When your child gets youth braces or teen braces, they’re the ones living with the hardware on their teeth. As the parent, however, you’re watching them learn how to adjust to their new “accessories” and may not know how to help them when they’re struggling. It is possible for you to help your child adjust to their dental braces.
1. Be patient.
There is a lot going on once dental braces are in place, both physically and mentally. Your kid might be frustrated, quiet, or sharp. They may be temporarily depressed, anxious, or angry. Your child is adjusting to the feeling of braces, figuring out how to brush in a new way, and dealing with the reality that they must live with food restrictions.
In the middle of all this, your teen is experiencing discomfort from the pressure braces exert on their mouth and the scraping and poking the braces can inflict on the cheeks and lips. Simply be patient with your child and try not to take their attitude too personally as he or she gets used to their braces. After all, you’d be cranky too if someone told you that you couldn’t eat your favorite foods anymore.
2. Put yourself in their place.
It’s been a long time since you were a teen but try to remember. Teens are easily embarrassed and self-conscious. Braces multiply those feelings. Their entire appearance is altered (unless they’re wearing Invisalign Teen), and they’re simply trying to learn how to live in their own skin, let alone adding a bunch of hardware to their mouth.
Even if you’ve never worn braces yourself, you can still empathize with your child’s plight and discomfort. Imagine how your life would change if you had brackets and wires on your teeth, even tooth-colored ones.
3. Educate yourself.
Your Lawrenceville orthodontist has guided you and your child on their orthodontic journey thus far, providing as much information as possible and tips for adjusting. You can enhance your knowledge by educating yourself about braces even more – how they work, tips for easing the discomfort, the best foods to serve, the feelings your teen might be experiencing.
Educating yourself also arms you with information and facts so you can confidently reassure your child when they have worries, answer their questions, and know what’s ahead.
4. Be accommodating with meals.
Your braces-wearing teen has a new diet now. You want them to get the nutrition they need, but you’re limited in the proteins, vegetables, fruits, and grains you can provide. Sure, it can be a pain to revamp your household menu, but try to always have something on the table that your child can eat easily without worrying too much about their braces. And try not to nosh on the things they love but are temporarily restricted from eating (at least don’t eat it in front of them anyway!).
5. Be proactive.
Make sure you help your young braces-wearer when they need help. A broken bracket or wire or anything else that goes wrong with braces can be painful. Get them to their Lawrenceville orthodontist as soon as possible so they don’t have to suffer needlessly, and so their braces don’t suffer further damage.
Get your teen on the right path to an excellent orthodontic journey. Contact Dr. Roberts and de Marsche at Lawrenceville Orthodontics in Lawrenceville, NJ, to schedule your appointment.