Helping Your Teen Manage Their New Braces

As a parent, you go through just about every struggle with your child. You could say that you're their partner in life. So, guess what? When your child gets braces, they are going to look to you to help them adapt to the new change. Make sure you're up to the challenge to keep your child happy and most importantly, healthy.

Don't Minimize Their Feelings

During the teenage years, appearance is often very important. Children in this age range want to look like their peers and not stand out. In their minds, braces often go against this idea. If your child is having issues or complaining about their appearance with braces, don't minimize their feelings.

This doesn't mean that you should validate their worries, but you should hear them out. See where they're coming from so that you can calm their fears and let them know they look great now and will only look better later. Sometimes simply being able to express yourself is enough.

Shop Smart

As the primary food shopper in the home, make sure you are a smart shopper. Temptation is a real thing that affects everyone, including teenagers. Since there are several food selections that should be avoided while wearing braces, you may only be asking for trouble should you stock the pantry with these items.

When grocery shopping, avoid hard rolls like bagels, popcorn, caramels, nuts, and candy. These selections will easily get lodged inside their brackets. This won't just be uncomfortable, but it can also be hard to remove these items, which only increase their risk for decay. If your child has a dental issue, not only will they look to you to help nurse them back to good health, but you will also have to pay for any necessary treatment (so keep this in mind).

Be A Student

Teenagers are mature, but as you're aware, they still look to their parents for a great deal of information and guidance. When it comes to caring for their braces, make sure you are being a student. At each visit with the orthodontist, make sure you are asking questions about anything you don't understand. It's also a great idea to do some research on your own.

In the event your child has a question you will more likely be able to answer it for them and in the event your child is engaging in an unsafe practice, such as keeping their retainers in when eating, you can more easily recognize the problem and correct it.

Although your child is the one wearing braces, you are both in this together. Make sure you're ready to do your part. 

For more information on choosing an orthodontist in your area, check out a company like Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics.