Parents: How to Help Your Teen Cope with Getting Braces

For most teenagers, getting braces can often feel like the end of the world. Let’s face it – braces are not attractive, and in school they’re often seen as something that only the ‘weird kids’ get. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth – braces might not look that great when they’re on, but once they’re off they’ll reveal a stunning, perfect smile that is definitely worth the wait. Not only that, but with more and more kids getting braces in order to ensure a gorgeous and healthy smile into adulthood, they’re definitely becoming the norm. If your child needs braces and isn’t too impressed by the whole idea, here’s how you can help them out.

Research Alternatives

If your teen is worried about having big metal wires in their mouth, there’s no need for them to feel that way. In fact, alternatives to braces have become so far advanced that in some cases, there is no need for anyone to even know that you have them! Invisible braces, removable clear retainers, and even braces that are fitted at the back rather than the front of the teeth are all available from many orthodontists. If it’s looks that your teen is worried about, researching alternatives to traditional ‘nerdy’ braces could be a good idea.

Keeping Teeth Clean

No matter which type of braces you and your teen decide is best for them, one of the most important things that they need to learn is how to keep their teeth clean and healthy with a brace on. As if getting food stuck between teeth wasn’t bad enough, teens wearing braces have a lot more places in their mouth to try and dislodge food from in between. But, don’t worry – a good orthodontist, such as Dr. Shellinick at his Walnut Creek Orthodontist surgery will be able to show your teen all the best tips and tricks to help keep their mouth clean and fresh. Be prepared to buy a range of new oral care products for them, such as an electric toothbrush which is better for getting to hard-to-reach places and mouthwash which can help to dislodge food that’s stuck between the tooth and the brace.

Anxiety and Pain

For many teens, having braces fitted is the first major dental procedure that they will undergo. Although having the actual braces fitted is not usually painful, there are a range of things that it will entail such as possibly having a tooth extracted if the mouth is overcrowded and having impressions taken of the teeth which can be uncomfortable. Once the braces are on, it can be painful for the first few days and each time that they are tightened as the teeth are forced into a straight position. Making sure that your teen is fully prepared for this can help them to deal with it better, especially if they’ve only ever been to the dentist for basic check-ups in the past.

Does your teen have braces? Or, did you have braces as a teen? Tell us your story in the comments.

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