New braces can be a big adjustment for kids and teens, not to mention a big investment for parents. The path can be sometimes challenging, but with the right support and encouragement, it is possible for kids to beautifully adjust to new braces. Find out how you can help your child navigate a new set of rules and responsibilities to minimize stress and maximize treatment success.
Why Dietary and Cleaning Instructions for New Braces Matter
When your child’s braces are applied, their orthodontist will provide a list of instructions, both dietary and cleaning related. While it can seem overly restrictive at first blush, it’s important these instructions are followed carefully in order for the outcome to be successful. The entire goal of orthodontics is to navigate the process for a healthier, straighter smile at the finish line, and getting there can sometimes be challenging. Still, it’s vital for parents and caregivers to take particularly the dietary instructions to heart. Being mindful of your child’s braces when packing lunches or preparing family meals is a very important part of supporting the process, because this adjustment is often one of the most difficult for kids with new braces.
Depending on your child’s age, you may need to take a more active role in their cleaning routine until they adjust to the changes. Before braces, tooth brushing was simple and straightforward. After braces, new, specially designed brushes to get between wires and around brackets are introduced to the equation and it can be overwhelming. Older kids and teens aren’t likely to let you take a hands-on role in cleaning, but it’s important to supervise as much as possible until good cleaning habits are more established.
The Emotional Adjustment to New Braces
It’s no secret braces are often physically uncomfortable and a bit more frustrating to clean than teeth before braces. What can often be overlooked is the emotional discomfort of life with new braces. Teasing from peers and classmates, frustration over new changes that come with orthodontia and missing the ease of eating their favorite, now-forbidden foods can all coalesce into pretty big feelings. You know orthodontia is far more likely to be successful when kids are compliant with care guidelines, and you know a frustrated tween or teen is less likely to be compliant with anything.
Broad Street Braces understands that orthodontia can be a tough adjustment and is here to help support kids and parents alike through the journey. Call or contact us today to schedule an appointment for more compassionate, patient-centered orthodontics.