Any medical procedure is frightening for a child. Coupled with this is a fear of the unknown. The fitting of dental braces is one such medical attention a child may require at a young age. The earlier crooked and uneven teeth are corrected the better the result. The child will have a beautiful smile before he is a teenager, an age when he will be conscious of his appearance and want to look his best.
The fitting of teeth braces is not a painful process but is an uncomfortable one. Parents can prepare their child by explaining the procedure to him. He can be shown a video, if available, or the help of internet can be taken where graphic descriptions are presented.
Patiently listen to the child’s fears and concerns and do your best to alleviate them. Answer any questions he may have to the best of your knowledge. Do not try to bypass the fact that the child will have to spend a lot of time with his mouth open while the dentist goes about his work, and that the braces will have to be worn for a long period. His trust in you will increase as he will realise that you state facts correctly and do not push uncomfortable things under the carpet.
To counter this, enlist the help of friends and relatives who have worn dental braces and introduce him to the children around you who are using braces. They will be able to share their experiences and when your child sees that he is not the lone one undergoing this process, he will be comforted. You can show him pictures of teen movie stars and other celebrities who have worn braces.
List out the positive aspects of well aligned teeth. Less place for the bacteria to hide, healthier teeth and improvement in looks are some of them. This will give him encouragement when the dentist takes impressions by shaping wet plaster around the upper and lower teeth. The fitting of the actual braces can take up the better part of two hours so the child’s attention can be diverted by video or TV viewing.
Since you will have explained all the steps to him he will be less anxious but a sympathetic doctor and attendant will always help. Take the child out for a treat later. Extra care will have to be taken to brush, floss and rinse teeth properly. To keep the area around the braces clean, extra effort will be required. This will pay off in about two year’s time when the braces come off.