Helping Your Child Get Comfortable With Their Braces
Getting braces for your child can be a little stressful – and that goes for both the child and the parents. For a pre-teen or a teen, wearing braces can seem like a huge cramp on their style, while parents tend to worry about how their kids will cope – both emotionally and physically – with wearing them.
It’s important to have a conversation with your child about how the braces will your give your child a healthy, beautiful smile. And luckily, today there are many different types of braces – from traditional metal ones with fun coloured elastics, clear braces and in the right circumstances even Invisalign may be an option.
The purpose of braces is to move and adjust the teeth to their rightful position and improve the functionality of the bite, so some discomfort is par for the course.
Here are a few ways to help your child cope with the discomfort.
- Serve your child soft foods that don’t require much chewing: soups, puddings, mashed potatoes, soft noodles and as a bonus for kids, ice cream also tops this list!
- Dental wax that is provided in your patient take home kit works well as a barrier between the brackets and the inside of the mouth to stop the mouth from getting irritated. If sore spots develop have your child dry the area that’s causing the irritation, break off a small piece of wax and then place it on the brackets where they are experiencing discomfort. The wax will usually fall off on it’s own when it gets wet or when your child eats or brushes their teeth. In this case just replace as needed.
- Products like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce the swelling and ease the pain. Ask your doctor what pain medication will be best for your child.
Your child will likely experience the most discomfort during the first few days of wearing braces, and although it should lessen a bit later on, there may be some tenderness after adjustment appointments. With time and as your child notices amazing results from the braces the benefits become more apparent and far outweigh any discomfort they may experience.