Many kids throughout the world must accept the fact that at some point, they will need braces for their teeth if they want a perfect smile. While the end result is desirable, the process of getting there is something that not too many kids will look forward to undertaking. Although orthodontist visits are far less painful they are sometimes hyped to be, it still can be a big psychological hump for kids to get over. After all, they have to prepare themselves for not only the actual application of the braces but also the regular visits thereafter for maintenance. Since braces are usually in place for a couple of years on the average, kids realize that they will be making many visits to their orthodontic professional, and that can be somewhat daunting.
As a parent, helping your kids come to terms with all that goes along with braces is something that will improve their peace of mind. The ulterior motive, of course, is that having a kid who doesn’t flip out every time an orthodontist appointment is on the horizon can make an adult’s life a lot easier as well. The first step is finding a reliable orthodontist, one who is up to date on the latest techniques and has a friendly, professional manner that puts kids’ minds at ease. You can then help in that process with some parental strategies of your own.
1. Don’t Lie
Many parents try to do an end-run around their kids’ concerns about braces by lying to them, telling them that it’s a totally painless and comfortable procedure. When kids find out differently, it could cause them to really fear the process. Your best bet is to be upfront and honest with them about what is going to transpire on each visit and over the long term.
2. Make a Day of It
Kids will be less-inclined to dread the orthodontist’s office if there is something positive waiting at the end of it. Maybe make a habit of taking your child to lunch at the end of each visit. Or plan other activities in the wake of a trip for braces maintenance. Your kids might even eagerly anticipate their next visit.
3. Accept Your Child’s Reaction
Some kids are going to be nervous about a visit to get their teeth worked on no matter what you do. Instead of fighting them on this or trying to change their reaction, you are better off just accepting it and trying to provide whatever comfort and support you can. Kids need to go through their own process, and even within a single family, different children are likely to have different reactions. Let your child dictate to you by their actions how you should respond in helping them through the orthodontist process.
You might get lucky and have a kid who doesn’t sweat the regular visits to get their braces adjusted. But, if not, using the methods can go a long way to helping them out.