Although close to 5 million Americans have braces – with most of them under the age of 18 – orthodontic treatment is still surrounded by many myths and misconceptions. If you’re about to break the news to your child that they need braces, you may be feeling a little nervous about their anticipated reaction. After all, braces are a big change, and the unknown can be scary!
Here at Frey Orthodontics, we know orthodontic anxiety is a real thing and we want to help you work through that with your child. By tackling the source of your child’s apprehension, we can help them begin to look forward to their braces with excitement instead of dread! Let’s take a look below at some of the most common fears associated with orthodontic treatment, the truth behind them, and how you can use this information to get your child on board with braces.
Will braces be painful?
This is often the biggest worry for kids about to begin orthodontic treatment. You may also be concerned about this, since no parent wants to see their child in pain! The good news is, modern orthodontics has come a long way in creating braces that are more comfortable and customizable than ever before. We don’t have to twist or wrench your child’s teeth into submission–instead, braces use a gentle, continuous pressure to gradually shift the teeth into alignment.
That’s not to say that braces treatment is entirely without discomfort. The pressure we use to move the teeth can cause your child’s gums or mouth to feel slightly tender, especially in the first few days after the braces are placed, or after an adjustment appointment. However, any soreness should be minor and temporary. In most cases, it can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers or numbing ointments.
What can patients expect from the orthodontic process?
As we mentioned above, most people have a hard time embracing the unknown. When you don’t have control over a situation and don’t understand what’s really happening, it can be frightening! Even though we’ve worked hard to make our office friendly, welcoming, and relaxing, it can still be intimidating to patients who have never received treatment before.
Here at Frey Orthodontics, we appreciate the trust you and your child have placed in our team, and we do our best to make sure you always feel confident in the treatment process. Before your child’s braces are put on, we’ll talk you both through everything that’s about to happen so you’ll know exactly what to expect. We’ll also make sure you each have plenty of time to discuss any questions or concerns with Dr. Frey. It’s our goal to put every patient at ease before the first bracket is ever placed!
What is the best way to deal with the fear of embarrassment?
Although most of us tend to be sensitive to our appearance, children and teens can be especially affected by anything they worry will set them apart from their peers. This is another common concern we hear from all our patients, and fortunately, there are several ways to tackle it!
Orthodontic treatment has become increasingly popular, so your child is far from likely to be the only one he or she knows that wears them. If you do find your child is feeling anxious about the change in appearance, reassure them that treatment won’t last forever and name off anyone you know who has been or is currently in braces. If you ever wore them, pull out old photos or yearbooks! Kids are also influenced by culture, so show them celebrities who wore braces once upon a time. It can give them a boost of confidence to know that someone they admire needed a little help straightening their smile, too.
We have lots of younger patients who were worried about standing out, but have since embraced their orthodontic journey by choosing colored bands to wear with their braces. These bands come in many colors, and can be coordinated with outfits, holidays, favorite color combinations, even team or school colors! This gives kids the chance to show off their personality and get creative with their orthodontic journey.
Will orthodontic treatment last forever?
There’s no point in sugarcoating it–orthodontic treatment does take some time! Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long your child will need to be in braces, although we’ll give you an estimate before we put them on. Every smile is unique, and every patient responds to treatment in their own way, so treatment time will vary from case to case. The average treatment time for braces tends to be around 18 to 24 months, but could be shorter or longer depending on the specifics.
We know, we know…that can seem like an absolute eternity to a child! But we promise it will fly by once they get used to their appliance. Before you know it, braces will just be another part of their daily routine. A little perspective can help here, too. Even a couple of years in braces is nothing when you consider the beautiful smile they’ll enjoy for the rest of their life once their treatment is complete!
Get ready to smile with braces by Frey Orthodontics
Here at Frey Orthodontics, we’re committed to working with parents to give children a fun, stress-free, and positive orthodontic experience from start to finish.
Dr. Frey has excellent clinical experience treating patients of all ages, and uses progressive techniques to offer a wide range of creative orthodontic solutions. Together with our talented team, he is able to create customized treatment plans that will address your child’s unique smile and specific needs for beautiful, long-lasting results!
If you have a child in need of orthodontic treatment in Naperville, Algonquin, or the surrounding communities, we would love to meet you both! Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation, and let’s get started on giving your child their very best smile.