Today, almost 5 million Americans wear braces, with most of them under 18 years of age. In spite of their increasing popularity over the years, orthodontic treatment with braces is still surrounded by a number of misconceptions. So if you’re about to break the news to your child about needing braces, you may be a little worried about how they’ll react! After all, orthodontic treatment is a pretty big change, and the unknown can be scary.
Here at Kottemann Orthodontics, we know orthodontic anxiety exists. One of our goals is to help you work through it with your child if they are experiencing any fear about treatment. Tackling the source of your child’s apprehension can show them how to look forward to braces with excitement instead of dread, so let’s take a look at some worries that are often associated with orthodontic treatment, and how you can dispel them in order to get your child on board with braces!
Are braces painful?
One of the biggest fears most kids have about orthodontic treatment is that braces will hurt. This may also be a source of anxiety for you, since no parent wants to see their child in pain. Luckily, this is an unfounded concern! Today’s braces are more comfortable and customizable than ever before, using gentle pressure to gradually shift the teeth into alignment over time.
That said, braces treatment isn’t entirely without discomfort. The pressure we use to move the teeth can cause your child’s gums or mouth to feel slightly tender, especially in the first few days after the braces are placed, or after an adjustment appointment. However, any soreness should be minor and temporary. In most cases, it can be easily treated with nothing more than over-the-counter pain relievers or numbing ointments.
How does the orthodontic process work?
When you don’t have control over a situation and don’t understand what’s happening, it can be frightening! As hard as we’ve worked to make our office friendly and welcoming, it can still be an intimidating experience for patients who have never received treatment before.
Trusting us with your child’s smile is something we never take for granted, and we do our best to make sure you both feel confident in the treatment process at all times. Before your child’s braces are put on, we’ll talk you through everything that’s about to happen so you’ll know exactly what to expect. We’ll also make sure you each have plenty of time to discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. We want every patient to feel completely at ease before we ever even put the first bracket on!
Will braces make a patient stand out?
Most of us tend to be sensitive to our appearance, but children and teens can be especially affected by anything that might set them apart from their peers. We hear from patients of all ages who are worried about this, in fact, but fortunately, there are several ways to deal with this common concern!
As we mentioned above, orthodontic treatment has become increasingly popular over the years, so your child is far from likely to be the only one he or she knows that wears them. If you do find your child is feeling anxious about the change in appearance, it can help to reassure them that treatment won’t last forever. Name off anyone you know who has been or is currently in braces. If you ever wore them yourself, pull out old photos or yearbooks and show them! Kids are also influenced by culture, so pull up information on celebrities who wore braces once upon a time. It can make kids less fearful to know that someone they admire needed a little help straightening their smile, too.
While lots of younger patients are worried about standing out, many others have embraced their orthodontic journey by choosing colored bands to wear with their braces. Because these bands come in many colors, they can be coordinated with outfits, holidays, favorite color combinations, even team or school colors! This gives patients the chance to show off their personality and get creative with the orthodontic process.
Does orthodontic treatment last forever?
We won’t sugarcoat it for you–successful orthodontic treatment does take some time! There’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long your child will need to be in braces, but we will give you an estimate before we put them on. Every patient responds to treatment in their own unique way, so treatment time will vary from case to case. However, the average treatment time for braces tends to be around 18 to 24 months. Remember, though, that your child’s specific needs will determine how long they’ll need treatment.
Although any time in braces can seem like an absolute eternity to a child, it really will fly by once they get used to their appliance. In no time at all, braces will just be another part of their daily routine. Just keep reminding them that however long they’re in braces will be worth the end result…a beautiful smile they’ll get to enjoy for the rest of their life!
Get ready to smile with braces by Kottemann Orthodontics
Kottemann Orthodontics is dedicated to working with the parents of our younger patients to give the whole family a fun, stress-free, and positive orthodontic experience from start to finish.
Our doctors head up a talented team who offer excellent clinical experience treating patients of all ages. Using progressive techniques and innovative technologies, we’re able to offer patients a wide range of creative orthodontic solutions. Our customized treatment plans will address your child’s unique smile and their specific needs for beautiful results that can’t be beat!
If you have a child in need of orthodontic treatment, we would love the chance to meet you both. Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation, and take the first step towards your child’s best smile.