For a lot of people, braces are enough to make a child tremble in fear. While it has become a standard orthodontic treatment, you still have a lot of myths surrounding it. You want to work with your child and work with the orthodontist. If you frame a visit with the right perspective, you can make them want to go through with it. Tell them about the positives like a beautiful straight smile for years after.
Help! It Hurts! It Hurts!
One of the most common concerns that both mothers and children have is that this orthodontic treatment will cause a lot of pain. Many times, your child has even heard urban legends that getting braces will cause a lot of pain. The reality, however, is a little different. Orthodontic treatment does not equate to twisting or wrenching the teeth until they have agreed to submit. In fact, orthodontic equipment uses gentle but consistent pressure that realigns the teeth over time. While that pressure might cause tender gums that ache after the first adjustment, that discomfort will be minor and leave soon after. Sometimes orthodontists will prescribe over-the-counter pain medication or a numbing ointment to make the person feel more at ease.
Courage to Face the Unknown
Your average person fears situations where she has no control, or she does not understand what is taking place. While orthodontic offices can intimidate a young child, you can help the situation if you tell the orthodontist about the fears of your child. That gives them time to explain what will happen, and they can also talk about the equipment and how it will be used. Most orthodontic practitioners have dealt with a fearful child before, so they understand how to make them feel at ease. It is similar to the dentist where you get a lollipop after visiting. If your child does not even want to visit the office, you can ask the staff if they have a video or book that your child can watch in advance. This adds more familiarity with the process and less fear as a result.
Worried About Embarrassment
Especially teens will feel sensitive to the issue of how they look in front of the other kids. You can explain to your child that they have nothing to feel ashamed of because they are bettering themselves and improving their health. In the past, you may have had a real reason to feel embarrassed of having an orthodontic procedure. Past appliances were big and clunky and drew a lot of unwanted attention to you. Nowadays, the technology has come a long way. You can point out that your child probably has several other classmates who will need an orthodontic procedure. If they fear being bullied, you can tell them that it is jealousy, and they have no reason to feel embarrassed.
A More Stylish Approach
A lot of children have actually turned their orthodontia into a proud focal point. For example, bright colored brackets and rubber bands coordinate with their outfits to give them the courage to stand out. You also have several options that are invisible, such as Invisalign.
Oh No! Food is Caught
This common fear about orthodontic treatment is a largely irrational one. Your child will get food stuck in their orthodontia, this is no more likely than having food stuck between their teeth. When teeth are misaligned, it can put your child at a greater risk for periodontal disease. To reduce the chances, you can tell them to drink more water to wash away these wandering bits of food.
Treatment: A Long Time
Good orthodontic treatment does take time. That’s true. It can take between one to two years, depending on your child’s teeth, but here is something that puts it all into perspective. A year of treatment doesn’t even hold a candle to having more than 60 years of a winner’s smile. If you have a younger child, he or she will often feel more at ease if you stay close by. You could even ask your orthodontist if you could stay in the treatment room. Giving them a small stuff animal has sometimes helped to make the procedure go better. You could also schedule something fun after like going to the beach or seeing a movie. Your child will dread their orthodontic appointment less if they have something that they can look forward to after.
Talk to a Friend with Orthodontia
One of the sure-fire ways to put your child’s mind at ease involves getting them to speak with a friend who also has them. This can also help to eliminate their fear of bullying because it gives them a friend who can explain what will happen. In many cases, this will lower the fear even more than having a parent explain it.
How to Prepare
Clean gnashers before having orthodontia is a must. This is because the orthodontic practitioner will usually need to cement the braces. Because of that, most orthodontists recommend that your child has a professional cleaning a few days in advance. That ensures that the cement will hold the brackets to the teeth. The brackets will be placed around the teeth, then rubber bands and wires will be secured. In general, the setup procedure takes between one to two hours, and no pain should be felt during it.
Be sure to tell your child that she might feel some sensitivity in her teeth a few days after, which common. However, as said before, pain medication can dull the pain. Most orthodontists recommend that your child eats soft foods for the first week. With orthodontia, it is of the utmost importance that you schedule regular checkups to make sure that the teeth are realigning correctly. In addition, proper oral hygiene is important to encourage the best results and prevent the need for future treatment.
Courage to Overcome Your Fear of Having Braces