Teenagers And Braces? Tips To Help Parents Help Their Teens With Orthodontia


For most kids, the teenage years are certain to be a minefield of self-confidence and insecurity issues. So the last thing most teens want to hear from their dentist is that they will need to wear braces or retainers or undergo some other type of extensive orthodontia that will be visible every time they smile or speak. This can leave parents at a loss as to what they should do to help their teen accept their situation and make the best of it. If you are a parent who is currently in this situation, here are some important ways in which you can bolster your child's self-confidence, make them more comfortable, and help them see their orthodontic work as a positive experience. 

Start by helping teens see the future

One of the biggest reasons for teenage angst about wearing braces involves the effect they fear it will have on their current appearance and social life. Parents who can successfully help their teens understand that wearing braces now for a short time will offer them the chance to enjoy a healthy, attractive smile for the remainder of their lives are proactively helping their child overcome childish fears and look at the situation in a more mature manner.

Outfit them with proper care tools

Teens that are wearing braces are likely to adjust to their situation more quickly if they have the tools they need to make the care routine effortless. Parents can assist in this effort by purchasing all the items needed for their care and making sure their teen's bathroom counter, gym bag, and backpack are fully outfitted. If flossing seems to be a contentious subject, parents may want to invest in a water pick appliance that the teen may find more user-friendly. A complete list of care needs can be obtained from the orthodontist or any member of your child's dental health team.

Retrofit the home pantry and fridge

Teens who snack frequently, as most do, can have much more trouble adjusting to braces than those who don't. This is because many of the snacks that teens most enjoy are no longer on the allowed list while wearing braces, including popcorn, nuts, sticky sweets, and gum.

Parents can help teens better adjust to snacking on more dental-friendly choices by opting to stock acceptable treats that the teen will enjoy instead of purchasing the foods they should no longer snack on. Some good snack choices that teens are likely to enjoy include: 

  • roll-ups made with their favorite cheese and deli meat
  • fruity yogurt or frozen yogurt pops 
  • soft fruit, like melons, cherries, berries, and bananas
  • melons, including watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew
  • avocado or peanut butter and jelly on toast
  • moderately crunchy foods, like potato chips and crackers

Most teens with braces can also enjoy pizza and pocket-style warm-up sandwiches, which can be stocked ahead of time in the freezer and then quickly microwaved for a quick, satisfying snack. 

As part of any pantry and fridge retrofit to make eating easier for teens with braces, parents will also want to make sure their family's meal plans include braces-friendly foods. 

Be watchful for fit issues 

Teens can be guilty of failing to fully communicate any discomfort that their braces may be causing. But parents can be just as guilty of failing to hear the comments and recognize small signals that their teen is dealing with discomfort or pain from their orthodontia. Parents can avoid this situation by remembering to ask their child frequently how they are doing with their braces and then taking the time to really listen to their child's response. 

Parents who want their teens and adolescent children to enjoy a comfortable experience while wearing braces should always start by selecting a dentist and orthodontist that both they and their child feel comfortable with. To find this type of dental health care provider in your area, start by visiting a reputable dental clinic near you with your child and taking a few minutes to tour the office and meet with the staff. 

About Me

FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.

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