Your child is ready to start the year strong with their new clothes, backpack, folders, and one other thing – braces! Here are some tips to help them, and you, get through the year while they’re in orthodontic treatment.
Get them the supplies they’ll need
There’s more to having braces than just the braces. Your child will need some other supplies and tools to help them keep their teeth clean and braces comfortable. Here’s a list of what they’ll need:
- Dental wax
- Travel toothbrush and toothpaste
- Floss and/or proxy brushes
- Extra rubber bands (if needed)
- Aligner/retainer case (if needed)
- Over-the-counter pain reliever
- Reusable straw
Dental wax is very helpful when the wires are poking against your child’s gums, which can be painful. Having a toothbrush and toothpaste on hand at school as well as floss or proxy brushes will help your child clean out anything stuck in their braces after lunch. If your child’s treatment plan requires rubber bands, extras are a must in case any break. Having a few over-the-counter pain relievers to ease any soreness is an option as well. A reusable straw is handy for drinks, especially for patients with rubber bands or aligners, and helps the environment!
Schedule regular appointments
Depending on your child’s treatment plan and progress seen at each appointment, we will want to check in with your child about once a month. When you do make those follow-up appointments, work with the receptionist to schedule them with some regularity.
For example, always schedule them on Thursdays or always at 11 AM. This way, you can try to schedule office visits on days and times that avoid any other important events like sports practices. It also helps your child (and yourself) remember when the next appointment is if there is a regular cadence to it.
Be there for them
This can be a tough time for kids and teenagers. They may feel insecure or embarrassed about having braces or worried they’ll be bullied. Let them know that while their feelings are understandable, they are not alone. There is no doubt many of their classmates will have braces too, so their braces won’t stand out. If you had braces when you were younger as well, share your experience with them.