Tips to Prepare Your Child for Braces

It’s hard to imagine a better gift to give to your child than a bright, attractive smile. Traditional metal braces can correct tooth misalignment, but the process requires your child to actively clean the metal wires and attachments throughout the treatment process. For some parents, constant reminders to brush after eating or to avoid certain foods can become tiresome.  

During your orthodontic consultation, Dr. David Markham, an experienced children’s orthodontist, will describe the steps needed to maintain and clean the braces. If you are planning to have your child undergo orthodontic treatments at our Sacramento, CA office, these helpful tips can ensure that your child is prepared to maintain his or her new braces.

Tips for Preparing Your Child for Braces

It is important to discuss metal braces before your child undergoes treatment at our clinic. Emphasizing how important these braces are can instill a sense of responsibility in your child. After all, not every family can afford orthodontic treatments. A sense of gratitude and excitement can help ensure that your child has a positive attitude before, during, and after the cosmetic treatment.

Your child may be anxious, or he or she may have questions for Dr. Markham. Have your child write down questions to bring to his or her consultation. Make a point to sit down and help your kiddo draft good questions, such as:

  • What do braces feel like?
  • Do they hurt?
  • How long will I wear them?

You can purchase interdental brushes, electric toothbrushes, and other oral hygiene supplies before your child has metal braces placed. Children often get excited when there is a special project to buy supplies for. Let him or her choose which color or brand they will use. A sense of ownership over good oral hygiene habits will ensure that they comply with Dr. Markham’s directions throughout the treatment process.

More Tips on How to Encourage Good Dental Habits Throughout the Treatment Process

Many of these tips came from actual parents through a blog by OralB.

  • Remind children of consequences: If your child chews on objects or engages in other habits that lead to snapping wires or loosened brackets, remind him or her that the braces may need to be worn for a longer period of time. If this is a recurring problem, please let Dr. Markham know as well.
  • Teach responsibility: For teenagers and older children with a source of income, tie costs into lost or damaged attachments and retainers. For teenagers, some parents have found success in addressing lost retainers with cost sharing for the replacements.
  • Set a to-do list: Purchase a small dry-erase board and set it on the mirror in their bathroom. Tell your child to check off a small box each time he or she completes a thorough brushing and cleaning.
  • Remind your child about check-ups: Dr. Markham or one of our staff will ask your child if he or she has been carefully cleaning their new braces. Let your child know a week in advance that the check-up and questions about oral hygiene habits are only days away.  

Give Your Child the Gift of a Beautiful Smile!

Making sure your child’s teeth stay clean can prevent decay and cavities while ensuring that their smile is camera-ready as soon as the braces come off. Dr. Markham welcomes new patients. Contact us at (916) 924-8970 or visit our Sacramento, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham.