How to talk to your child about braces.
Let’s talk about braces. For most parents, bringing up orthodontic care at the dinner table isn’t exactly an easy task. That conversation can be difficult to navigate. Braces help straighten out teeth, but your child may not see it that way. The challenge for most parents lies in motivating their kids to see the big picture of orthodontic treatment: getting a straight smile. Below, we’ve laid out a few tips and conversation points that will help get your child excited about gearing up for a straight smile.
Calm their fears.
The concept of braces can be uncomfortable for kids. This idea of placing metal on and around teeth to straighten them out over a period of time doesn’t exactly sound relaxing. But, parents can communicate the need for treatment in a positive way addressing any concerns their child may have in an open discussion. This includes setting expectations early on. People function better when they have a sense of predictability attached to the decisions they make. Explaining braces to your pre-teen or teen is no exception. Here are a few things to keep in mind during that discussion:
Getting braces put on doesn’t hurt. The actual process of getting brackets put on and the wire attached is painless. Yet, there is typically some soreness following that appointment. It’s best to be honest with your child about the process to ensure that expectations are managed from the start. If you or your child have questions about what exactly happens during that first appointment, you can read all about that here.
They don’t last forever. A common fear, especially in teens, is that braces will take forever to do their job. Parents should be sure to address the fact that receiving orthodontic treatment doesn’t take as long as their child believes it does. In fact, if you need help talking details about how long braces usually take, we wrote a blog post about that.
They’re not the only one. Over 4 million people in the U.S. wear braces, and 25% of that number consists of adults. Kids in their elementary or adolescent years can be all-too focused on image and popularity. So, when they hear the word braces they think about their peers judging them. The truth is, getting braces is something to celebrate and is more common than many people believe.
Tackling any fears your child may have before making that first visit to the orthodontist’s office is important. If you need further assistance in that conversation, we’d be happy to help during your free consultation.
Emphasize the benefits.
Braces are a temporary tool that help create a lasting asset. One of the best ways to get your child on board with orthodontic care is to talk about the long-term benefits of a straight smile. For kids with crooked teeth, an overbite or spacing issues, life with a strong and confident smile can seem quite attractive. Parents should capitalize on that to get their child excited about treatment. A few things to focus on include:
Elevated self-image. A strong smile can boost your mood and give you the confidence you need to approach social situations and milestone moments, such as high school graduation.
Higher earning potential. An attractive smile can increase a person’s chances for success well beyond their adolescent years. That smile is an advantage – one that can increase the amount of money you make in your career.
Improved health. Believe it or not, straight teeth can improve your health. Properly aligned teeth easily break down food, allowing the digestive system to function the way it needs to. It can also prevent excessive plaque build-up which is often caused by misaligned teeth.
Colored bands. Who doesn’t love a splash of color? Talking about colored bands for braces (that are changeable throughout treatment) can be an easy way to get your child excited about getting braces.
A straight smile is a lasting asset that yields benefits for a lifetime. Braces just happen to be the temporary tool that helps make that happen.
Where Do We Go From Here…
Now that you’ve had the talk, we’d like to meet you! During your free consultation, our doctors will spend time answering any further questions you or your child have about orthodontic treatment. We’ll even go over several affordable payment options andfinancing plans to ensure that you feel comfortable pursuing treatment. Choose from our four convenient locations around Alabama including Trussville, Alabaster, Hoover and Greystone and schedule your free consultation today. We want everyone to have the smile they deserve. That’s why our team will walk with you and your child through treatment starting at the very beginning.
Schedule your first visit today and Smile More with Birmingham Orthodontics.
At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple: we create smiles. Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we brighten yearbooks, and instill confidence. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning drives us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve. Contact us for a free consultation, or with any questions you might have.« Back to Blog