Tips to Help Your Child Get Ready for Braces
If you have a child or teen who thinks braces are cute and can’t wait to have them put on, you’re in the minority. For the most part, younger patients tend to dread undergoing orthodontic therapy because they fear braces will make them look different or because they’ve heard horror stories from peers about how much braces hurt. You can help your child feel better about wearing braces by creating an understanding environment and helping them manage fears and expectations. Dr. David Alpan, a Los Angeles and Century City orthodontist with extensive experience placing braces and other orthodontics on patients of all ages, offers a few tips to help you help your child.
1. Explore Your Options
“Getting braces” doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will need large metal braces and headgear. At Alpan Orthodontics of Los Angeles, we offer a range of discreet orthodontic solutions, including mini metal braces, Damon system self-ligating braces, Incognito hidden braces, and Invisalign Teen. While the type of braces your child needs will depend on several factors including age and the severity of his or her case, knowing that different options exist can help parents and children feel more at ease.
2. Putting Things in Perspective
From a purely biological standpoint, your child does not have the fully developed pre-frontal cortex that allows you, as an adult, to think ahead and understand consequences. Whereas you recognize that braces are temporary and will provide a number of long-term benefits, your child can only see the immediate situation. Talk to your child regularly about how great their smile will look at the end of treatment. Keep a count-down calendar marked with milestones that your child can check off throughout treatment.
3. Make it a Team Effort
Orthodontic therapy for children and teens is, by necessity, a coordinated effort between the patient, the parents, and the orthodontist and his or her staff. Encourage your child to become a more active participant on that team by encouraging them to ask the orthodontist questions and allowing them to make decisions regarding treatment (for instance, choosing the color of ligature ties). At Alpan Orthodontics, we have a very friendly staff and we get a real kick out of interacting with our younger patients.
4. Stock Up on Comfort Items
Unfortunately, wearing braces usually involves some amount of discomfort. Always have plenty of the following on hand:
- Over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as Tylenol
- Orthodontic wax
- Anbesol or another topical anesthetic
- A selection of softer, braces-friendly treats such as chicken noodle soup, frozen yogurt, and ingredients for making smoothies. In addition, you and your child can research and prepare recipes for meals that accommodate your child’s new smile.
Children’s Braces with Your Las Vegas Orthodontist
At Aesthetic Orthodontics, we enjoy helping our younger patients receive a healthier, more beautiful smile. Schedule a free consultation with orthodontist Dr. David Alpan by calling (213) 382-8228 for our Los Angeles office or (310) 888-0066 for our Century City office. Our practice proudly provides state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment for children, teens, and adults in the zip codes of 90057, 90067 and surrounding communities.