You took your child to the dentist and found out that he needs braces. At first, children may be excited about orthodontic treatment. They’ll look forward to straighter teeth, and they’ll wear their next show and tell project to school. When the big day arrives, however, nervousness and anxiety can take the front seat. Dr. Markham and our team love children, and we’re here to help you make children’s orthodontics treatment positive, from the first appointment to the last. Meet Mischel, one of our patients who felt butterflies before her first clinical appointment for braces.
In today’s post, we’re going to cover the emotional aspect of childhood braces, rather than the technical points. We want to equip you, the parent, to help make the overall experience as wonderful as possible. Our team will always be available, by phone, email, or in person, to answer your questions and help you help your child make orthodontic treatment positive.
Prepping for the Consultation
Knowledge is power, and school-aged kiddos are usually eager to know the facts. Talk with your child about what will occur during the application appointment. Explain length of treatment and the fun aspects, like wearing elastic o-rings in their school colors and using a special toothbrush to clean between the wires and teeth. Most children are also happy to learn that they might miss a few hours of school to attend checkups with Dr. Markham. Take your child to the supermarket to stock up on braces-friendly foods, then clear out popcorn, caramel, and other sticky foods from your pantries together.
Keeping Spirits High
Braces may be worn for up to two years at a time, though treatment plans vary. Some children need phase two orthodontics, meaning they’ll wear braces again during the early teen years. To help your kiddo remember to practice good oral hygiene habits, let him select his own toothpaste and mouthwash. Using a brushing chart, posted in the bathroom or on the refrigerator, can also help with compliance. One way to boost positivity is to implement an incentive system. Non-food prizes, like movie tickets, trips to a favorite pool or park, and cash for toys are best.
Be sure that your child understands he should tell you when he notices a loose bracket, poking wire, or lodged food in his teeth or braces. Your support and help in these situations are important. Our team will teach you and your child how to use dental wax, an interdental toothbrush, and how to floss around brackets and wires. We cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining a clean mouth while wearing braces.
Eye on the Prize
What will your family do to celebrate the big day when the braces are finally removed? If possible, coordinate the date of the last visit to fall just before a vacation, family photo session, or other exciting event. Then, you can explain that the event is in honor of your child’s treatment completion.
Are you looking for a children’s orthodontist?
You’ve found a great one, here at Markham Orthodontics. Give us a call at the Sacramento-area location nearest you, either Auburn, Natomas, or Gold River, and schedule your child’s consultation today. We’ll make ortho treatment positive and fun for your family.