Orthodontic treatment is now more accessible than ever before, and over 4 million Americans have worn or currently wear braces to straighten their smile. Even though they’ve become increasingly popular over the years, many people are still on the fence about orthodontic treatment with braces. This is particularly true for children and teens, so if you’re about to break the news to your own child that they need braces, you may be a little worried about how they’ll react!
Here at Langford Orthodontics we know all too well what a big change orthodontic treatment can be. The unknown can be scary, and it’s normal to feel anxious about something like braces. However, we want this process to be as relaxed and stress-free as possible for both you and your child!
One way we can achieve that is to help walk you through any fears your child has about treatment. When we tackle the source of their apprehension directly, it can often help them look forward to braces instead of dreading them! Let’s look at some of the worries that can be associated with orthodontic treatment, and how we can help your child feel more confident in their orthodontic journey.
Will braces hurt?
One of the biggest fears most kids have about orthodontic treatment is that their braces will be painful. Fortunately, this concern is completely unfounded! Today’s braces are miles away from older models, and are actually more comfortable and customizable than they’ve ever been, using gentle pressure to gradually straighten teeth over time.
That being said, braces treatment isn’t entirely without discomfort. As gentle as that pressure is, your child’s gums or mouth may still feel slightly tender from time to time. This is usually most pronounced right after braces are put on, or following an adjustment appointment. However, any soreness should be minor and temporary. In most cases, it can be easily treated with nothing more than over-the-counter pain relievers or numbing ointments.
What happens throughout the treatment process?
When you’re in a situation you don’t have any control over, it can be scary. We’ve worked hard to make our office as friendly and welcoming as possible, but it can still be intimidating for patients who have never received treatment before.
We take your trust in our team seriously, and never take that for granted. It’s important to us that you and your child both feel confident in every aspect of the treatment process! We’ll always talk you through each step so you’ll know exactly what to expect. We’ll also make sure you have plenty of time to discuss any questions or concerns you have with Dr. Langford. We want you and your child to feel completely at ease before we ever even put the first bracket on!
Will braces make a patient stand out?
Even though many of us are sensitive about our appearance, children and teens can be especially affected by anything they feel might set them apart from their peers. But as we mentioned above, orthodontic treatment has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. Your child is far from likely to be the only one in class wearing braces!
If you do find your child is feeling anxious about possible changes to their appearance, be sure to reassure them that treatment won’t last forever, even if it sometimes feels like it. Name off anyone you know who has been or is currently in braces, or if you ever wore them yourself, pull out all those old photos or yearbooks and show them! Kids are also influenced by culture, so pull up information on celebrities who wore braces once upon a time. Many kids will feel more confident about wearing braces if they know that someone they admire needed a little help straightening their smile, too.
Another option is to encourage your child to embrace their orthodontic journey with colored bands! These bands come in many colors, so they can be coordinated with outfits, holidays, favorite color combinations, even team or school colors. This is the perfect way for patients to show off their personality and have a little with their braces.
Will orthodontic treatment take forever?
There’s no getting around it–successful orthodontic treatment takes time! While there’s no “one size fits all” answer for how long your child will need to be in braces, we’ll give you an estimate before we put them on. Because every patient responds to treatment in their own unique way, treatment time will always vary from case to case. The average treatment time for braces does tend to be around 18 to 24 months, but remember that it will be your child’s specific needs that will determine how long they’ll be in treatment.
We know that pretty much any amount of time in braces can seem like an eternity to a child, but it really will fly by once they get used to their appliance. In no time at all, braces will just be another part of their daily routine. Just keep reminding them that however long they’re in braces will be worth it for the end result…a beautiful smile they’ll get to enjoy for the rest of their life!
Get the best in braces with Langford Orthodontics
Here at Langford Orthodontics, we’re proud to work the parents of our younger patients to give the whole family a positive orthodontic experience that’s fun and stress-free. Dr. Langford and the rest of our talented team are dedicated to offering patients a wide range of creative orthodontic solutions for every need!
If you’re in Knoxville and have a child in need of orthodontic treatment, we would love the chance to meet you both and discuss their options. Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation, and take the first step towards your child’s best smile.
- Dr. LangfordBack to Blog