As any orthodontist will tell you, braces are the go-to if you want to avoid jaw-related problems and teeth misalignment in the future. But even with these benefits, they still pose some challenges during when they're first put on, especially for children. Here are five tips to consider using to help your child get through those first weeks of wearing braces.
Keep the Bathroom Clean and Organized
A clean bathroom makes for an easy brace-wearing journey, as it generally comes with easier maintenance and oral health care routines. De-clutter your counters and keep them free of any unwanted items, such as used product packages, for starters. Next, organize your drawers with dividers and arrange products into individual caddies based on their usage. Let toothbrushes sit together with the toothpaste to allow for separation from any cleaning products.
In addition to this, implement a cleaning routine and use disinfectants while wiping your counters and the rest of the bathroom. This is crucial to preventing your brushing essentials from coming into contact with three types of water damage that you may be fixing in your bathroom, such as clean water damage, grey water damage, or black water damage. The spaces in your child's braces could harbor harmful bacteria upon contact with toothbrushes stored on contaminated surfaces, making it a health hazard.
Make a Schedule to Ensure Proper Care
Getting braces means switching to a new oral hygiene routine, one that will likely take a toll on even the most organized child. Consider making a schedule to remind your child of their new oral health practices to help with this. Begin by picking out designated brushing times for both morning and night hours based on their sleeping schedule.
Since some braces require softer toothbrushes, make it a point to get new ones with soft thistles. Rather than scrubbing the braces to remove any debris, make it a point to first brush without toothpaste to get rid of the food particles. Next, dedicate at least two minutes to brushing, focusing on details in the wires and brackets. Make it a point to also give your child some company during this time until they feel confident going about it on their own.
Help Relieve Discomfort
Discomfort is an expected part of wearing braces, and the 4 million Americans who wear braces can definitely attest to this. Individuals with braces often experience discomfort during their first days after installation. Relieving it is essential in helping your child ease into wearing braces. It will also go a long way in encouraging them to continue participating in their favorite activities.
When your child experiences pain, help them ease their discomfort with painkillers recommended by your family physician. If the pain persists, consider scheduling an appointment with the orthodontist to check for any underlying issues. You can also stock up on cold snacks such as milkshakes and ice cream to help introduce coldness to help keep down any inflammation.
Keep Braces-Friendly Snacks Handy
Your child will no longer be able to have treats, such as candy and popcorn, making for an even rougher period. To help with this, shop around for braces-friendly snacks. Some of these include ice-cream and yogurt. Warm foods will also come in handy for increased circulation, such as good health-based alternative soups. Manageable snacks also make for braces-friendly treats, like mashed potatoes, pudding, applesauce, and various cut-up fruits.
Listen to Your Child's Concerns
Of the 4 million people in the United States who wear braces, 75% are younger than 18. This means that most braces-wearers are still trying to navigate through their early hurdles of life, from making new friends to finding out where their interests lie. Braces are no fun at this stage, and a majority of children will have objections and concerns during their daily routines.
Listen to your child when they speak up and help them navigate their current needs. Encourage your child to be involved in their typical activities both in and out of school. Don't let their discomfort with their new braces make them feel like they can't enjoy anything. If they are hesitant to join any activities, encourage them to remind them of these interactions' long-term benefits.
If your child has braces, these tips are crucial in ensuring they get an easy transition process. Make it a point to utilize each one to help your child ease through their braces journey.