To help your child through their orthodontic treatment, we’ve put together some insider advice on what to expect and how you can support them.

Is your child ready?

We recommend bringing your child to see us for a consultation between the ages of 8 and 10. Specialist orthodontist Dr. Jackie Bracken will carry out a thorough assessment to see if they need braces now, or are likely to need treatment in the future.

We’ll advise you on the best time to start orthodontic treatment, but you and your child need to decide if they’re ready.

To get the most from their treatment, they’ll need to take great care of their braces and follow our instructions carefully.

Thankfully, most of our patients are excited to start their journey and do a fantastic job of looking after their teeth and braces.

Preparing your child for braces

Your consultation is an excellent opportunity to talk to us about any concerns. If your child is feeling anxious about their treatment, please let us know. We’ll put them at ease and dispel any misconceptions they may have about braces.

Our experienced team will be by your child’s side throughout their treatment, giving them all the information and support they need to feel relaxed at every appointment.

Braces can take some adjustment, but with our advice and your encouragement, you can expect a positive experience – and a beautiful smile.

Preparing children for braces

How you can help

Here are some ways you can help your child through their smile transformation.

Help them to manage any initial discomfort

When we first fit your child’s braces, their teeth might feel achy as they start to move. Any discomfort shouldn’t last longer than 2–3 days, but if necessary, they can take over-the-counter pain killers to help.

During these first few days, stick to softer foods that won’t require much chewing, for example, pasta, rice and soups.

If their braces irritate the inside of their mouth, they can use some of the dental wax we provide to cover troublesome areas. Again, this is only a temporary side effect, and their mouth will quickly adapt.

Your child may experience similar side effects (to a lesser extent) each time we adjust their braces.

Encourage them to keep talking if they develop a lisp

Occasionally, removable braces can cause a slight lisp while the tongue gets used to its new surroundings. If this happens, the best thing you can do is encourage your child to keep talking.

The more they practice saying different words, the quicker their speech will return to normal.

Motivate them to keep their teeth and gums clean

Good oral hygiene is essential during orthodontic treatment. If your child doesn’t keep their teeth and gums healthy, it could result in long-term damage. In the worst-case scenario, we may recommend removing their braces mid-treatment.

We’ll give your child instructions on how to clean their teeth, and show them how to brush around their braces. It will take a bit of extra time, but it’s incredibly important.

You can check how well they are brushing using disclosing tablets. They work by staining plaque so you can see any areas that they missed.

Feed them brace-friendly foods and drinks

Throughout your child’s orthodontic treatment, they’ll need to be careful about what they eat and drink. Sugary foods and acidic beverages are damaging to teeth, so we recommend limiting their consumption while wearing braces. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar should only be enjoyed at mealtimes.

If your child is wearing fixed braces, they’ll need to avoid anything that could damage their brackets or wires. Culprits include anything particularly hard, chewy or sticky.

Make sure they wear their braces as advised

If your child has a functional appliance or Invisalign aligners, they’ll be able to remove their braces at specific times. Invisalign, for example, can be removed for eating, drinking, teeth brushing, music practice and contact sports.

While this freedom is fantastic, their braces will only be working while they’re wearing them. Invisalign aligners should be worn for at least 20 hours every day, or you won’t see results.

If you or your child have concerns about their commitment to removable aligners, they may be better suited to fixed braces, which are available with metal or clear ceramic brackets.

Contact us if they lose or break their braces

Accidents do happen. If your child loses or damages their braces, let us know straight away. We’ll arrange an appointment to see you as quickly as we can to minimise any disruption to their treatment plan.

You can contact us by phone or email at any point during your child’s treatment if you have any questions. Our approachable team are here to help.

To avoid MIA braces, always store appliances in their protective case when they’re not being worn. Never wrap them in tissue or leave them within pawing distance of pets.

If you’re ready to learn more about braces, for you or your child, contact us to arrange a consultation with Dr. Jackie Bracken.