It can be difficult to sit down with your child and tell them they need braces. It’s a big change, and as a parent, you know how scary such a big change can be for your child.
It’s natural for your child to be nervous about embarking on such an important journey. We understand if they aren’t as enthusiastic as we are about the whole process. Even adults can be apprehensive about new things, especially when it involves changing how we look or how we live out day to day lives.
We see orthodontic anxiety often here at Rhoads Orthodontics. We treat a lot of children and teens, and we understand what a big leap this is for them! We put a lot of hard work into helping each patient feel comfortable with their orthodontic treatment, and confident the care our expert team provides. Now we want to help you turn some of that apprehension into excitement at home, so we’ve put together a few of our favorite ideas for getting your child on board with braces treatment! Let’s take a look below.
It’s never fun to be alone
Millions of Americans are wearing or have worn braces before, but the early days of treatment can still feel a little lonely. If you or anyone else in your family ever had braces, show some solidarity by digging out old photos or yearbooks! If you show your child how normal you looked (for the time…) and that you got through it, it can help them feel less like their the only one’s experiencing this, and more like they’re going through a right of passage. You can remind them of all the celebrities who have had braces, too, starting with this list. Knowing those famous faces achieved their red carpet smiles through orthodontic treatment might help convince your tween or teen that it’s all worth it in the end.
It’s a fact that braces come with their fair share of annoying food restrictions. Instead of wallowing about all the things they won’t be able to eat, why not throw everything off-limits a special goodbye party? Go all out with themed decorations, games, and activities. Line up big bowls of popcorn, sticky and crunchy candy, pretzels, chips, and bubblegum, and invite everyone to dig into the foods your child will soon have to avoid.
Don’t forget dental hygiene, though! Throw in some toothbrushes and flavored floss as party favors, too.
Nothing lasts forever
Your child may feel like they’ll have to wear braces forever, whether their treatment ends up lasting years or just a few months. There’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long a child will need braces since every patient responds to treatment in their own way, but the average tends to be around 18-24 months. When your child is first starting braces treatment, that might feel like a lifetime. But never fear, because it will fly buy once they get used to them. Braces quickly become just another part of your child’s daily routine before either of you realize it. Remind them as often as needed that all their hard work will be worth it the second we remove their braces and reveal their beautiful new smile!
The braces of decades past could be pretty awkward, bulky, and not to mention obvious. But the goods news is modern models have improved by leaps and bounds!
The braces of yore could be pretty awkward, bulky, and obvious. Today’s braces are sleek, comfortable, and more customizable than ever before. Depending on the type of braces your child will be in, colored bands for their brackets may be an option. This allows patients to choose their favorite colors, coordinate with holidays, or even show off their school spirit with a smile! Being able to express themselves through colored ties can make treatment feel more like fun and less like a hassle.
Make progress into a party
Come up with a fun way to take photographic progress reports during your child’s orthodontic journey. Start taking pictures right before they have their braces put on, and keep track of their journey by photographing their smile every month or so. If they’re older, they can take a cute selfie. This will help them see how far they’ve come from where they started. Seeing the progress can be encouraging on days when they’re feeling a little impatient. If you or your child are super creative, you can put all the photos together in a timelapse video to share as you celebrate their braces finally coming off when the time comes.
Supporting your family through braces treatment
Choosing to put your child in braces is a big decision, and we understand it can make you both a little anxious. While your child may not thank you in the short term, you can bet they’ll be grateful every time they get a glimpse of their beautiful smile in the future!
Our doctors and talented team at Rhoads Orthodontics are dedicated to providing your family with the most positive and stress-free orthodontic experience we can, from the first appointment to the last. We take pride in staying up-to-date on the latest in orthodontics and braces technology, and combine state-of-the-art techniques and equipment with a variety of treatment options. This allows us to offer the best in individualized orthodontic care to patients of all ages!
If you’re looking for information on orthodontic treatment for your child in Cranberry Township and the surrounding communities, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with us. Your child’s best smile is waiting for them at Rhoads Orthodontics!