As a parent, your role in your child’s orthodontic treatment far exceeds driving them to appointments (although that’s important, too!). Parents play an integral role in making sure treatment goes smoothly because you see your kid every day, whereas an orthodontist only checks in and makes adjustments every so often. We have little control over how your child cares for their teeth and braces when they leave the office—that’s where you come in!
Encourage and reward good habits.
Maintaining good oral hygiene with braces is incredibly important! However, brushing and flossing around wires and brackets can be difficult, which can deter some kids from doing it at all. Be sure to be working with your child throughout treatment to make sure they are doing a good job keeping their teeth clean. This can mean anything from little reminders to tracking brushing and flossing on a chart, to rewarding good habits with a treat!
Have an active role in the diet changes.
Braces mean your child may have to give up a few of their favorite snacks. Sometimes, this is the biggest complaint kids have about getting braces! Foods that are especially sticky or crunchy, such as hard or sticky candy and popcorn, are a no-go with braces. Along with discouraging your child from eating foods that could harm their braces, avoid keeping them in the house or eating them in front of your child so they don’t feel tempted or like they are missing out. This will make it much easier for them to forgo those foods during orthodontic treatment!
Help cultivate a relationship between child and orthodontist.
A good relationship with your orthodontist is a key component of successful orthodontic treatment. It can make a huge difference in two-way communication throughout the treatment process. A positive relationship can also alleviate some anxiety or unwillingness your child may be feeling towards braces or even just coming into the office for appointments—which will make things easier for everyone! Make sure you position your orthodontist as part of your “team” in achieving a beautiful smile and encourage your child to speak up if they have problems or concerns. We want them to feel like they have a stake in the treatment and that we value what they have to say…it’s their smile, after all!
If it seems important to you, it will become important to them.
This goes for all of the points above! If you prioritize your child’s good oral health, eating habits, and positive relationship with the orthodontist, they will start to, too. We want your child’s orthodontic treatment to be a positive experience for both you and them, and you can have a hand in making that a reality.
If you have questions or your child is in need of orthodontic treatment, visit our website or give us a call at 916-620-8757