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How to Help Your Kids Settle into Their First Set of Braces

Braces are one of the most effective tools available to help young patients achieve tooth and jaw alignment. Even though they can be uncomfortable and may provide a source of embarrassment for a short time, these challenges can be eased by parents who take the time to help their kid adjust to their first set. Educating children about braces and motivating them to take care of their mouth are essential for achieving long-term success with this kind of treatment.

Start Early If Possible

Many parents are inclined to wait when it comes to putting braces on their kid’s teeth, but this isn’t always the right decision. In fact, some orthodontic experts say that younger patients can be more cooperative than teenagers when it comes to braces. Since older kids are more likely to feel self-conscious about their appearance or go through rebellious phases, starting braces at a younger age could produce better results. Parents should discuss the details with their orthodontist before making a final decision.

Encourage and Reward Oral Hygiene

Consistent brushing and flossing habits are important for improving dental health through braces. The installed equipment can make brushing a bit more difficult, so parents should help their kids develop a specific routine that covers all surface areas. Turning oral hygiene into a fun or rewarding experience can help reinforce positive behavior. Young kids may enjoy a decorative tooth brush or brushing their teeth alongside their parents each night as part of their bed time routine.

Easing the Dietary Transition

One of the toughest life changes that comes with braces is the dietary restrictions. Braces can be damaged by brittle foods, like pizza crust, raw vegetables and tough bread. Kids with braces also have to avoid foods with a gummy consistency, including caramel, taffy and other chewy candy. Parents should find suitable snacks and desserts to replace any favorite foods that are prohibited by the new braces.

Consider Alignment Alternatives

A comprehensive and professional orthodontic facility, like Dr Peter Vaughan Specialist Orthodontist, offers alternative alignment therapies for those who want to avoid classic braces. While these measures are typically less effective, treatments using invisible aligners or functional appliances can also produce lasting results. The viability of these treatments depends on specific individual needs, so parents should consult with an expert when considering alternatives to braces.

Settling into braces isn’t always a smooth transition, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful or challenging experience. Parents should educate themselves and inform their kid ahead of time so they feel like they are part of the process. The key to success is to maintain good oral hygiene and focus on the long-term goal of a full, healthy smile.

Image Credit: Pexels

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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