While you probably love your child's smile, there may come a time when he/she will need to have braces. Even the smallest misalignment can cause a lot of trouble down the road, including headaches, trouble chewing or even just social embarrassment over a less-than-perfect grin.
So when the dentist says it's time for braces, you may know it's for the best for child dental care, but your child may not see things so clearly. There may be much moaning and groaning about the foods he/she won't be able to eat or the way the braces will look in his/her mouth. However, there are ways to make braces feel less like a burden and more like a fun adventure.
There are a few treats that are simply off-limits when one has braces. Sticky, hard, chewy and crunchy foods can break wires or even bust brackets, so those really have to be avoided. But in the week before your child is due to get those braces put on, consider putting all his/her favorites together in a type of countdown calendar. You could give your child a box of goodies daily or give your child one big box, with 7 days of smaller boxes inside. Each box would be filled with treats he/she will no longer be able to eat once the braces are on. These boxes could include:
- beef jerky
- hard candies
- fruit leather
While it may not be fun for your child to consider all the tasty treats he/she isn't going to be able to eat, it is good fun to have one last hurrah before the braces go on. Just make sure those teeth are properly brushed after the indulgences.
Not so long ago braces were silver. That was the only option. Now, the bands that go around the brackets come in a variety of colors. While it may not be ideal to have to wear braces, imagine the fun possibilities in the band colors! Your child can:
- Support his/her favorite team by wearing a mouth full of team colors
- Show school spirit with school colors
- Celebrate the holidays, like orange and black for Halloween or red and green for Christmas
- Select trendy colors of the moment, whatever they may, be for each season
- Choose favorite colors and color combinations
With bands generally needing to be changed every 4 to 6 weeks, none of the color choices are permanent and they are a fun way to keep braces from simply being a mouth full of metal.
When your kiddo gets braces on, his/her mouth isn't going to feel great initially. It will hurt. Likewise, there will be discomfort when the braces are tightened. But braces are an excellent chance to hone your smoothie making skills. With a wide variety of fruit and veggie combos, a cold smoothie is a special treat and it soothes your kiddo's aching mouth.
Before the braces go on and before each tightening, look at various smoothie recipes with your kiddo and decide which ones he/she would like to try. This gives your child some control over the situation and allows you to spend some quality time with your kiddo.
Braces don't necessarily seem like fun, but there are fun things that can be done on your child's journey to the perfect smile. With some creative thinking, you can make braces seem less like a curse and more like an adventure.