Dental Braces And Your Child: How To Help Them Adjust

Child orthodontics can be a tricky business. While you want your child to have the best possible care available, you know they are not happy to go to the orthodontist, nor are they particularly happy to be getting braces. After all, most children associate dental braces with an inexplicable social stigma.

While you may not understand the reasons behind your child's aversion to dental braces and orthodontic care, you will need to help them adjust to their new reality. The better your child handles their orthodontic treatment, the better they will take care of their oral health and the faster the braces and the othrodontist, liek Pedodontics P.C., can do their work. All you need to do is know how you can help and do whatever you can to help your child adjust.

Be Encouraging But Not Pushy

When it comes to what your child sees as drastic changes to their appearance, their ego is particularly delicate. Any perceived slight can be taken as the worst possible insult imaginable. As such, you must walk a careful line when talking to your child as they transition to wearing braces.

You do not want to say anything negative about their outward appearance, as they will likely take this as a personal affront. Even telling them they have food caught in their braces could be taken as insulting. You must be sure to phrase any comments, no matter how helpful, in as positive a manner as possible.

However, while you should stay positive, you should not make the braces into the focal point of every conversation you have with your child. If you want to give them positive reinforcement regarding their appearance, make it a general statement. Tell them that they look nice on a particular day or the like. Do not make your comment specifically about their braces or teeth. 

Prepare Them For Changes In Their Daily Activities

If your child is involved in extracurricular activities, they may have to change and adjust their routine. If, for example, your child is involved in athletics, they may need to begin wearing a protective mouthguard. 

Even in sports for young children, contact and injury can occur. If your child is hit in the mouth without a protective mouthguard, the wires on their braces could snap or they could cut their lip open on the metal of their braces. Make sure you get your child fitted for a mouthguard as soon as possible.

If your child plays a musical instrument, they may also have a difficult time adjusting to braces. Any instrument that uses the mouth, such as the flute, clarinet, trumpet, or saxophone will need to essentially be re-learned. The braces will make the positioning of the lips and instrument difficult and possibly painful at first. 

You should ask your child's orthodontist for dental wax if your child plays a musical instrument. The wax is placed over the metal brackets on their braces. It will prevent painful rubbing and chafing as your child attempts to play their instrument once again. 

When it comes to your child's orthodontic care, you want to do everything you can to make their transition as easy and smooth as possible. All you have to do is be supportive without being overbearing, and provide them with what they need to adjust to their new braces.