So, you just broke the news to your child that they needs braces, and they’re feeling less than enthusiastic about the whole process. Completely understandable! After all, braces are a pretty big unknown. It’s only natural for kids to feel apprehensive about something new, especially when it has the potential to change what they see when they look in the mirror. At Dillehay Orthodontics, we know how nervous both children and their parents can feel before starting this orthodontic journey. Our goal is to make each of the families we serve feel as comfortable as possible with this process, and with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 5 tips to get your child excited about braces!
Throw a before-braces party.
Braces come with quite a few food limitations, which can sometimes feel like a huge inconvenience to kids. Why not throw a farewell party that will allow your child to say a temporary goodbye to all their favorite treats that aren’t braces friendly? Invite some friends, make a big batch of popcorn, pass out bowls of the crunchiest, chewiest, stickiest candy you can find, and throw some bubblegum into the mix, too. As a party favor you can send everyone home with new toothbrushes, because they’ll definitely need them after all that indulgence!
Braces can be fun!
Or at least they can look fun, even if they may not always feel that way. Depending on the type of braces that your child chooses, or is able to wear, colored bands for their brackets might be an option. They can choose their favorite colors, coordinate with an upcoming holiday, or even show their school spirit with a smile. Allowing them to express their individuality through their colored bands can help take some of the bite out of braces.
Show them they’re not alone.
Did you wear braces? Dig out some old photos and let your child see how normal you looked, in spite of the terrible hair and questionable clothing choices. There’s also a long list of celebrities who have worn or currently wear braces. Seeing how these famous faces achieved their A-list smiles through orthodontic treatment can inspire your kiddo to stick with their own process. Braces have long belonged in the mainstream despite their past reputation, and it can help your tween or teen feel more comfortable with their treatment if they see that it doesn’t have to diminish their “coolness” factor.
Play up their progress.
Get your child excited for their new smile by keeping track of the journey. Take photographs of their treatment progression, from before braces all the way through to their sparkling, straight new smile. Being able to refer back to picture proof of how far they’ve already come can help illustrate to them their continuing improvement, and remind them that the result is absolutely worth the effort!
Start a new tradition.
Any orthodontic treatment requires regular office visits to keep things on track. We’ll be straight with you – it’s probably never going to be something your child looks forward to with excitement and anticipation. But you can give them a reason to dread it a little less by starting a new tradition associated specifically with their braces. Maybe offer your child a treat once they’re through with their orthodontist visits, or plan a trip to the park or a picnic lunch after each appointment. There are lots of fun activities and incentives you can tie in to these regular appointments that will give both you and your child something to look forward to on orthodontist days!
Braces aren’t forever
Every smile responds differently to treatment, so we can’t guarantee the exact amount of time your child will need to be in braces. But we can guarantee it won’t be forever! Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from 6 to 30 months, but most standard treatments average about 22 months, just under two years. While that might sound like a lifetime to a child, it really does pass in the blink of an eye. Remind them that whether it takes one, two, or close to three years, at the end of their journey will be a beautiful, straight smile staring back at them in the mirror!
Braces by Dillehay Orthodontics
Here at Dillehay Orthodontics, we understand the anxiety that can often surround the decision to put your child in braces. Our experienced and talented team is committed to working with you and your family to create a comfortable, stress-free, and rewarding orthodontic experience every time you visit our practice.
Whether you’re a current patient or looking for an orthodontic practice, Dillehay Orthodontics takes pride in providing our patients with the most state-of-the-art treatment techniques and equipment available in orthodontics today. Our greatest goal is to give you the healthy, straight, beautiful smile that you’ve always wanted for you or your child.
Choosing to receive orthodontic care is a big decision, and we will work with you and your family every step of the way to make sure that your orthodontic care is as rewarding as possible. Braces may not be the most popular choice you ever make for your child, but it will certainly be one of the best! If you’re looking for information on braces or Invisalign for children or teens in Wichita, Derby, Arkansas City, or Newton, our friendly orthodontists will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and will provide all the information that you need to determine which treatment is right for your family. Get in touch with our practice today to schedule your initial consultation!