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5 tips to prepare your child for braces by Dr. Nick Reynolds, Northeast Orthodontics If your child is about to start orthodontic treatment, chances are they’ll have a lot of questions. What will braces feel like? Will they hurt? Will they still be able to eat their favorite foods? What will their friends say? It’s important both you and your child go into the treatment journey calm and confident. Here are five tips to help you prepare your child for getting braces, and put them at ease about the process.

1. Discuss treatment options with your child

There are plenty of options out there when it comes to orthodontic treatment, but it’s best to talk to your orthodontist about the most suitable options and treatment plan for your child. Usually metal braces are the best option for children and teens. As well as being reliable, they’re also a costeffective way to straighten your child’s teeth, and your child can customize them with different colors. Having an open discussion with your child about why they need braces and what it will achieve. Do some research together and encourage them to ask the orthodontist questions about the treatment plan and why it’s the best option for them.

2. Talk through what they can expect before their braces are fitted

It’s perfectly normal for children to feel nervous about having braces fitted. You can ease some of their nerves by letting them know that fitting metal braces is a very straightforward procedure. The small brackets are glued to their teeth and then connected with a thin wire before colorful elastic o-rings are placed over the top (if they want). They’ll need to come back for appointments with the orthodontist to have the wire adjusted, which will gradually straighten their teeth.

3. Stock up on soft foods

While having braces fitted shouldn’t be painful in itself, the light pressure the braces put on your child’s teeth might cause them some mild discomfort for the first couple of days. Soft foods like rice, pasta, ice cream, yoghurt or mashed potato, and liquid meals like soup will help to keep their energy up without having to chew too hard during the initial settling in period. Chilled foods also have the added benefit of soothing sore mouths, especially if the bracket starts to rub, so make sure your fridge is wellstocked!

4. Have plenty of orthodontic wax on hand

While your child gets used to their braces, the brackets might irritate or cause sores on the

inside of their mouth. Orthodontic wax (also known as ‘braces wax’ or ‘dental wax’) is an easy way to make your child’s braces more comfortable. Simply roll it in your fingertips to soften it, and then press it onto the part of the bracket that’s causing the problem. The wax will form a protective layer that stops the bracket from rubbing. As well as keeping it on hand around the house, it’s a good idea to give your child their own supply.

5. Focus on the benefits of braces

with you every step of the way to make sure that your orthodontic care is as comfortable, convenient, and rewarding as possible.

While a year or two might not seem a long time to adults, for a kid it can seem like forever. Gentle reminders that wearing braces is a temporary measure can help to build your child’s confidence. If your child is frustrated by the amount of time they’ll need to wear their braces, let them know that braces are meant to be a permanent fix, not a quick one. The main thing is that they know it’ll all be worth it in the long run, when they have straight teeth and a confident smile!

Dr. Nick Reynolds

“Since as long as I can remember, it’s been my goal to pursue a career in which I can work with my hands, help someone everyday, be artistic, strive for perfection, and provide for my community. Orthodontics is the perfect marriage of all those things. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else! My goal at Northeast Orthodontics is to provide the children and adults of St. Petersburg with handsome and beautiful smiles while providing first class service, state of the art care, and a friendly atmosphere.”

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For more guidance on helping your child navigate their orthodontic journey ahead, visit us at Northeast Orthodontics where we will work

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• Develop social and emotional skills • Build language and communication skills Pinellas County Schools Pre-K 3 and VPK • Explore math and science • Discover the joy of Nurturing programs where children: learning • Develop social and emotional skills • Build language and communication skills • Explore math and science • Discover the joy of learning

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34 • May 2018

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Gulf Coast Family - May 2018  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...

Gulf Coast Family - May 2018  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...