Your child is about to embark on a new adventure. But are they ready? Probably not. Mom and Dad, it’s up to you to prepare them for the first chapter of their forever smile story. Help them get ready with these seven tips:
1. Get answers. Do your homework and have answers ready for questions like: Why do I have to get braces? Do braces hurt? How long will I have to wear them? Also, check the American Association of Orthodontics website for a list of questions and answers about your child’s first visit here.
2. Boost the benefits of braces. Let your child know that braces are only for a season, but the rewards last a lifetime. Assure them it will be worth it, especially when they’re able to flash their new smile on Instagram or Snapchat.
3. Snap a selfie. Take a picture of your child before braces and during treatment. You and your child will enjoy remembering their smile journey before, during and after braces.
4. Celebrate “B-day.” We don’t mean “birthday,” we mean “braces day!” This is a special day for your child. Start it with their favorite breakfast. Make sure they clean their teeth thoroughly prior to their visit. Minimize stress by playing their favorite music on their way to the orthodontist. Make a playlist for them to listen to during their appointment.
5. Stock up on soft foods. Give your child a heads up. They may be sore for a few days, but they still needs to eat. Fill your fridge with soft edibles like rice, soup, pasta, mashed potatoes, yogurt and ice cream. Plus, let them know they will have to adjust their diet during treatment.
6. Wax on, wax off. Braces sometimes rub against cheeks or gums and cause irritation. Orthodontic wax, also called braces or dental wax, can help soothe sore spots. Have your child roll a small amount of wax between their fingertips, dry the area of irritation and press it onto the bracket that’s causing the problem.
7. Talk about mouth guards. For parents of athletes, make sure you discuss mouth guards with your orthodontist. Mouth guards provide the best protection against mouth injuries for a child who wears braces and is active in sports.
Ready. Set. Grin! Your child’s smile journey is about to begin!