Does Your Child Need Braces? 8 Tips to Get Them Prepared

Does your child need braces?

In North America, approximately 4 million individuals under the age of 18 are wearing braces. And four out of every five brace-wearers are minors. As you can see, orthodontic treatment is quite common, yet it also represents a significant milestone in a child’s life. This transformative journey can raise questions and require guidance as your child prepares for this adjustment (pun intended). 

Does my kid need braces?

Many parents find themselves pondering the question of whether their child needs braces. Understanding the primary reasons behind orthodontic treatment can shed light on this decision. According to, several factors contribute to the need for braces in children. Here are the primary reasons:

  • Crooked or overcrowded teeth: Braces can help align teeth that are misaligned, crooked, or overcrowded, improving the bite’s appearance and functionality.
  • Overbite or underbite: When the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth excessively (overbite), or vice versa (underbite), braces can help correct the misalignment and promote proper jaw alignment.
  • Crossbite: A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth when the jaw is closed. Braces can help align the teeth and jaws correctly.
  • Open bite: An open bite is characterized by a space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed. Braces can assist in closing this gap and achieving a proper bite.
  • Jaw alignment issues: Braces can address an asymmetrical jaw or a jaw that shifts to one side, promoting a balanced and harmonious facial profile.

Tips to get your kid ready (and excited) for braces. 

Early intervention and timely orthodontic treatment can significantly impact your child’s oral health and overall well-being. The best time to start braces varies for each child, and it’s essential to consult your dentist specializing in orthodontics to determine the optimal timing. 

When selecting a dentist, look for someone experienced, knowledgeable, and empathetic who can provide comprehensive care and support throughout the braces journey. 

Here are 8 tips to help prepare your child for their orthodontic appointment and encourage their enthusiasm for the process:

1. Discuss Discomfort Management

Explain to your child that there may be some discomfort initially when braces are placed or adjusted. Assure them that this is temporary and provide tips on how to manage any soreness, such as using orthodontic wax or taking over-the-counter pain relievers as directed by the dentist.

2. Emphasize the Importance of Oral Hygiene

Teach your child about the significance of maintaining excellent oral hygiene while they have braces. Demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques, and consider providing them with special orthodontic tools like interdental brushes or floss threaders to make cleaning easier.

3. Address Dietary Changes

Inform your child about any necessary modifications to their diet during orthodontic treatment. Discuss avoiding sticky or hard foods that can damage braces, and suggest alternative options they can enjoy, such as pasta, eggs, bananas, and smoothies. If your child is getting clear aligners, let them know they’ll have more flexibility, but it’s still important to focus on eating tooth-friendly foods for a healthy smile.

4. Nurturing Self-esteem

Talk openly with your child about any potential self-esteem issues they may experience while wearing braces. Reassure them that braces are temporary and will lead to a beautiful smile. Encourage them to focus on the positive benefits of orthodontic treatment and remind them that many of their peers will most likely also have braces at some stage.

5. Highlight the Importance of Dental Visits

Stress the significance of regular dental check-ups during and after orthodontic treatment. Explain that these visits ensure the braces work effectively and allow the dentist to monitor their oral health. Emphasize that the end result, a healthy and confident smile, is worth the effort.

6. Encourage Participation in the Treatment Process

Involve your child in decision-making, such as selecting the color of their elastic bands or discussing treatment progress. In fact, kids can start having productive decision-making conversations around age seven. This engagement helps them feel more invested in their orthodontic journey.

7. Explore Success Stories

Share success stories of individuals who have completed their orthodontic treatment and achieved remarkable results. Hearing about positive experiences can inspire your child and alleviate their anxiety.

8. Provide Support and Encouragement

Be patient and understanding with your child throughout their braces experience. Offer praise for their commitment to their oral care and remind them of the long-term benefits that await them at the end of the treatment.

Offer knowledge, support, and encouragement as your child embarks on their braces journey. 

By discussing topics such as discomfort management, oral hygiene, dietary adjustments, self-esteem, and the importance of dental visits, you can help prepare your child for their orthodontic treatment. Selecting a dentist specializing in orthodontics, such as the team at Compass Dental Group, is crucial for a successful outcome.
We understand the significance of this transformative experience for your child. Our team of experienced and compassionate dental professionals is dedicated to providing comprehensive orthodontic care and guiding your child through every step of the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let us help your child achieve a healthy, beautiful smile they can be proud of.