As your child’s orthodontist, we can do as much as possible when we see him or her to implore them to take care of their braces and teeth during orthodontic treatment. The reality is, though, that we only see your child for about 15 minutes every few weeks, and you see them every single day. We can tell them how to take care of their teeth while they’re in the office, but you have the ability to continuously remind them. Your role in your child’s orthodontic journey is very important!
First and foremost, encourage your child to be responsible for the success of their treatment. Some children don’t understand the need to change their hygiene and eating habits during treatment. Often times, removable appliances such as clear aligners or rubber bands aren’t worn as much as they are supposed to, which can affect the pace of treatment. Help us by teaching your child that they are responsible for how successful their treatment turns out, and ultimately how long their treatment lasts.
There are three main responsibilities for patients that we discuss in our book, Giving It To You Straight. Helping your child stick to these is very important to treatment.
The three responsibilities are:
- Take care of your braces. Your child should avoid food and activities that may damage their teeth or braces. There is a whole list of foods to stay away from, but in general, they should steer clear of crunchy, hard, or sticky foods that could break a bracket.
- Keep appointments. Each appointment during orthodontic treatment is important. This is the time we use to check in, make sure teeth are moving as expected, and make any adjustments. Skipping appointments can significantly slow down the treatment process, and it might mean that a developing problem goes unnoticed. Showing up to every appointment will ensure that the patient stays on track!
- Keep your teeth and braces clean. Oral hygiene habits must change a bit to accommodate braces. More care needs to be put into both brushing and flossing. It is very important to keep teeth clean with braces so that teeth are pearly white after treatment! Failing to brush properly can leave behind white spots and stains on the teeth once braces are removed.
By driving your child to appointments, instilling the importance of good eating habits and oral care, and in general acting as a cheerleader throughout treatment, you will be doing a massive favor for your child and their smile!
To learn more about orthodontic treatment for your child (or you!) visit our website, ismileorthodontics.com and get in contact with us!