Getting braces for a child can be a daunting experience, especially if they’re wary of the pain it may cause or are afraid of the dentist. Luckily, there are simple ways to prepare your child for getting braces for the first time.
Have the Talk
The first step in preparing your child for braces is pulling them aside for a talk. If they haven’t approached you about wanting braces, you may want to explain to them that braces will help straighten and improve the appearance of their teeth in the long run. You may want to explain any health benefits of acquiring braces, like gum disease and tooth decay prevention.
You may want to also mention that having braces comes with a responsibility to treat them correctly and with care. Because braces are a costly investment, your child must understand the level of involvement they will have in caring for the braces.
Eliminate Non-Braces-Friendly Foods
Another simple way to prepare your child for braces is by starting the process of eliminating foods that aren’t good for braces. Removing these foods before the procedure will help your child adjust to no longer having them in their diet. This shift may initially be upsetting for them, but it’s vital for the wellness of the braces.
Here’s a list of potential foods or snacks that you may start pulling from your child’s diet:
- Hard candies
- Sticky candies
- Corn on the cob
- Potato chips
- Pizza crust
- Beef jerky
There are many more to add to the list, but these are a few. You may easily find lists online, or your orthodontist will provide you with a guide for foods to avoid while wearing braces.
Watch Informative Videos
Having your child watch informative videos online on how dentists apply braces, take care of them, and adjust to life with braces may help them with their confidence in getting them. The more knowledge they have about the topic, the more comfortable and less anxious they may become about the procedure.
Prepare for Aftercare
It’s essential to be proactive and discuss how you will help your child adjust to braces after the procedure. Having a game plan will help them feel confident and comforted and assure them that you’ll be with them every step of the way.
There are many ways to support your child as they experience this new change. Create a small list of things that may help ease their discomfort or cheer them up after the procedure. Having a plan may also help reduce your stress as you navigate this change in your child’s life.
It’s always helpful to have a plan in assisting your child with something as intimidating as getting braces. Be practical, keep it simple, and always encourage your child to learn through the process.