Braces are a necessity for some young children if they want to grow up with a mouth full of healthy and straight teeth. That said, it's understandable if your child is nervous or apprehensive about getting braces installed. Your child may be worried about what the braces will look like or be concerned about how it will affect his or her daily meals. If you want to help ready your child for what's ahead, here are some tips that might help.
Let the Dentist Talk to the Child About Different Options
Most dentists that work with children are adept at communicating in a way that will make the child feel assured. If your child is old enough to understand, allow him or her to be in the room when the dentist goes over the different options for you. Let the child ask questions in their own way and let the dentist take the lead, stepping in to reassure only if needed.
Explain Why Braces Are Important
A child may feel self-conscious about their looks after getting braces installed. Explain that many, many children get braces and getting them will help ensure they can take better care of their teeth in the future.
Take Your Child to the Grocery Store
When a child first gets braces, they will need to switch to much softer foods or at least eliminate much harder foods from their diet. This can be hard if your child had a favorite food or two that they will no longer be able to eat. To help them get over this, take your child to the grocery store with you. Provide guidance and push them towards aisles with acceptable foods. If the child believes they have more say on replacing the foods they can't eat anymore, the transition should go more smoothly.
Be Patient as a Parent During the Early Going
Your child may have difficulty eating or speaking right after the braces are first installed. If they make a mess at the dinner table, be patient with them in the early going. Don't raise your voice or laugh if they mess up while trying to eat or speak. If your child is being bullied in school because of having braces, however, that is one area where you can feel free to jump in and talk to a teacher right away.
Contact a local dentist for more tips about how to get your child ready for braces