“But Mooooommmmm!” “OMG Dad, noooooo!” If we had a nickel each time we heard something like this coming from our kids, we’d all probably be enjoying this blog from our favorite vacation spot.
Braces and orthodontic treatment aren’t just for looks – many times it is needed to help realign the jaw, correct for over/under bites, and help prevent potential major dental issues in the future. To learn more about the most common reasons for getting braces, check out our resource library knowledge base all about orthodontics.
What can you do if your kid needs braces but informs you that it is just sooooo not gonna happen? As dental and orthodontic professionals, and parents ourselves, here are a few suggestions to help get your child on the braces bandwagon, as well as some of the most common protests we hear from kids (and parents) during the consultation process.
If Your Kid Refuses to Get Braces: Shoot Later, Ask Questions First
Teenage kids can sometimes seem like a bit of a mystery, but as parents, we usually know our children pretty well. Taking the time to talk with them, ask questions, and find out what concerns they may have. The more we learn about the motive behind the behavior, the better we can respond.
We hear lots of questions and concerns from both parents and kids during orthodontic consultations, as well as more than a few flat-out refusals. Here are some of the most common lines we hear at the office:
Will People Make Fun of Me If I Get Braces?
Braces are so not cool. “Brace-Face”, “Metal-Mouth” – yes, we’ve heard more than a few of these taunts and kids may be understandably worried about how their peers will react.
In this case, the Internet and social media can really help to relieve this worry. Does your child have any friends that already have braces, or siblings of those friends? Do they admire anyone at school or in the community that had braces? It may help to find a teacher, coach, or other adult that they trust and admire to encourage them and help them see the long-range benefits of having the healthiest smile possible.
There are also plenty of very cool celebrities who have or had braces. The last time we checked, Beyoncé is still pretty cool, and she wore braces back in 2011 just to show support for many of her fans. It may be fun to do some Internet research with your child to see just how many celebrities have had braces just like they will.
Won’t I Look Ridiculous With Braces?
Looking in the mirror right after getting braces definitely takes some getting used to. We have found that confidence often comes with time and familiarity for our patients. That’s why some of our patients choose to start their braces treatment in the summer months or during a break from school, so they have time to get used to the new look before everyone else sees it.
Kids are always free to choose between a whole variety of colors for the bands that cover their brackets. If your teen is particularly concerned about how braces will look, improvements in materials have made metal brackets smaller and lower-profile.
There may be alternative treatment options available as well, including Invisalign Teen ®, clear braces, and even Incognito ® lingual braces that are placed on the insides of the teeth and are virtually invisible.
I Heard it Hurts Having Braces!
It’s true, some kids do experience some growing pains shortly after adjustments, but this usually goes away quickly and a little tylenol or ibuprofen can fix that. Getting braces on or off should not hurt at all.
Sometimes kids may need extractions in order to get their braces on. Our dentists do a great job to make sure that process is as quick and pain-free as possible. One that part is done, it’s all downhill!
Braces Treatment Takes, Like, Forever!
The average treatment times for braces is about 18 months. This can seem like a really long time, especially to teenagers, but visits are usually once a month or every 6 weeks. It may help to keep track of progress by creating a counter or calendar to work towards. We also encourage patients to take photos on their own (hello, #braces!) to keep themselves motivated. Our Orthodontists are board-certified, which means they are at the very top of their field of expertise. Moving teeth takes precision and experience, which also helps ensure treatment times are as minimal as possible.
Parents can play a big role in the length of treatment by ensuring their kids keep up with regular adjustment visits and making sure they are brushing and following the treatment instructions for home care and appliances if they are needed.
Will Having Braces Put a Burden On My Family?
Kids are quite intuitive, and some can be sensitive about the cost of braces and could worry that they are placing a burden on the family.
Braces are an investment in the future. Having straight and healthy teeth will ultimately not only help to prevent future dental issues, it can and will have a huge impact on your child’s success in education, career and relationships.
In some cases, dental insurance may cover a portion or even all of the cost of braces. Not all insurance plans offer orthodontic coverage, and not all people have insurance. That’s why we offer monthly, interest-free payment plans that span the length of treatment. Some families may also be eligible for full or partial payment assistance through the Medicaid program, which is accepted at most 1st Family Dental locations.
Orthodontic consultations at 1st Family Dental are always complimentary and require no commitment to treatment. Book a consultation appointment for your child today!
Do you have experience with a reluctant teen, or have suggestions or tips to share? Be sure to leave a comment, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for useful and interesting information all about oral and whole-body health.
No one considers that maybe they are a complete scam to begin with. Much less whether there should be forced compliance based on “future investment”. yeah, the industry future investment.
Its not your mouth, soo, maybe you let the kid decided if he/she wants them. I know so terrible, but seriously its not your mouth, its theirs , might try seeing how its going to go and let things be until they age into adult hood.
Decisions based on fear, without much proof other than opinion(which is still not proof) never turn out well.
Okay but what if I have a teenager who says he/she DOES want dental braces? Or if a teenager says he/she wants to keep their dental braces on forever?
Okay but what if I have a teenager who says he/she DOES want dental braces?
What about if a child wanting to KEEP his/her dental braces on after wearing them for 2-3 years?
Knowing that Beyonce had braces in 2011 sounds like a really strong argument to make to a teen. Celebrities often embody what’s important in our society as role models. I’ll have to make that argument to my teen.
Luckily, braces have become more trendy over the years, but it can still be a nerve wrecking time for many teens.
My daughter has glasses and needs to get braces but she thinks she will look like a nerd what do I do
I like your idea to start braces in the summer so they have time to get used to how they look. This could also be helpful because they will have time to rest if the adjustments cause pain at first. how often do they need to go in to have them adjusted? Thanks for this information!
I know how she feels be onest with her say to her that if she doesn’t have them then her teeth won’t look nice
My son just found out that he might need to get braces and he is pretty nervous about what other kids at his school will think. However, I have heard that Invisalign is a great option for those who don’t want the wires to be seen on their mouth and so I am trying to figure out whether or not those would be best for him. He is only 13-years-old and so do you think that he is too young for the Invisalign option?
Hi Faylinn, There are a number of factors to consider when determining whether Invisalign is an option. We recommend you look for an orthodontist near you that provides free consultations (with no obligation to start treatment) so they can examine your son’s smile and provide you with a treatment plan that will work best for you and your son.
I think the alternatives are very important to clarify. Years ago the look of some braces were scary, and kids were ridiculed because of it, however with the clear braces, and lingual braces as you’ve mentioned. it really does change the conversation and makes teens a little more accepting of the entire process.
Thanks for the advice on dealing with a teen who’s reluctant to get braces! My teenage daughter needs them but is concerned about her appearance with braces. We’ve been looking into different kinds of clear braces and I wonder if you have any advice about these versus traditional braces? Is one better than the other or do they work the same way?
Hi Eliza, That’s a great question. Traditional (metal) braces and clear (tooth colored) braces work the same way and are equally as effective. The major difference is in the appearance and visibility. Our orthodontists are happy to provide additional information about various options for clear braces or other orthodontic treatment options like Invisalign or lingual braces during a consultation. Orthodontic consultations are always 100% free at 1st Family Dental and do not require any commitment to begin treatment. Good luck exploring those options with your daughter!
I guess this is the difficult job for a parent. My daughter has crowded and misaligned teeth. Everytime I fail to convince her to get the braces. I’m planning to take her to the orthodontic clinic in Houston. I ‘ve heard that Invisalign are the hidden braces which are likely suitable to the teenagers who are not interested to wear braces as they don’t want to look wierd. I just hope this would work well for her.
I know our teens wont gonna like it because they well be tease but we have to educate them and tell them whats the good side it brings. Then eventually they well learn.
I really liked this article and it really caught my attention! Braces really don’t make us look ugly or weird. Yes it is painful but in a week the pain will go away. Thanks for posting this!