together.
- Remind them that they’re not alone and that the end result is absolutely worth the effort. Share stories from your own experiences with braces and show them pictures of famous people wearing braces. A year or two sounds like a very long time to someone who has only lived 10 or 12 years, but if they can see that it’s really not that big of a deal in the long run, they’ll soon regard their own braces as a very normal thing.
From the very first consultation through the day the braces come off through post-braces checkups, we want our patients to know that they have an open and friendly ear in us.
The staff at Bluffton Orthodontics will always take the time to answer any question or talk about any concern you or your child might have along the way. One of the most rewarding parts of our jobs — beyond creating bigger smiles — is getting to know our patients.
To schedule your first appointment or speak with a staff member, call 843-970-9316.