For a teen, getting braces can seem like the end of the world, but they’re important for giving your teen a healthy, beautiful smile into adulthood. Besides reassuring them that their life’s not over, there are some steps you can take to help your child cope with wearing braces.
It used to be that braces were a big metal mess in a teen’s mouth. Today, there are other alternatives that you can research. They now make braces with clear brackets and bands so they’re less visible. They even make “invisible” braces that are simply plastic pieces that fit over your child’s teeth. Instead of your dentist doing painful adjustments, they simply replace the “braces” every six weeks. If you do a little research you may find that your child doesn’t need the pain and humiliation that often comes from wearing traditional braces.
Help your teen focus on the long term benefits of braces. Many young adults tend to focus on the here and now. They don’t tend to see the long term benefits that braces give them. If they start to focus on how braces are going to ruin their life now, help them see that having straight teeth is more beneficial in the future. If need be, have them bring you their favorite magazine and point out people’s mouths. While it’s unlikely that anyone in there will be wearing braces, you probably wont find many with crooked teeth either.
Another problem you may have to help your child with is the physical pain of braces. While the pain can range from mild discomfort to more severe pain, it generally only lasts an hour or two after adjustments. Be sure to give them pain killers on their way to the orthodontist’s office. You should also try to schedule their appointments near the end of the school day. This way they can go home instead of sitting in class being uncomfortable.
Braces can also prevent your child from playing an instrument or participating in sports. Be sure to check with your orthodontist for options. Many times they can give you different equipment or provide an attachment to help your child perform normal activities.
You may not be able to keep your teen from wearing braces, but you can take steps to make them more comfortable.