8 Things Moms Should Know Before Their Child Get Braces

When my oldest son got braces, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't have braces when I was a kid so the whole process was new to me. Now after having three kids in braces and then going through a treatment of Invisalign myself, I feel like an old pro! I'm sharing 8 things that moms should know before their children get braces so that you can feel more prepared. If you had braces yourself, this may be a refresher, and if you didn't, this post will be a huge help for you to be as prepared as you can be.

8 Things Every Mom Should Know Before Their Child Gets Braces

When to Visit the Orthodontist

It may seem young, but the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist no later than the age of seven. Early treatment may not be necessary, but an examination can let you know the perfect time to get started or signs to watch for. Early treatment can correct any issues before they become long term problems and could reduce the time needed in orthodontic treatment later.

Thinking about getting Invisalign as an adult? Here are 15 things you should know!

The Teeth Look Straight...

Even straight teeth still need to be evaluated by an orthodontist. There may be problems with your child's teeth that you can't detect by just looking. Early treatment can help guide proper jaw growth, correct harmful habits, and help guide teeth and shape your child's face.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

Braces aren't cheap! The average cost for metal braces is around $5,000-$7,500. Most orthodontists offices offer payment plans and some offer in-house financing. Our insurance covered a portion of braces, but certainly not all of it. We also used our health savings account to pay for the treatment. We also received a multi-family discount since there were three of us in treatment at the same time. There are options, and your provider can help you find the best way to make this investment.

Keep Braces Teeth Clean

Before getting braces on, schedule a cleaning with your child's dentist. It's best to start orthodontics with a clean surface that is prepped and ready to go. It's also important to find out if your dentist will clean teeth with the child's wires in or if they prefer them out. Our dentist and orthodontist share a parking lot, so it's easy for us to pop into the orthodontist before our dental cleanings to have the wires removed, but it may not be as convenient for everyone. Some kids find that having a waterpick helps them take better care of their teeth. In the years since we've had Sonicare toothbrushes, our kids haven't gotten a single cavity. I think they make a huge difference!

Expect some Discomfort from Braces

Getting braces is going to create some discomfort, especially when your child first gets them on. I always plan soup for dinner and then make sure to pack soft foods for school the first few days after getting braces. Every child handles and tolerates pain differently and some may need some ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Your orthodontist will usually let you know how to treat mild discomfort. If you aren't sure what your child is experiencing is normal, don't hesitate to call the office.

Wax will be Their Friend

Wax can help if a bracket or a wire feels sharp. Ball up a small piece of wax {your orthodontist will have some for you} and have your child place it on the area that is bothering them. It's common to have swollen gums and then bite your lip or inside your mouth as you adjust to braces. Wax can help with some of those sore spots.

Regular Care for braces

Your orthodontist will give you a quick rundown of how to properly care for braces. Make sure you are around to hear the instructions that your orthodontists give to your child, especially if you haven't had braces yourself. Kids will need to brush regularly and food will get stuck in the braces and teeth. They will show them how to floss properly. I think the thing that was most motivating to my kids was showing them pictures of permanent damage done to the teeth when kids didn't brush properly with braces. You will get some kids to brush four times a day, which is what is recommended, and you will be lucky to get some kids to brush once a day. Find a happy medium and try not to nag too much.

Want to know what the best toothbrush and mouthwash is if you have braces? Find out here!

Avoid Some Foods when wearing braces

There are some foods that should be avoided when your child has braces. Use your discretion. Some foods on the no-no list can still be enjoyed, but just enjoyed in moderation and by modifying the way that they are eaten. For instance, my son loves hi-chew candy. They are a sticky hard candy a sort of mix between gum, laffy taffy and Starburst. Instead of biting in on them to chew them like he did before braces, he sucks on them. One of my kids in braces wants me to take the corn off the cob and the other eats the corn on the cob. 
This is certainly not the most exhaustive list but it will get you started. You will face obstacles with treatment if you are dealing with a child that isn't compliant or who lacks responsibility. Braces will have to remain on longer and many children are anxious to be out of treatment as soon as possible so making sure that you are emphasizing how important it is to follow the treatment plan and having an orthodontist who supports you and can get that point across to your children is important. 
Do you have anything you would add to this list? I'm sure other moms would love to hear from your experience. 

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1 comment

Paris1656 said...

When I had braces years ago they removed four perfectly good teeth to make room for the braces. (I had beautiful teeth but they were a little crowded.) If you go to an orthodontist that wants to do that to your child run. You can now eliminate the need for extractions. You want to have a wide beautiful smile. Make sure you ask to see pictures of their work and bring a picture with you of someone with the smile that you want.

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