Does My Child Need Braces? What If They Refuse Orthodontic Treatment?
As a parent, you want only the best for your child, and what’s best is often not what is the easiest. So, how do you deal with a child that refuses to get braces?
Braces for kids: does my child need braces?
While many children are reluctant to get braces, the benefits are significant. A straight smile exudes confidence and is an attractive and appealing first impression. Straight and healthy teeth may have a positive impact on your social, emotional and career successes. Braces aren’t just cosmetic: braces can be used to help realign the jaws to correct over or underbites and help prevent other major dental issues in the future. Crooked teeth and bite issues can cause emotional distress to many, impacting their confidence, mental health and social life. Early treatment is best, as the softer tissue of children’s mouths is easier to work with.
When can my child get braces? What’s the best age?
The optimal time for child braces will vary with each individual – it is important to be guided by your orthodontist. It is highly recommended to wait until your child is physically and emotionally ready for treatment, which is often between the ages of 10 and 14 years.
It is increasingly common for children around this age to receive orthodontic braces treatment. As they are more emotionally in tune, it is easier for your child to accept and feel comfortable with their own braces. At times, children who refused or were not given the opportunity to have braces as a child often regret it and seek treatment as an adult, which can be more challenging.
Helpful tips for parents of reluctant children refusing braces
Here are a few suggestions on dealing with any questions that come your way.
– Make time to sit down with your child so they can express their questions or concerns. Validate their feelings. It’s natural for a child to be concerned about how their friends will react. Reach out to someone with braces who they can talk to about their experience.
– If possible, arrange the initial braces appointment for the school holidays. This will allow your child to have time to adjust and for their closest friends to support them.
– Give kids a sense of control over colours. There are many colour band options, and metal braces are now smaller with lower profiles. Kids are more likely to accept their braces if they have some control over the process and a way to express their style and personality.
– The average treatment time for braces is 18 months. For a teenager, that is a really long time! Work with your child to set goals or rewards that align with their orthodontist visits or milestones of the progress as a way to stay motivated.
With kindness, empathy and information, you can help your child come to accept braces treatment. If your child needs reassurance on how the whole process works, you can book an appointment with one of our Parramatta dentists at Dental Avenue. Call us on 02 8004 0055 and talk to one of our friendly team members today.