HELP: My Teen Needs Braces and Does NOT Want Them
“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.