While Dr. Weber deals with braces and Invisalign day in and day out, at one point she was a patient herself. So, she knows kids, teens, and, yes, even adults sometimes have a little apprehension about the thought of having metal wires and brackets adhered to their teeth for a prolonged period of time. Our Kansas City and Kearney Invisalign patients may get off easier, but they still have their concerns. When kids are feeling positive and prepared about undergoing orthodontic treatment, the process tends to go a lot more smoothly, and they’re more likely to do their part in caring for their new hardware. Based on our experience at Weber Orthodontics, we’ve compiled a list of ways to get kids excited about braces or Invisalign.
1. Keep Them Informed
Kids may be tiny but they’re smart and, just like grown ups, they like to know what’s going on. Everyone feels some anxiety about the unknown, so sitting them down and explaining exactly what will happen when they get their braces put on (emphasizing the no needles part never hurts) can make them feel more confident. Ask your orthodontist to get in on the action. At Weber Orthodontics, we always give our patients a detailed accounting of the process at their initial consultation. Many kids turn to YouTube and watch videos of braces being placed in order to prepare themselves for what to expect.
2. Focus on the Results
If you had braces yourself, discuss your experience and be sure to throw in how having a healthy smile has improved your life. If you haven’t had orthodontic treatment, look up some success stories online. Let them know orthodontic treatment won’t last forever but the results can. Braces and Invisalign are merely a means to a very awesome end: A perfect smile! Keep reminding them of this throughout treatment, so they’ll keep their eye on the prize.
3. Get Crafty
Another idea for how to get your child to look forward to braces involves busting out some poster board, scissors and glue. Make a collage together of their favorite celebrities with braces. Knowing that one of their idols rocked tooth jewelry may help them ease into the transition and make them feel less self-conscious.
4. Let Them Customize Their Braces
Modern metal braces allow for a lot of customization. Your child can pick the color of the elastics used in the braces. Kids often get their school colors or the colors of their favorite sports team.
5. Set Up a System of Rewards
One of the best tips to get your kids excited to care for their braces is to utilize some positive reinforcement. When wearing braces, your child will have to stay away from certain foods, become a brushing and flossing champ and follow our instructions. If they’re using Invisalign Teen, they’ll need to keep track of their aligners and wear them for the prescribed amount of time. Creating a system of rewards helps encourage good orthodontic habits. Thankfully, living in Kansas City means there are tons of things you can use as a prize.
6. Stock Up on Braces-Friendly Foods
When your child gets braces, they’ll need to make some adjustments to their eating habits (sorry, laffy taffy and milk duds, you’ve gotta go). Plus, they’ll want soft, cold, easy-to-eat treats when they’re first put on and after adjustments. Go shopping together and fill the fridge with things they can snack on before kicking off treatment. Spend some time picking out recipes and find ways to adapt their favorite meals. While we do have to caution you to indulge in sugary treats in moderation, the occasional milkshake or ice cream always encourages braces-related excitement and it’s soothing for tender teeth.
While these ideas will all help make your child’s transition into orthodontic treatment a fun one, the single best thing you can do to get your child excited about braces is to find the right orthodontist. When kids have a rapport with their doctor and actually like going to their appointments, treatment is a breeze (well, at least breezier). If you’re interested in Invisalign or braces for kids in Kansas City, we know just the place. Weber Orthodontics is a family-friendly practice, and we’re all about creating an enjoyable experience for our patients that results in a gorgeous, healthy smile. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
At Weber Orthodontics, we care about your kids’ health, and want their first dental experiences to be good ones. We offer traditional, clear, and Invisalign braces. Contact our office by phone (816) 746-1200 or complete our appointment request form to schedule an appointment.