Sitting down and researching this as a family can be a fun way for your child or teen to feel involved and have some control over the process. Lots of kids are enthusiastic about using colored rubber bands. These are used with metal and porcelain braces to adhere the brackets to the adjustment wire and are changed out at every visit. They can be customized to be as colorful and flamboyant as your child desires. Clear or white bands are also available to create a less obvious “braces” look.
Our state of the art offices provide lots of fun things for your kids including a 25 seat HD movie theater. This can free you up to spend some time with Dr. Taylor going over some of the things that kids may find boring. There are also rewards programs and contests for the kiddos to participate in!
The Adjustment Period
Having braces applied doesn’t hurt. In fact, there’s no need for a numbing shot. They may feel some pressure on their teeth, but that’s about it.
A big part of preparing your child for braces is to go over what to expect during the adjustment period. It may take about a week before they’re comfortable “in their teeth” again. The important thing to remember is that this only lasts about a week.
There may be some mild irritation to the inside of the mouth. This is caused by the hardware rubbing or chafing against the mouth or lips. Fortunately, orthodontic wax (also called dental wax) can solve this problem immediately. All they will need to do is pinch off a piece of wax and place it right over the bracket causing the irritation. The wax will stick. It’s always a good idea to send some extra wax with your child when they leave the house so they’ll always have it when needed. Warm, wet tea bags can also be soothing to sore spots in the mouth.
The teeth may be a little sore in the beginning too. (This also can occur after braces are adjusted each month). Ibuprofen helps a lot but it’s a good idea to have plenty of soft foods on hand. Things like rice, pasta and soup are all good choices while the mouth adapts to braces. Chilled foods such as ice cream or popsicles can be soothing as well.
When preparing your child for braces it’s very important that they understand they may need to change the way they eat some foods. Things like apples, carrots, hard breads, hard crackers, etc., should be cut up before eating rather than biting into them. The reason for this is because taking a bite can cause breakage of the braces on the front teeth. Corn that’s on the cob should be sliced off first as well.
A few types of food should be avoided altogether so as not to cause breakage:
- Hard candies
- Chewy or sticky candy
Your child will also want to avoid foods or drinks that have strong colors such as berries or grape juice. These can permanently stain rubber bands or clear, porcelain braces and wires.
It’s a good idea to avoid or reduce consumption of sugary foods and drinks. Fructose and other forms of sugar can cause cavities and with braces on teeth, there are more nooks and crannies for bacteria to form.
Dr. Taylor is a Board-Certified Orthodontist and the only licensed Invisalign® provider in the valley. He and our staff are committed to making each experience easy, fun, and exceptional! We are happy to help prepare you and your child for braces.
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