Helping Kids Take Care of Their Braces
Getting braces is a common part of growing up in Abbotsford for many kids and young teens. Orthodontists estimate that as much as 45% of all kids require braces for common issues such as an overbite or crowded teeth. The proportion of children who require orthodontic treatment becomes as high as 75% when you include not so obvious problems, such as a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.
But despite how increasingly common braces are, children of course can be stubborn and find them frustrating, leading to difficulty in cleaning and oral-hygiene maintenance. Parents understandably want all the help they can get, especially since your children’s smiles are of the utmost importance.
The orthodontic team at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford has compiled these tips for braces so parents can help their kids adjust to life with braces and teach kids good skills for orthodontic care.
When Should My Kid Get Braces?
A standard age for getting braces is 10-14. For most children, adult teeth have come in by then and because the jaw is still growing, conditions are favourable for teeth straightening.
However, once baby teeth begin to fall out before the age of 10, check with an orthodontist, because even if adult teeth look like they are coming in straight, there can be crowding issues or overbites/underbites that might be hard to see. Early diagnoses is important for saving time and money!
How to Help My Kid Survive Braces
Many children are self-conscious about braces. They feel uncomfortable and hesitate to smile. Try to encourage them to smile as much as possible. Show old photos of yourself when you had braces to give them an idea of before/after results. Emphasize to them that the end results will be worth it.
Having braces is also a great opportunity to teach kids responsibility. Learning self-discipline over avoiding gum, popcorn and hard candy, as well as what can happen if you lose a retainer, can become easy since there are direct consequences to actions that kids can see and feel first-hand. Explaining these things to them often helps young children learn to better take care of their braces too!
Tips to Help Kids Clean Their Braces
Sometimes, the basics are the best place to start. Making sure your kids brush at least three times a day and ideally after every meal is a great way to help them care for their braces.
Save the flossing for night-time when both parent and child have the time to do it meticulously; this is also a great opportunity to help teach the kids some important lessons for oral hygiene. Nobody wants to be late for school!
For stubborn kids, you and your orthodontist can explain that lacklustre cleaning will simply lead to having the braces on for an even longer period of time. This is a great tip to help your kids start cleaning their braces regularly.
Maintenance Tips for Braces
Some children require rubber bands as part of their braces treatment. A handy tip is to make sure your kids always carry backup rubber bands with them in case the bands break or they need to be replaced in a jiffy.
If the bands are causing any pain for your child with braces—don’t worry, the pain will go away, especially since after more usage, the bands will gradually help to mitigate pain caused by hooks attached to brackets.
If the brackets or wires ever become loose or broken, make sure to see your orthodontist as soon as you can. In the meantime, if anything is protruding and rubbing up against your child’s gums, you can reduce the pain and irritation with wax or wet cotton.
Braces for Kids at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford
Clayburn Dental Office offers full orthodontic services in addition to our regular dental services to all of our family patients in Abbotsford.
Having an orthodontist on site means your dentist can easily recommend to you any potential orthodontic treatment while your child is being checked-up. We will always work with you to explain procedures, provide comprehensive and transparent quotes and develop custom plans for each one of your kids so you can feel as comfortable as possible in getting braces for your children.
Call us today at 604-852-8487 or request an appointment online to learn how we can help with our child’s dental health.