ON SMILING: HELPING YOUR ADOLESCENT ACCEPT BRACES
Tania K. Cowling
Not everyone is born with a perfect └all-Americanö smile. So for most
preteens, the possibility of wearing braces is inevitable. Young teens
are already self-conscious, and braces certainly donít help. After
all, having tons of wire and rubber bands in your mouth isnít much
fun. But all this construction going on has a great purpose; to make
your SMILE the best it can be.
handle your childís number one concern first. Looking stupid for even
five minutes is a huge blow to the self-esteem in the adolescent years.
Point out how good your child will look after the braces. Then, you
can point out how many of his or her friends have bracesćit isnít
uncommon. Millions of kids and celebrities have or had braces and
survived. Chelsea Clinton donned braces, Cameron Diaz (actress), Daisy
Fuentes (MTV video jockey), Venus Williams (professional tennis player),
Dominique Moceanu (Olympic gymnast) and Chris (singer in NíSync) all
wore braces, just to name a few famous people.
good news to talk about. Braces are much less noticeable than when
you were a kid. Metal braces are still used, but you might be able
to get clear braces or ones that are the same color as your teeth.
There are even braces that are behind your teeth where no one can
see them. The wires that are used in braces today are also smaller
and better than they used to be. Some kids even change the rubber
bands on their braces to funky colors. The orthodontist put on black
and orange bands for Halloween or the colors of your preteenís school.
Having fun with braces is a great way to make the time pass faster
until they come off.
PARENTS SHOULD KNOW:
- How long does it take to correct most dental
abnormalities? Treatment can take from
one to three years, not including └rest periods,ö which are frequent
when a child starts treatment at an early age.
- How much does it cost? Expense is determined
by the time needed for treatment. Fees start at about $800 for an
appliance to correct a problem in three months, or range from about
$3200 for one year of treatment to about $5000 for three years.
These prices are all estimations and vary between orthodontists
- Does the treatment hurt? Treatment does not
hurt most of the time. There is some soreness at the first fitting
and at tightening visits. Some parents give their child a pain reducer,
like Tylenol. Some gels like Anbesol help too!
- What should I look for when choosing an orthodontist?
Personal recommendation from a friend or your family dentist is
helpful. Check credentials and see if he/she is board certified
by the American Board of Orthodontics.
An office that is close to your home, school, or employer is helpful
because treatment will be completed over a series of visits.
- What can my preteen eat when adjusting to
A variety of soft, nutritious, tasty foods are the key to soothing
teeth that have been adjusted recently. Hard foods can be made softer
by chopping, blending, mashing, and cooking. Cutting foods into
small pieces will minimize the amount of chewing. Check cookbooks
for recipes that follow these suggestions.
- What is the key to successful orthodontic
Patient cooperation is the key. Your child has responsibilities
that involve hygienic care, foods and sweets to avoid, refrain from
picking at the braces, wearing the headgear and retainers as prescribed,
and definitely keep scheduled appointments.
in all, you should teach their child to have good self-esteem and
to be confident. Tell your child to enjoy life and definitelyćGO AHEAD
AND SMILE! Hopefully all these efforts will prove successful and your
child will thank you in the end.