Many children who have braces look forward to the experience of having straighter teeth. However, very few enjoy the journey that takes them to their new smile. Using braces can sometimes feel painful and awkward, which means your child may need a little help from you during their treatment. Here are some ways you can help your teenager or pre-teen with their braces experience.
The first few days and weeks of having braces can feel painful. Your child's soft tissues aren't used to having a new implement in their mouth. As such, while they adjust they're likely to experience some abrasions. This period can feel very frustrating for them and so you'll need to be on hand to help them soothe their pain. Everyday analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can prove useful. If necessary, speak to their orthodontist or dentist about rotating between the two for maximum coverage. You can also try ice to help bring down the swelling. Remember, they may experience some tooth pain following adjustment sessions too.
Promoting Good Habits
Encourage your child to engage in good habits that keep their teeth exceptionally clean during their treatment period. Their orthodontist may recommend specialist brushes and flosses that can reduce the risk of staining. Those same good habits are essential for limiting the possibility of oral conditions such as gum disease. During this time, you may also want to discourage them from eating foods that are too hard or those that stain too much. While their diet shouldn't be too strict, you should focus on one that is conducive to keeping their braces and teeth in excellent condition.
Having braces in place requires a fair amount of upkeep and commitment. Your child will need to attend regular appointments, and the frequency of those appointments can vary according to the treatment they're having. They may also find that they need their braces in for longer than expected, which can feel frustrating when they were looking forward to having them out. Some children also need post-treatment retainers. Throughout their journey, make sure you encourage them and remind them of what the end goal is. Depending on their age, you may also want to nudge them towards taking more responsibility for their treatment. By using consistent encouragement you'll help ensure that their treatment is successful and that they enjoy a dazzling smile that they'll feel proud of for years to come.