9 Ways to Help Your Kids Wear Braces with Pride
If you wore braces as a child, you know how difficult it can be for kids to become accustomed to the idea. Braces are often associated with pain and restrictions when it comes to eating and drinking. However, there are plenty of ways to help your kids become excited about wearing braces. Check out these nine ways to help your kids wear braces with pride.
1. Encourage the Creativity of Bands
Modern braces are much different from those of the past. One of the most fun parts for children is getting to choose the colors of their bands. The bands are rubber bands which go on the brackets and help cushion the smile. At an orthodontist like Bordentown Braces, we offer dozens of colors which allows kids to express themselves.
Kids can choose a new color each time, or they can customize and make a pattern depending on the holidays, school colors, or even significant events in their lives. This gives them a sense of control and something to look forward to when orthodontist appointments come up.
2. Show Them They’re Not Alone
One of the most common reasons kids become nervous about braces is the fear they will be different or ostracized for having to get orthodontics. Showing your kids they are not alone will go a long way to helping them become confident and less self-conscious about braces.
It’s time to pull out the family photos.
If your child has braces, you or your partner most likely had them as well. So might grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Bring out the photos and show your kids that other members of the family also had to wear them, and take this opportunity to tell them how unique and cool it is.
3. Start a New Tradition
Orthodontic appointments are almost never fun for kids, so this is a great time to start a new tradition. They might not look forward to having their wires tightened, but if you make it a special occasion, it can become a treat.
For example, take your child out to ice cream after the appointment, or take them to lunch before. Maybe make it so they don’t have to school during appointment days. This gives the braces a positive association and can make it easier to get your kid in the car during orthodontic appointments.
4. Play Up the Progress
Small milestones can be the cause for big celebrations. If your child starts to notice progress, play up how significant it is. Remind them that time will pass quickly, and even encourage them to take pictures so they have photo evidence of how much change occurs over time.
At the end of the orthodontic treatment, you can make a progress video of their smile and watch it with them.
5. Celebrate Changes
It’s important to keep your child excited about their braces, and one of the best ways to do this is by celebrating changes and milestones. Just as its important to play up the progress, you should also celebrate when a major change occurs.
Are two teeth no longer overlapping? Time for a small celebration like going out for ice cream or maybe visiting the grandparents.
Is your child better able to close their mouth because the teeth have shifted? Time to have an at-home photoshoot and show off all of that progress.
Small events can make a major difference in a child’s life and help them feel more confident with their smiles.
6. Keep a Countdown
When you’re a kid, months and years can seem like a long time. As adults, time passes with the blink of an eye. If your child is struggling with how long they have to wear braces, keep a countdown so they can see how much time has passed. This puts the length of orthodontic treatment in perspective, and you can even celebrate major milestones to make the time pass more quickly.
7. Emphasize the Uniqueness
Not everyone gets to wear braces. Honestly, they are kind of a big deal!
If your kid is concerned about being ostracized, give the braces a positive spin. It is something unique about them that they can be proud of. They get an additional fashion accessory with colored rubber bands, and will get to have straight teeth and an absolutely gorgeous smile by the end of the process.
8. Embrace the Technology
One thing many children don’t realize is just how far orthodontic technology has come. In the past, it was common for kids to have to wear full headgear and painful palate expanders that made it difficult to close their mouth. Modern braces are small and discrete, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Depending on your kid’s situation, you might be able to choose unique orthodontic options like invisible braces or ones which sit behind the teeth.
Plus, it can be kind of cool to see a 3D version of your smile. Our orthodontist uses a scanner and digital imaging system which can show your child what their smile will look like when treatment is done. This is exciting and can provide a major incentive for your kid to maintain their treatment.
9. Remind Them It’s Not Forever
Even if none of the other methods help your child become comfortable with their orthodontic treatment, it is important to remind them it’s not forever. The majority of patients finish their treatment after 18 to 22 months. Even 36 months is only three years. It might seem like a long time to a kid, but it will be over before they know it.
Kids often bemoan having to get braces, but it is simple to instill pride in your children. Remember to celebrate milestones and emphasize all of the positives of orthodontic treatment so they don’t consider braces to be something negative about their lives. Also remember to seek a great orthodontist in New Egypt, NJ, like Bordentown Braces, which can help build up your kid’s confidence with friendly staff and excellent treatment.