Kids as young as seven can start getting that perfect smile, but not every child is excited about getting braces. At TNT Orthodontics, we know that children can be nervous about undergoing orthodontic treatment. We also know that a positive outlook and preparedness help the entire orthodontic process go more smoothly, and your kid will be more likely to actively care for their new braces. These steps will help put your children at ease when it comes to the topic of getting orthodontic treatment.
Knowledge is Power
Even though they may be young, children are smart and very curious. They want to know what’s going on. We aren’t born with a fear of the orthodontist, but the “unknown” causes some anxiety in everyone. Before your child’s appointment, sit down with them at home and explain what they can expect when they go to get their braces put on.
Keep the End Goal Front of Mind
Make sure your kid understands that braces aren’t forever, and the end result (a Dynamite Smile!) is waiting for them right around the corner. Explain how having a healthy smile improves their quality of life, and take advantage of the internet - find some success stories to show them. As your child progresses throughout treatment, be sure to remind them of the end results and what they are working towards to keep them motivated!
Make it Fun
Take photos of your child’s progression through treatment to help them get excited about their smile! Documenting their progress will encourage them as they will be able to actually see their smile improving. You could also get crafty with your child and make a collage of all their favorite celebrities with braces. They’ll get a serious confidence boost from knowing that their favorite stars and superheroes went through the same orthodontic treatment they are going through.
Nowadays, kids have the option to customize their braces with fun colors! At TNT Orthodontics we offer an array of different color choices and combinations that your child can choose for their braces. This is a simple, yet effective, way for your child to have fun with their braces and feel more comfortable wearing them.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Rewards
Bringing in some positive reinforcement may not be a terrible idea depending on how well your child is dealing with the prospect of orthodontic treatment. To help encourage healthy orthodontic habits, you could try setting up a rewards system with prizes like:
- A trip to the park
- A picnic where they get to choose the food
- Take a trip to the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum
- Take them to a store and let them pick out a new toy or just browse around and let their imaginations run wild
- Speaking of Imagination, head on over to the Imagination Station at the Brighton Mill Pond for some fun!
As a parent, you are already well aware of the challenges and rewards that come with helping your child grow up to be a healthy adult. Utilizing these tips from TNT Orthodontics will help you teach your child the importance of regular visits to the orthodontist (and the dentist!) as well as help them develop good dental hygiene habits!