Choose a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child's Smile

« Back to Home

Tips To Help Your Child With Adjusting To Braces

Posted on

For some tweens and teens, the idea of wearing braces is an anxiety-inducing experience. However, the experience is far different than your child might expect. If your child is getting braces, here are some steps you can take before and after to help him or her adjust to wearing the braces. 

Time the Installation for the Summer

The first few weeks of wearing the braces can be awkward. Your child can experience some discomfort and teeth sensitivity in the first few days. Your child might also feel self-conscious about wearing the braces in front of others. Braces can cause some slurring of speech that can make talking challenging. As your child becomes used to the braces, this fades, but it can take days or even weeks. 

To give your child the opportunity needed to adjust to the braces, consider having them installed during the summer. The summer break away from school means that your child has a chance to get used to the braces without having to interact with classmates and teachers. He or she can practice talking with family members and close friends so that he or she is prepared to interact with classmates and teachers by the time the summer break is over. 

Tell Your Child To Be Prepared for Discomfort

Although the dentist will exercise care in installing the braces, your child can still experience some discomfort and soreness. To help your child cope with this, encourage them to concentrate on soft foods for the first few days. Foods, such as scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes, can be filling and easier to eat. 

If your child does experience discomfort, it can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. You can also place orthodontic wax on the brackets and wires to help with soreness. 

In addition to these measures, distracting your child from the discomfort can also work. Play games, go to a movie, or take on another fun project to keep your child from focusing on his or her braces. 

Pack a To-Go Bag

Foods can easily get trapped in your child's braces and potentially lead to embarrassment. Not to mention your child can have some mild discomfort when the braces are periodically adjusted. 

To ensure that your child is ready to tackle any situation, pack him or her a dental to-go bag. The bag should include the basics, such as a toothbrush, dental floss, and toothpaste. You also need to supply extra rubber bands and wax for the braces. Once school starts, you can pack a bag that can be left there. 

Talk to your child's dentist about other ways that you can help your child with adjusting to his or her braces. The children's dentist can also address any problems that your child is experiencing, such as the discomfort lasting longer than a few days.