As parents ourselves, we understand that your kids may have some apprehensions and worries about orthodontic treatment. We get it–It’s a BIG deal. At our Irvine orthodontic office at Simply Orthodontics, we will take extra care in making you and your child feel comfortable about the awesome smile journey ahead.

Here’s what you can do before your consultation with us that may help put yours and your child’s minds at ease:

Let them know that they are not alone!

With so many tweens and teens lining up for braces, it seems like they have now become almost a rite of passage in the United States. An estimated 4.5 million Americans — most of them children and teenagers — wear braces on their teeth, according to the American Association of Orthodontics. About 80 percent of those undergoing orthodontic treatment range in age from 6 to 18 years old.

Explain why they need treatment.

Orthodontic treatment results in an overall healthier mouth. Crooked or crowded teeth can be harder to clean, and this can lead to all sorts of nasty problems – tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. Teeth that are not aligned properly can result in difficulty chewing and speaking, excessive wear on tooth enamel and problems with the jaw.

You can also talk to them about societal values of having a beautiful smile, as addressed previously in one of our blog posts.

Talk to them about their options.

New technology in orthodontic treatment has opened up more options for families to choose from when it comes to straightening teeth. We wrote another blog post that talks about Invisalign aligners, traditional braces, or lingual braces for you to consider before your visit with us. Still uncertain? Here’s another post on the pros and cons of Invisalign versus braces. Don’t worry, we’ll figure out what’s best for your child and family together during your consultation.

Explain to them just how easy that initial consultation will be for them.

The first visit to our office is always the scariest for kids. We keep it easy and we will start with diagnostic photos, a panoramic x-ray, and a quick visual exam by our Irvine orthodontist. Our Treatment Coordinator will go over every step with you and your child. We will also entice them with complimentary snacks and iPads! Want more details? Head here to our blog post on what to expect during your first visit.

Help them focus on our end goals.

We’re going to work hard together to get the results: a healthy and beautiful smile. Very few people actually want to get braces, but we all want the end results. Orthodontic treatment on average takes about 18 to 24 months. Remind them that orthodontic treatment is a privilege and not every child is so lucky to be able to be treated.

We will make their experience with us as painless and easy as possible. Once you’re a patient with us, we will treat you like family! Plus, we have our awesome Simply Rewards Program to encourage patients to do well during treatment by giving them points that they can later redeem for gift cards.

Plan soft and easy to eat meals for the first few days.

That first night and the next morning will be the toughest adjustment. The best thing you can do for them is prepare braces-friendly foods for your child to come home to after they get their braces. Soft things like yogurt, fruit, soups, smoothies, steamed veggies or ice cream are perfect foods for people with braces because they’re easy to chew and won’t get caught in your child’s braces.

Remove temptation to eat restricted foods by removing items such as popcorn, chips, or candies that may be too hard, sticky, or chewy.

If they’re having Invisalign treatment, they will be able to continue on with their normal diet because they will take the aligners out while eating.

Purchase a Waterpik or airfloss and some mouth rinse.

Once braces are placed on their teeth, our amazing orthodontic assistant will sit with you and your child to talk about the importance of oral hygiene. Keeping those braces clean is no easy task, but we will teach you all the tips and tricks to make sure we keep those teeth healthy while they are in treatment. There are special flossers you can purchase specifically for braces, but we find the Waterpik or similar product to be especially helpful. It is important that your child continues to see their dentist every six months for their cleanings as we do not do cleanings in our office.

We can’t wait for you and your child to visit us at our orthodontics office in Irvine! Remember, consultations are complimentary and we will reserve enough time for you and your child to ask any questions you may have.