Nowadays, braces have become almost a rite of passage for kids. If you are a parent, chances are pretty high that you will see at least one child in those familiar and endearing wires and brackets! This journey won’t be easy for your child, but it is much easier with your support. Here are some ways to support your child after they get braces.
Help Them Work on Their Self-Esteem
Even though braces are extremely common, some kids might feel a bit self-conscious about them. The most important thing you can do to combat this is to never tease your child about how they look in their braces. You may know it is all in good fun, but your teasing could cause an insecure child to worry even more about how they look and what their friends will think. You can build up their confidence by praising them. Let them know how attractive they are regardless of what they have on their mouth, and reassure them that braces today are hardly even noticeable. Remind them that most of their friends will have braces at some point. And help them keep the end goal in mind.
Make Them Foods They Can Eat
No kid likes to be the odd man out when everyone else is eating food that they can’t eat, especially if it is something they love. For now, keep the most tempting, forbidden foods out of the house. It isn’t fair if the entire family is indulging in English toffee or saltwater taffy while your braces wearer looks on in dismay. Kids need soft foods like mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs after getting braces. For dessert, try ice cream, pudding, or jello. Some forbidden foods are fine as long as they are broken into bite-sized pieces. For example, you can cut the kernels off the cob when having corn on the cob.
Help With Pain Management
The week or so after your child gets their braces on will be a bit rough for them. As the teeth move, they can really ache. Additionally, it takes some time for your child’s inner cheeks to adjust to the protruding wires and brackets. Hot or cold packs and over-the-counter pain medication can soothe the achiness, while saltwater rinses and orthodontic wax can help with any sores that develop.
As your child navigates the world of braces, your loving support will mean everything to them. They need to feel both your empathy and your optimism. You can also help your child see that braces really aren’t that bad. Just like with everything else, you will get through it together!
Check out this article on how to speed up the treatment process with braces!