Braces are an important investment in your child’s future, but it’s also important for your child to invest in their braces. Taking proper care of their braces or other orthodontic appliances is paramount for them to get the most out of their orthodontic treatment. Here are a few ideas to help you prepare your child for braces.

1. Provide Food and Snacks That Meet Their Dietary Restrictions

It can be tough for your child to adjust to their orthodontist’s dietary recommendations, but it’s important to help protect their new braces from damage and keep them easy to clean. Eating foods that are sticky, hard, chewy could result in pieces getting stuck in their braces. Eating foods that they have to bite into may even pull a wire loose, which may require them to return to the orthodontist early for a repair. Some ideas of foods to avoid may include bagels, licorice, carmel, taffy, gum, popcorn, nuts, candy, corn on the cob, or whole fruit and veggies, like apples or carrots.

One of the best ways to prepare your child for braces is to make their choice an easy one by making food available that is within their restrictions. You can also help by cutting corn off the cob or by slicing their apple or other fruit into bite sized pieces so that they can still enjoy these foods as well as follow their orthodontist’s dietary recommendations.

2. Help with their discomfort

Your child’s new braces might feel bulky at first and the edges can feel uncomfortable until their mouth grows accustomed to them. It can take some time to get used to the way braces feel and look, but many patients report getting used to them. They may even forget about them after a while. You can help make the transition an easier one by making sure they have access to easy to eat healthy foods, especially in their first week with new braces.

Some ways their orthodontist may help could include providing wax to cover the edges of their braces or suggesting mild pain relievers to help with the discomfort. One of the ways you can help your child prepare for their braces is by asking them how they are feeling, encouraging them and helping them learn how to use the wax or implement other helpful suggestions their orthodontist provides.

3. Help With Their New Cleaning Routine

It can be a bit of a learning curve to learn how to clean teeth around braces. Making sure your child has the tools they need and offering to help them learn how to use them properly can also help prepare your child for braces. Flossing can be especially difficult because traditional flosses that they may have used before can shred on the edges of the braces or be difficult to thread underneath the appliance and between their teeth. Remember, you’re both learning, so be patient with your child and yourself!

It may be helpful to ask your orthodontist for suggestions for flossing tools that might make things easier like interdental brushes, threaders or specialty floss that includes a built in threader and soft extra cushy section of floss designed specifically for braces and other dental appliances.

Call our Roswell, Artesia or Ruidoso dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.