How To Help Prepare Your Child Or Teen For Braces

Orthodontics for children and teens may well have changed from being a dreaded rite of passage to a faster, more accepted – even cool – part of growing up, but that doesn’t stop youngsters being apprehensive about what’s in store.


At Dental Artistry, we know that the key to getting children and teens onside with treatment programmes is by having them understand the importance of oral health and the outcomes of any work required – and that’s why we work hard with both parents and their children to create an atmosphere in which consultations and procedures are clearly explained, easily carried out, and seen as part of an overall treatment plan.

So, for parents who aren’t sure if their children might need braces or other orthodontic treatments, how can Dental Artistry help?

Timing

There are a number of benefits for children seeing our orthodontist Dr Heidi Sauer as early as possible. We recommend that a first check-up should be as soon as an issue is identified and, ideally, no later than seven years old because that early intervention can prevent more extensive work later on – but there’s also the added bonus that children become used to orthodontic check-ups and can build up a rapport with our team. Having children trust and understand the treatments goes a long way towards preparing them for both the procedures and the outcomes.

Environment

We’ve worked hard at Dental Artistry to create an environment in which children and teens will feel comfortable. From the occasional appearance of Heidi’s canine companion Scout to help with the meeting and greeting, to the way reception is decorated to remove any traces of that traditional clinical and antiseptic atmosphere. We even have an animated educational video playing in reception to make the whole experience more interactive.

Process

From the very first consultation, Heidi is totally patient-focused. The idea is that she can help explain procedures, potential complications, time frames and costs as part of a general discussion rather than simply sitting down and telling parents and their children what is going to happen. Again, this is all part of building rapport with youngsters and creating a relaxed environment in which children can actually be excited about getting braces or other appliances because they want to see the results of the treatment. It’s during this process that Heidi and the patient can discuss the wide range of specially designed, coloured or customised child-friendly appliances and parents and youngsters can see the type of results from previous orthodontic work in our before and after gallery.

Understanding overall mouth health

When children are comfortable with their overall mouth health, they tend to either require less treatment or understand why they need specific treatment. Dental Artistry runs an oral myology programme that helps correct the type of abnormal oral habits that can lead to the misalignment of teeth in youngsters. Issues such as mouth breathing, incorrect positioning of the tongue, and thumb sucking, all have adverse effects on general health, normal dental development and the development of an attractive facial shape.

Understanding effect on how they look

One of the “cool” impacts of orthodontics for children – and one of the main reasons why treatments have become so much more accepted by youngsters these days – is how treatment can affect the way children look. By starting check-ups before the main period of facial growth, any potential issues can be spotted early and work can be done to maintain a good looking profile. There’s been a general move throughout society towards wanting a better, brighter smile and being more confident about showing your teeth – and it’s no different for children. When children see role models online or in the media undergoing orthodontic treatment, they see it as a “cool” status symbol and they understand that Heidi’s work can not only fix and straighten their teeth, but also improve their profile and facial features.

Working alongside parents

Parents are always going to be an integral part of a child’s orthodontic treatment, arranging appointments, offering motivation, listening to concerns and ensuring that the basics are covered (forgetting to wear appliances, missing appointments, and not brushing can seriously delay or impede treatment). Our team at Dental Artistry can help parents understand the overall picture as well as supplying valuable information about the sorts of foods and oral hygiene supplies they’ll need while their kid is going through treatment. One thing that’s special about our practice is that we focus on how the child’s breathing affects how they function. It’s important for parents to see the links between closed airways and complications such as snoring, bedwetting, learning difficulties, headaches and reduced concentration, because that then helps them understand the importance of orthodontic treatment.

For more information or to arrange a consultation, call us on 09 524 4541 orrequest an appointment.