A child getting braces for the first time is a big moment in their life. It’s something they don’t fully understand the need of, nor does the child know how to take care of their braces. So, a mother needs to know these details and make the best decisions for her child.
With that in mind, let’s look at seven things every mom should know before getting her child braces.
#1 When to Seek Orthodontic Care and Get Braces
There’s no fixed age for a child to visit the dentist or orthodontist. The same goes for braces. Over 4 million Americans wear braces, and 75% of them are under 18.
Some kids get them when they’re six years old, while some get braces at ten. Braces are very common among teenagers as that’s the age range where they start becoming more conscious about their looks.
The doctors know best as to when your child should get braces. Depending on the situation, they’ll suggest necessary treatment and even braces to their patients. As a mom, you should trust your orthodontist or dentist and know that they’ll do whatever is needed to ensure a beautiful smile on your child.
#2 Don’t Get Fooled by Teeth that Look Straight
Just because your child’s teeth look straight doesn’t mean that they’re perfectly fine. Alignment issues pop up out of nowhere, but the signs are visible for a long time before that. However, these signs are not so evident to the common eye.
So, try to visit a dentist at least once every six months. They have the skills and tools necessary to spot such changes and suggest early treatment to the patient. Early treatment for alignment issues might even allow your kid to avoid braces entirely.
#3 Braces are Expensive
Metal braces are expensive. They cost between $5,000 and $8,000 on average. But don’t worry too much, because many orthodontists will offer payment plans. You can pay in installments or even apply for financing programs.
Many state and community-run programs are also available. You have to apply to these programs by filling up a few forms and submitting the necessary documents. Upon acceptance of your application, you can get your child braces for less than $1,000.
‘Smiles Change Lives’ is one such program that runs in all 50 states. It welcomes applications from kids between 10 and 18 years of age. You can get your kid braces for less than $600 if they accept your application.
#4 Learning about the Types of Braces
Apart from the traditional metal braces, you and your kid should also explore the other types of braces that might be available to you. The options vary from clinic to clinic. Robison Orthodontics in Gilbert, Arizona, provides Invisalign and ceramic braces alongside metal ones. Consult with the orthodontists over there to see which one will be best for your child. They’ll break down the braces’ features, costs, benefits, and even disadvantages.
#5 Keep the Teeth Clean
You must take your child to the dentist before getting the braces. The dentist will clean the surface and take care of any other dental problems as necessary. You can then schedule the orthodontist appointment and have them set the braces.
Ask your dentist if they can clean the teeth with the braces on. You’ll have to go to your orthodontist and have them remove the wires first if your dentist can’t clean the teeth with the braces on.
#6 There Will be a bit of Discomfort
Braces can get uncomfortable for your child, especially when they first put them on. Eating becomes difficult in such situations, which is why it’s always a good idea to have liquid food on standby.
In some cases, your child might need ibuprofen or acetaminophen. They will help your kids deal with the pain. It ultimately comes down to their tolerance levels. However, they should be fine as long as you stick to the medication the orthodontist prescribes. Don’t hesitate to rush them to the clinic or your orthodontist if the pain becomes unbearable.
#7 Caring for the Braces
Your orthodontist will guide you through the steps you need to follow to take care of the braces. Orthodontists will expect your kid to brush regularly and make sure food doesn’t stick in between the teeth or the braces. They’ll also ask your kid to floss regularly.
Some orthodontists recommend kids brush at least four times after getting braces. That’s to be extra careful and make sure the teeth stay clean.
Once you’re aware of all this, it becomes easier to decide on the braces. Remember to talk to your child’s orthodontist if you’re ever in doubt. These are medical matters, and it’s natural not to be an expert or a know-it-all in this regard. However, knowing the basic details always prove to be helpful.