Braces have become a trademark of growing up, and have come a long way from the “nerdy” stereotype. But there is great care that will need to happen before, during, and after treatments, and a few things you may want to explain to your child before they go in to get braces.
Braces Make You Sore
While your child may be getting excited about choosing the colors for their braces (as they should!) it is important to remind them that they may feel a little sore for the first week. Let them know this is because their teeth are moving so that they can have a superhero smile. Ask your doctor for recommended children’s pain relievers to keep on hand.
It Can Take a Few Weeks to Get Used to
Even after the soreness fades (which we promise it will) it can be difficult having that extra millimeter of surface between your child’s gums and their teeth. Using dental wax to cover the brackets will help ease this transition.
How to Handle Sports
Basketball, football, hockey, soccer, and other contact sports can provide potential risks for jamming a brace against gums. Packing on some wax before a game may do the trick, but mouth guards usually are the best option.
No more Candies, gum, or ice
This is the hardest part of braces for a kid! Chewy and hard candies, along with crunching on ice are just too much for braces, and will get stuck, damage the brace, or cause tooth discoloration over time. This is a tough one for kids to follow, so offering alternatives might be the best way to handle it. Can’t have candy? Go out for ice cream. Maybe even encourage your kids to keep a small braces kit on hand, just in case.
Braces mean minor lifestyle changes for kids, but it is always worth it in the end when they finally get their braces removed, and see their superhero smile for the first time. Keep appointments regular, and those braces will be off before you can say up, up, and away.