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Make Braces Fun For Your Child. 6 Tips For Parents

June 10, 2024

June 10, 2024

Get ready to smile because orthodontics, also known as braces, aren’t what they used to be. If your child is at the age where they are ready for these dental appliances for a beautiful smile, here’s how you can help with this transition and make braces fun. “Studies have found that Black children are less likely to have regular dental visits compared to white children,” and their orthodontal needs are often overlooked.

Braces are also expensive and can be cost-prohibitive for Black parents when braces are not included in dental insurance policies. Even with insurance, many families have a difficult time affording braces for their children. Orthodontists even offer payment plans like Care Credit to finance your child’s new smile.

Braces for kids on successful black parenting magazine

#1 Document The Journey For Braces Fun

Help your child see the difference the braces will make by taking before photos and documenting the process to the end. Create a “Braces” photo album on your phone and document the day the braces are put on, throughout and then the last day when they are removed, create a slide show as part of the celebration. 

#2 Evaluations Are Necessary

Dental Evaluation

The first step before getting braces is to have a basic dental evaluation. This is usually not much fun but now is the time to encourage your child to create a journal about the process. 

At this time, the dentist will make sure that your child’s teeth are cleaned professionally and that there are no cavities present. If so, they will be filled before having your orthodontic evaluation. 

Orthodontic Evaluation

The second step will be to have an orthodontic evaluation. The orthodontist will let you know if your child needs any teeth removed to reduce the crowding of the teeth so the teeth can move into the proper position.

Dental Work

After having all the necessary dental work, the process will begin with making a mold of your child’s mouth before the braces are applied. If you are getting invisible braces, like Invisalign, they will then be made to fit your child’s mouth.

#3 Modern Options For Aligners

Metal Braces

If you opt for the metal braces, often the process of straightening the child’s teeth will be faster but these aren’t the bulky metal braces of the past. Metal braces can be a fun option because of the colorful bands that most orthodontists offer. Children can request a fun new color at every visit and show off their personalities. 

Invisible Braces

Clear aligners are a great option for youth who do not want to wear traditional metal braces. They will wear different versions of the clear braces as their teeth shift into the desired position. Options like Invisalign will snap on and look like their natural teeth. There will be an adjustment period of learning how to talk properly with them. 

#4 Orthodontic Orders

Your child will have to follow instructions from the orthodontist when they receive their braces. Not following instructions will prolong the time they will need to wear them. Be sure they brush and floss regularly. Flossing with metal appliances can be tricky. Use dental brushes instead of string floss. Reward your child for each milestone with their braces to make what can feel like a long process more bearable. 

#5 Celebrate Smile Day

The last day of wearing braces is a time for rejoicing because your child will have a beautiful smile after some time. Be sure to get another professional dental cleaning once the braces are removed. Straight teeth and a radiant smile boost a child’s self-confidence and come with a great sense of accomplishment. Your child will likely continue their journey with a removable or permanent retainer.

Take professional photos as part of the celebration of finishing the process of wearing braces. Frame the photos as a reminder for your child of how far they have come.

#6 Life After Braces

Retainers can come in cool colors or clear. Ask your orthodontist about the options. Another tip is to wear the retainer at night and to keep it in the same place.

Removable retainers require care and responsibility. Avoid temporarily storing it in a napkin because that is the most common way people lose retainers by accidentally throwing it away. Keep the retainers clean by using cleaning tablets that dissolve in water.

Use a white retainer case which allows you to easily monitor any mold that might grow in the case. Retainers should be rinsed daily and cleaned deeply at least once a week. Show your child how to do this properly.

Finally, making braces fun begins with documenting the journey from the beginning to the end. Allowing your child to choose color bands for their metal braces and rewarding them for following instructions can make braces more exciting. Explore the options with your child to get the most out of their orthodontic treatment.

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