It’s very common to see braces in children as young as 12 years old and in teens. These dental devices are designed to correct issues like teeth that are rotated, out of place, crowded or misaligned, as well as bite problems.
Dentists advise parents to take their children for examinations and screenings as early as seven years of age so that possible and existing dental issues can be addressed in the next few years. When treated early on, there is a better chance of reducing the length of time required to wear the braces.
Of course, this means that a child has to wear braces during their adolescent years — that time in their life when they are just beginning to become self-conscious about the way they look and how their bodies are undergoing changes. Aside from being considerably uncomfortable to wear, braces can also significantly affect a child’s appearance, so it’s understandable that some children will have reservations about wearing braces.
Parents can do their part in helping their children become more comfortable with wearing their braces. A Corona orthodontist shares a few helpful tips for making this experience much more positive for kids:
Carefully explain what the braces are designed to do. Children will be more accepting of their need to wear braces if they understand how much these devices will help improve their teeth. This way, they won’t feel like they are being unnecessarily forced to wear them, or think that wearing braces has no point.
Do research on older friends, relatives, or famous personalities that they are very familiar with who used to wear braces when they were younger, and show before and after photos. It helps when a child sees visual proof of other individuals who have gone through the same treatment before and now have beautiful, straight and problem-free teeth. This allows them to visualize the great results and motivates them to follow their orthodontist’s advice carefully to keep the treatment period from extending.
Make every visit to the orthodontist as pleasant or as fun as possible. Children may not be very excited to get their braces checked or adjusted because of physical discomforts. You can make these trips something to look forward to by taking them to see a movie, getting them a little toy or book they like, or treating them to their favorite brace-safe food and drinks.
Ask the orthodontist if personalizing their braces, for a better look, is possible. The orthodontist may encourage your child to choose their preferred color for their dental appliance, or he may use less noticeable wires so the child’s appearance may not be as greatly affected. This can help boost the child’s confidence and enthusiasm over wearing braces.