The earlier you get alignment issues corrected, the better. Unfortunately, as many parents know from experience, convincing your child that getting braces is not the end of the world is a real challenge. Kids worry that braces will hurt, that they will get teased, that they will have to give up sweets or have metal on their teeth for the rest of their lives. Here are a few tips to help you convince them it’s time:
Throw a Party
Children’s braces do require some sacrifice. Often kids have to give up or at least limit their consumption of their favorite sweet and salty treats. Before the braces go on, have a party that is all about gum, caramel, taffy, nuts, and other foods they will have to go without. And promise to have another party once the braces come off. Lots of kids get so wrapped up in the idea of a candy party that they forget all about the braces.
Make a Timeline
A few months can seem like an eternity to a kid. Try to emphasize that the braces will come off quicker than they expect, and then they will have a great looking smile for the rest of their lives. Using a calendar to make your point can help.
Enlist a Celebrity
Kids are understandably worried that they will get teased for wearing braces. This is especially an issue with adolescents. You can help diffuse some of the worry by pointing out that lots of celebrities once wore braces, and now they are famous for their Hollywood looks and stunning smiles. A few examples include Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, and Miley Cyrus. Take a look at some other famous faces with braces.
Give Them Options
Lots of kids think that braces are gigantic masses of metal that are fused to your teeth. And while that may have once been true about children’s braces, it’s not the case anymore. Today’s braces come in lots of different styles, and kids have a lot of choice over the way they look and feel. Make them part of the selection process and they will feel less like it’s something being forced on them.
Scare Them Straight
If you are at a total loss, consider showing your kid pictures of crooked, misaligned teeth. The simple fact is that no one wants to have an ugly smile, and braces fix some of the largest and most common alignment issues. Children’s braces may not be exciting, but they are always better than the alternative.
MyOrthodontist has been making braces easy on both parents and kids for years. We can tell you when and if your child needs braces, and then get them on and off quickly and affordably. Contact us to explore your options further.