Only a few Americans are lucky enough to be born with a perfect set of teeth. Crooked teeth lead to low self-esteem as well as a host of other dental and health issues. Family orthodontics can straighten your teeth, realigning them to the correct position. You can get your beautiful smile back and improve your facial profile.
Ideal Age for Family Orthodontics
About 75% of the 4.5 million Americans under orthodontic treatments today are below the age of 18. The American Association for Orthodontists recommends that you take your child for the first appointment at around the age of seven. At this age, most children have enough permanent teeth for the orthodontist to inspect for any malocclusions.
The thought of metallic chunks in the mouth may worry most kids. It is vital for you as a parent to prepare them for braces and meeting the orthodontist. Check out some tips to help you through it.
1. Talk to Your Child About the Process
You may kick-start the conversation by discussing with your kid on why they need the orthodontic treatment. Have an open discussion on what they want. You may also do some research together on the various options available. Encourage them to ask questions once they go to the orthodontic practice. Let the child feel they are part of the process.
2. Go Through the Various Treatment Options
There are plenty of brace options available for correcting misaligned teeth. At the family orthodontics practice, the orthodontist may take you through the various choices such as:
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Metal Braces
Your orthodontist will help you choose the most suitable option and create a custom treatment plan for your child.
3. Discuss the Expectations and Outcomes
Your child may be more receptive if they learn the benefits of wearing the braces. It is essential to acknowledge and accept that braces may cause discomfort, which your child will adjust to with time. Listen to their worries and concerns about the treatment. Reassure them it is only for a short period, and they will have a beautiful smile to show for it.
4. You May Need Extra Soft Foods
Talk to your child about some of the diet changes they might have to make. The first few days on braces can be uncomfortable as the braces apply light pressure on the teeth. Soups, smoothies, and other soft food may provide the necessary nutrients without your kid having to bite too hard. Hard foods and sticky foods should be avoided during the treatment period, as they may damage the brackets.
5. Buy Some Orthodontic Wax
The braces can cause pain and discomfort during the initial phase. The metal brackets may pierce and puncture the soft tissues of the cheeks, causing mouth sores. You can ease the discomfort by rubbing orthodontic wax on the bracket causing the pain.
6. Go through the Cleaning Routine Together
Braces demand a higher level of oral hygiene to keep the teeth from discoloration and decay during the treatment period. Work on a hygiene routine together. Ensure proper brushing of teeth with an interdental soft toothbrush. You may assist them in flossing as it may be difficult with braces on. Remind them to rinse their mouth with water after every meal.
Preparing your child for braces may make it easy for them to adjust to treatment. Ask for help from your family orthodontics practice if the child is still reluctant to wear the braces.