The tween and teenage years can be some of the most harrowing for both kids and their parents. Hormones, friendship group changes, and the beginning of dating can have a profound effect on the family dynamic. The day when your child receives the news that they are going to get fitted with braces will highlight the precarious balance your home is in like nothing else before it!
Self esteem in kids is a thin thread and is often largely associated with their appearance, so getting braces (or the knowledge that braces are on the horizon) can be enough to create mayhem.
In a recent UK based study (the first of it’s kind) two sets of kids who were candidates for needing braces were surveyed. 60 received braces, and 60 did not. Of the 60 who had braces fitted, 80% felt happier and more confident after their smiles were fixed. 80%! That’s a really great result in a bunch of kids who were going through what is arguably the toughest time in their lives so far. It’s the end goal of a happier, more confident kid that you will need to focus on when they are crying about being teased when their lunch got stuck in their braces at school.
We’ve put together some tips for you to help get you through the rough times ahead!
TIP 1 Make smart decisions on their behalf.
It’s perfectly understandable that your child will want to keep eating Cheetos and Twisties during their time with braces. These are horror foods when it comes to remnants being left in their braces. Try to make these ‘safe for home not for school’ foods.
TIP 2 Give them a star boost.
Let them know that there are lots of stars who have also had braces. Showing iconic people in the braces phase can really help negate the worry. It has the added benefit of giving them a little bit of playground ammunition too! Stars like Mylie Cyrus, Lourdes Leon (Madonna’s daughter), Niall Horan (from boy band One Direction) and actress Emma Watson from Harry Potter all sported braces in the height of their fame.
Tip 3 Remind them that their smile is important and if they wait to become an adult they will have to pay for them themselves.
Remind your headstrong little one that there is only a finite period of time where parents are completely responsible for braces. They will soon realise (once you talk them through the costs) that fixing their smile is a super costly exercise and if their parents are ready to foot the bill, they should jump on board!
Tip 4 Teach them tricks to staying ahead of their worries.
If your child has particular points of anxiety about getting braces, research ways to assuage their fears. One tried and tested tip is to make sure your kid takes a tooth brush to school. That way if they get a stray but of lunch stuck in their mouth they can duck off to the bathroom during class when it’s quiet and give their teeth a good clean.
Thinking about giving your child the gift of a great smile? Head here for more details on Core Dentals offering.