Braces are the supports that are worn inside the mouth to fix crooked teeth or the problem of over biting. Whatever the reason, if your dentist has prescribed braces for your child, do not worry. Here, we have created a list of things you should know about braces. We also talk about how to take care of them and will try our best to put your mind at ease before this prevalent dental procedure.
It may give your child a minor lisp
The metal brackets attached to the teeth slightly affect the speech, and you may notice a slight lisp. Children get used to talking with braces very soon and overcome the lisp within a short period.
The procedure is uncomfortable
The application of braces takes time and can be both uncomfortable and painful. Prepare your child to sit still for close to two hours. Do not sugarcoat the process to your child and smartly use words that will relax his/her mind before the appointment.
Braces feel uncomfortable for the first few months
Braces feel like there is something stuck in your teeth. In the first weeks, it will feel very uncomfortable and may also cause pain. Children get used to the weird feeling in a few weeks and then behave as nothing happened. You can help your child with flossing threaders or a water flosser to quicken and ease the process.
Flossing becomes even more complicated
Flossing is not the most straightforward procedure to clean your teeth. With braces, it will become even more complicated because the food will get stuck between braces and teeth, and your child will have to remove it before bed.
Tightening the braces is an essential process to align the teeth. The frequency of tightening varies from person to person, but when that happens, the mouth hurts. Your child will experience pain because his/her teeth are being pushed in a neat line. This pain is not extreme and subsides after the first few days of tightening.
Teeth will appear different in the first month itself
Braces start working almost immediately, and you will start seeing a change in your child’s teeth in the first month itself. Keeping it for the whole prescribed time will yield the expected results.
Learn more about orthodontic wax
Since your child now has metal in the mouth, he/she will need some protection from chaffing and abrasions. Kids take time to adjust to braces and learn new mouth movements to avoid injury. Talk to your dentist about orthodontic wax that can be applied to the brackets. Do remember that this wax has to be removed before eating.
Your child may experience setbacks
Your child’s treatment may not work as expected, and your doctor may have to change the course or may have to add a few more months to the treatment plan. Setbacks are part and parcel of the process, and you should not worry if something like that happens. Your dentist is the best person to judge your child’s progress and make corrections as and when needed.
Learn to make smoothies
Smoothies are easy to gulp down and provide nutrition to the body in the initial days when eating might be painful or uncomfortable. Learn to make different types of smoothies using protein powder, delicious flavors, fruits, and yogurt. Milkshakes are also a good option.
It is worth it
All the pain and discomfort your child is experiencing is worth it. Have patience, comfort your child, and pass the time. Braces have been proven to be effective and give the desired results after the treatment is over. Your child will have that million-dollar smile after all.
How to Take Care of Braces
Braces are a complicated affair and need proper care, or things can go south more quickly than you can imagine. Following is how you can take care of your child’s braces and also teach them how they can care for their braces.
- Brushing and flossing are essential
Braces make the job of cleaning the mouth very difficult, but it has to be done. Invest in a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste for your child and encourage them to brush atleast twice a day and more if they have eaten something that is stuck in their braces.
- Fork and knife are a must
Braces make it almost impossible to take a bit out of a fruit or other food items. Hard foods can even damage the wires and brackets. Teach your child to eat little bites of food without sinking their front teeth in the food item.
- Eating chocolate will be better
Kids love candies and chewing on gums, but they do not go well with braces. You will have to break this news to them, but then there’s a right side to it. Children with braces can conveniently eat chocolates (of course, in a limit) because it is soft and melts in the mouth without many efforts.
- Dentist visits are a must
Routine cleaning and check-ups by your dentist are a must. Your orthodontist will only check your child’s braces from time to time; you have to visit your dentist to ensure that the teeth, as well as braces, stay fit during the treatment.
Pediatric dentistry and orthodontics are tricky because of the age of the patients. You will need to choose your child’s dentist as well as orthodontist after thorough research because they have to be the best out there. After all, can you afford your child’s braces treatment to go wrong?