KARSON KUPIEC JUNE 2017
8 THINGS MOMS MUST KNOW
For millions of families around the country, braces and childhood tend to go hand-in-hand. This leaves many moms with lots of questions about what life with braces will be like for their child. Common questions range from when kids should first see the orthodontist to what types of food are off limits. The more parents know what to expect, the less they will fear the process and be able to help their children enjoy and get the most out of their treatment experience.
Getting braces doesn’t have to be a scary process, but it can be if you haven’t had some of the more common questions answered ahead of time. The last thing you want is to go into the treatment process without feeling comfortable. When parents feel comfortable and confident about it, so will the kids. Children often mimic their parents’ feelings.
Here are some of the things that every mom must know before her child gets braces:
Many people are unsure about when a child should see an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist no later than the age of seven.
Even children who have straight teeth should still be evaluated by an orthodontist. There may be a problem with their teeth that can be detected by the doctor. Early treatment helps to guide proper jaw growth, correct harmful habits, and help guide teeth, and even shape one’s face.
With an average cost for metal braces being around $5,000–$7,500, many parents may feel they can’t afford the treatment. However, some orthodontist offices offer payment plans, making it worthwhile to check into what options are available. There are various types of braces available, so discuss them with the orthodontist to determine the best one for your child, and invest in his or her future smile.
If your child’s teeth aren’t sufficiently clean before getting braces, the orthodontist will have to clean them with a polishing paste so that the braces can be properly cemented to the teeth. If possible, schedule a regular professional cleaning appointment with the dentist a few days before getting new braces so the teeth will be plaque-free prior to the braces appointment. Then, brushing with a high fluoride toothpaste—along with flossing and gargling mouthwash before your appointment—can help make your child feel more confident and will speed things along with the orthodontist.
Getting braces is going to create some discomfort, especially once your child first gets them. They can cause sores in the mouth. To help, choose soft foods, such as soup, pasta, and bananas for the few days following getting braces. If there is still a high level of discomfort after a few days, and it doesn’t go away with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, call the orthodontist.
Talk to the orthodontist about proper care of braces. Your child will need to brush regularly and use a Waterpik to flush out the food particles that can get caught between braces and teeth; he or she should also avoid sticky foods. With proper care and by seeing the orthodontist regularly for checkups, your child can keep his or her teeth healthy while the braces are in place.
There are some foods that should be avoided when having braces, because they tend to get caught. These include chewy foods, crunchy foods, sticky foods, and hard foods. Specific foods to avoid include: sticky peanut butter, popcorn, caramel, taffy, and gum. Also, things you have to bite into, such as an apple or corn on the cob should be avoided, too.
Choosing a doctor
Opt for an orthodontist, since they are specialists in straightening teeth and have had two to three years of additional training beyond dental school. Meet with the doctor to determine whether or not it will be a good fit for your family.
Getting braces can be a little nerve-wracking, but the fear of the unknown is usually the worst part. Asking plenty of questions and prepping physically for the appointment should go a long way toward increasing you and your comfort levels. One of the most gratifying outcomes is seeing your child walk away with a healthy and beautiful smile that is matched with a new-found confidence! #
Courtesy of Dr. Karson Kupiec. Dr. Kupiec has a full-service orthodontic and pediatric dentistry practice, with locations in Rancho Santa Fe and Imperial Valley. For more information, please visit the website at smileoutfitters.com.