The prospect of wearing traditional braces isn't typically appealing to teenagers, as they tend to worry about what other people will think about them. But waiting until adulthood to realign teeth can mean longer and more invasive treatment procedures, so it's a good idea to nip things in the bud and get your teen fitted with braces as early as possible after finding out that there's a problem. Here are a few things you can do to make your teen feel more comfortable with wearing their new metal braces:
Invest in Colored Bands
To make wearing braces a little more fun and to give your teen more control over their braces, invest in a variety of different colored rubber bands instead of clear or white ones. The band colors can be changed by your teen on a day-to-day or even hourly basis depending on their mood, preference, and the way they want to be perceived by others in the world at the time. You can customize the brace bands to fit your teen's interests too. If they're into sports, consider getting them bands that match their favorite team colors. If they are into art, choose pastels and those with abstract designs on them.
Offer the Ability to Accessorize
Another thing you can do to make wearing traditional braces a little easier on your teen is to give them an opportunity to buy some new accessories that will make them feel more confident in their braces. Give them a small budget and let them shop online or at a local shop to find a few accessories to complement their dental gear such as scarfs, hats, or even jewelry. They can then look forward to wearing something new once their braces are in place that will take some of the focus off their mouth and put it on their overall style, which can be helpful when it comes to attending school and spending time with friends.
Create a Reward Plan
To keep your teen engaged and interested in taking care of their braces while wearing them, create a reward plan for them to follow throughout the entirety of their teeth alignment treatment. Make sure your teen understands that the better they take care of their teeth and braces during the treatment, the less time they'll likely have to wear the braces overall. Hang a whiteboard on the wall and each weekend create a care plan for your teen to follow in the coming week. Have them check off each task as it is completed, and if all tasks are marked off at the end of the week, you can present them with a small reward – like a pair of movie tickets. Include everything from brushing teeth to dental appointments on the task list to keep your teen on track and ensure that your investment on braces is well worth it when all is said and done.
For a teenager orthodontics can be a struggle. These tips can make it easier.