Photo from Luis Quintero via Pexels
Train tracks, metal mouth, brace face – it seems like there are endless nicknames for kids who get braces. Orthodontists estimate about 45% of children need braces to fix functional problems. So, there is a reasonably high chance that your child may fall into that group. If you suspect that your child needs orthodontic work, we have some tips to figure out the best way forward.
Take Out Dental Cover
Braces can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on your child’s treatment. It’s enough to put a significant dent in anyone’s bank account, which is why it’s worth hunting down some affordable dental cover. Your small weekly payment will ensure that you’re covered for major and minor dental expenses.
Look at the inclusions within different packages to see what you and your family might need. You also need to compare the various waiting periods. If your child doesn’t need work done immediately, you may be able to access a more affordable plan. Conversely, if the treatment is urgent, it may be worth paying a slightly higher premium for a package that has no waiting period.
Explore the Options
There are multiple options when it comes to dental treatment. The standard solution to crooked teeth is to use braces with brackets, wires, and rubber bands. Nowadays, braces can be metal, clear plastic, or white ceramics, which are less noticeable than the traditional style. Another option is to go with clear removable braces. Also known as aligners, these plastic trays are changed every two weeks or so to gradually move the teeth into alignment.
Understand the Consequences
You should check with your dentist or orthodontist what the long term consequences are if you don’t take action. Will the issue impact your child’s ability to clean their teeth properly or chew their food? Or is it primarily an aesthetic consideration?
You also need to consider the impact the treatment will have on the child’s jaw, lips, and profile, as your teeth have a significant effect on your facial structure. If you are concerned about the advice the dentist has given you, it is worth doing more research and potentially getting a second opinion.
Talk Through It
It’s natural for your child to feel a bit apprehensive about getting braces. Teenagers can be incredibly self-conscious, so they might be worried about how they will look or whether they will end up with a lisp. They might also be concerned about the pain of having braces fitted and discomfort while wearing them.
Talk through their concerns and try to focus on the positive outcome. You can also reassure them that they can manage any minor discomfort they experience using Paracetamol or Ibuprofen and dental wax to stop the braces rubbing.
Audit the Pantry
Stock up on lots of soft foods as your child’s mouth will likely be sore when they first have their braces fitted and each time that they need to tighten them. Pasta, rice, and mashed potato are ideal.
To remove temptation, clear the pantry of hard foods like rock candy, nuts, and popcorn; chewy foods like gummy bears; and extra sticky foods like bubble gum or lollies. Sugary food and drinks like soda and cake are also best avoided unless they brush their teeth straight afterward.
Remember, the investment will be well worth it when your child is filled with confidence with a mouth full of strong and healthy teeth.