‘Mummy, I want braces’ is actually a more frequently uttered phrase than you may think – what’s ‘cool’ in school never necessarily correlates to what’s practical! However, it’s also common for those children who need braces to fear the prospect. After all, there was a point when braces were seen as a ‘geeky’ accessory. Children who haven’t yet experienced the reality of braces may form a fantasy that couldn’t be further away from the real deal! So if your child needs braces, how can you help to prepare them?
As with almost anything, ignorance breeds fear. So the first thing to do when you learn your child needs braces is to normalise the idea in their mind. If you have had orthodontic treatment, if any friends or family have or have had braces, now is the time to arrange a discussion. Just one short conversation with a loved one where the child is reassured that ‘they too had braces – and it was fine!’ can go an extremely long way to removing any nerves about impending orthodontic treatment. Similarly, finding a favourite celebrity or fictional character with braces may have the same effect – simply put, your child needs to know that they are not alone.
The next step is to make sure that your child understands exactly why their braces are needed. Your orthodontist can explain in child-friendly terms just how the braces will work. Whether it’s the angle of the teeth or the spaces in between that need addressing, your child needs to know why their braces are needed and what effect it will have. It is much easier to accept a change when you understand the reasoning behind it.
Finally, build on this by getting your child excited about the change that’s coming! Looking at, for example, traditional Disney characters, means that it isn’t hard to zoom in on a perfect smile and assure your child that they too will end up like one of their heroes!
If you’d like any further advice, please do give us a call today on 01183 913661.