How Can I Talk With My Kids About Getting Braces?

13 June, 2017 Dental Anxiety,

Adolescence and the early teenage years are the perfect time to correct any dental issues like crooked teeth, over-bites, and other common problems. When your Barrie orthodontist has recommended that one of the kids be fitted with braces, it’s time to have the talk. Since braces can be a sensitive subject, it pays to know how to sit down and have a frank discussion. Here are some tips that will help.

Using the Direct Approach

You may be tempted to start a conversation and gradually steer the discussion toward the subject of braces. Kids will see right through this approach and wonder what terrible thing you are about to tell them. A better method is to sit down for a talk and be direct. From the very beginning, tell your kid that the dental professional has recommended braces that will be worn for a period of time and correct whatever dental issue is present.

Being direct means there is no time for suspense or for your child’s imagination to come up with all sorts of possible scenarios about what’s wrong. Once the topic is out there, the two of you can get into the specifics of the conversation quickly.

Listening to Your Child’s Fears

Braces are not exactly something most kids look forward to wearing. Part of the issue is how the braces will be received by other kids. During adolescence and well into the teen years, peer pressure is a serious matter. Your kid may be concerned that the braces will put off the other kids and all the invitations to social activities will dry up. Along with apprehension about what friends will say and think, there may also be some concerns about pain.

Take your kid’s fears seriously. Acknowledge that there will likely be some joking around at first, but the other kids at school will tire of the fun soon enough and things will be back to normal. When it comes to pain, mention there is more than one type of braces. Many of the designs today are much more comfortable than older types. Promise to explore all the options together and come up with one that seems like the best solution overall.

Talking with the Dental Professional

It never hurts to schedule an appointment for the family dentist in Barrie to sit down with you and your child. Talking with a professional who has worked with all sorts of braces and understands which types would correct the dental problem will make it easier for your kid to feel part of the solution. Depending on the type of issue present, it may be possible to wear a retainer at night or go with braces that are tinted to match the teeth or fit mainly behind the teeth.

Ultimately, you want your child to understand that the investment in braces right now will mean a beautiful smile and healthier teeth in the years to come. Between your efforts and those of an expert in general dentistry, it is possible to address any concerns your child has, provide answers that are factual and helpful, and make wearing the braces a lot easier.