When it comes to wearing braces, older children will likely be more responsible at taking adequate care of their teeth, but they will probably feel more self-conscious about their appearance. On the other hand, younger children won't worry about how they look as much, but they will likely struggle with proper oral hygiene habits. Regardless of the age at which your child gets braces, it is crucial that you support them throughout the entire process, from start to finish. Here are three tips for you as a parent.
Address Any Emotional Concerns Your Child Has
Kids are constantly trying to fit in with their friends as well as other kids their age. If your child's peers have braces, chances are they will be thrilled to get braces. However, older children will tend to be resistant to braces—or anything for that matter—that will cause them to look different. If your child is in need of braces, sit down with them and ask them how they feel about it. Take the time to work through any emotional concerns that your child has in an age-appropriate way.
Reinforce Adequate Oral Hygiene Habits
Individuals with braces will need to be particularly vigilant regarding their oral hygiene simply because it is easier for food particles to become trapped in the wires and brackets. Prior to getting braces, it is important that children are accustomed to regular brushing and flossing on their own. Make certain that your child is familiar with adequate brushing techniques. In addition, you should consider investing in a water floss pick since this tool will make it is easier to floss with braces.
Acknowledge the Responsibility That Your Child Is Taking On
Some children enjoy being responsible, particularly smaller children who can tackle small, simple tasks on their own. They enjoy the sense of accomplishment that they feel once they've completed a task. For that reason, it may be possible to talk to your child and get them excited about braces by simply bring up the responsibility that comes with having braces. Believe it or not, children are often more inclined to excel at something when they know that adults trust them with the task. Sit down with your child and discuss what your expectations are in terms of brushing, flossing, rinsing, and attending routine appointments to ensure that you're both on the same page.
For more information, talk to a children's orthodontist in your area.