How to Prepare Your Teen for Braces

A common orthodontic treatment for children, teenagers, and adults is braces. These appliances correct various orthodontic problems, including misaligned and crooked teeth. They also improve smiles, rectify crowded teeth and jaw problems, and make oral hygiene, eating, and speaking easier. 

Our experienced team at Fresh Dental Care, with five locations in Houston, Texas, offers the following insights and tips for preparing your teen for braces.

Explain the benefits of braces

Your teen is probably concerned about how they will look wearing braces or if the process hurts. Help them understand the long-term benefits of braces, such as improved teeth alignment and a boost in self-confidence.

Discuss the possibility of some discomfort

While braces aren’t painful, many teens experience some discomfort while their braces are tightened. It’s normal to feel soreness and tightness as the teeth begin to move into place, but you can reassure your teen there are many options for managing discomfort, like over-the-counter pain relievers, rinsing with warm salt water, or placing orthodontic wax on any brackets irritating their gums or cheeks.

Explain the importance of oral hygiene

Our team at Fresh Dental Care prepares your teen by explaining the importance of maintaining optimal oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment. We also teach them how to clean around each bracket and under the wires. You can help at home with gentle reminders to brush and floss daily.

Discuss diet modifications

You already encourage your teen to eat a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks and drinks, but there are foods they must avoid while wearing braces. Because sticky foods can pull braces off teeth, your teen must avoid sticky candies and gum until their braces are removed. Hard foods that can damage the braces should also be avoided.

Ensure they understand the treatment duration

Braces are not an overnight fix. Our team helps prepare your teen by ensuring they understand how long they need to wear braces to achieve their smile goals. They need to also understand they may require a retaining device after the braces are removed or that they might need a second phase of braces to complete their treatment.

You can help by reminding your teen that the end goal is worth the effort! Offer encouragement and support whenever they feel frustrated or discouraged while wearing braces.

Preparing your teen for braces involves educating them about the benefits, addressing discomfort, and ensuring they understand the treatment process and duration. If you suspect your teen needs braces, call our experienced orthodontic team at Fresh Dental Care or schedule an appointment online today.

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