A Simple Guide to Preparing Your Child for Braces
When Dr. Pettinato first says that your child needs braces, you'll probably be busy worrying about the potential cost. While this is important, it doesn't compare to the life change that this represents to your child. Whether your kid is in elementary school, high school or in between, you'll need to prepare them.
Braces have become a lot more common over the past few decades, and now caring for them is much easier than it was. Despite this, you still have to make sure that your child is ready, and they will be if you take the following advice to heart when getting braces at A Safari Dental:
Don't complain about the upcoming changes
Depending on what your insurance covers, you may have to pay for some or all of your child's orthodontic work – something that thrills you just about as much as monitoring everything they eat from now on will. Keep your negative feelings to yourself! Your kid probably feels a bit nervous about getting braces to begin with, and hearing their parents lament about how much trouble it will be won't make them feel any better. Try to keep a positive attitude about what's going on, and don't make anything into a bigger deal than it has to be.
Let them know that changes take time
A year or two with braces may not seem like a long time for you, but it'll seem like an eternity to a kid or teenager. Braces aren't meant to be a quick fix; they're meant to correct problems slowly over a period of time. If your child starts to worry about how long they have to wear their braces, let them know that it'll all be worth it when they have a perfect, beautiful smile in a few years.
Explain the importance of following rules
Telling a kid that they can't eat their favorite sticky candy or troublesome food won't go over well. That said, your child will be a lot more cooperative if they know why they have to follow their new dietary restrictions. A sticky or chewy treat may be enjoyable for a few minutes, but it could add several weeks or months to the length of time that the braces need to be worn – something that most kids won't want. If you're worried that your child won't listen to you, ask Dr. Pettinato to reiterate why they need to follow the rules. Once they understand the end goals – and the fact that proper dietary habits means less time with the braces on, they'll likely comply with gusto.
At A Safari Dental, we want to make your child's braces experience as positive and pain-free as possible. Call or contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment.