Do you think it’s time for your child to get braces? Many moms feel apprehensive to take their child to the dentist, especially those who haven’t had braces themselves. These days, you can choose from a variety of treatments to correct aesthetic issues with your child’s teeth. More importantly, though, a trip to the dentist ensures that your kid’s oral health is in tiptop shape. To help you prepare for the first appointment, here are five things you should know before your child gets braces.
When is it the right time to visit?
It may sound surprising, but oral health experts recommend children visit an orthodontist at the age of seven. This helps spot problems before they get worse. While early treatment may not be in order, a thorough examination gives you ample time to prepare for the actions to take in the future. Starting early could mean reducing the time needed for future orthodontic treatment.
Do straight teeth mean there’s nothing wrong?
Why do so many moms seem to take their little one to the dentist when it’s a bit too late? A quick look at your child’s teeth might make you think that all is well. Your child might even think there’s nothing wrong with their teeth when they don’t feel any pain. But the absence of pain and a set perfectly straight tooth can still be in trouble. There are many problems that cannot be detected by just looking. These include gum diseases, misalignment of the jaw, and harmful habits that could lead to big problems down the road.
How much do braces cost?
If you’ve done some research, then you should know that braces aren’t cheap. Traditional metal braces can cost you several thousands of dollars. Thankfully, most orthodontists offer flexible payment options, with some even providing in-house financing. The cost also depends on the type of treatment your child receives. Invisalign has become a popular alternative for correcting misaligned teeth, but it’s more expensive than metal braces. You also have to factor in other treatments such as tooth extraction.
Is it difficult to care for braces?
Your local orthodontist will give you instructions on how to properly care for your child’s braces. It’s imperative that you listen carefully along with your child. It’s inevitable for food to get stuck in the braces, and you should make sure your child gets rid of the food particles the right way to avoid damaging the wires and brackets. Your kid may have to brush more times than usual, so a little reminder here and there should help maintain their braces.
Can my kid stand the pain and discomfort?
Getting braces comes with a certain level of pain, but it’s tolerable even for young children. Every kid deals with and tolerates pain differently. Work with the orthodontist in figuring out whether your child needs painkiller especially during the first few weeks. Your orthodontist may also provide some wax which helps when a wire or bracket causes discomfort.
Even if this process doesn’t make you uneasy, bear in mind that your child probably feels nervous about it. This is a big step toward improving your kid’s oral health, so be sure you’re on his or her side throughout. As a mom, it’s your job to make sure that your child follows the instructions of the orthodontist. Remind him or her that doing otherwise means wearing the braces for a longer time.
Written by Natalie Bracco for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.