We have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that orthodontists have identified the ideal time to start orthodontic treatment. It is the time right after the second molars have erupted, after all he milk teeth have fallen out. This is usually around 12 years of age. The bad news? This is one of the worst times in a person’s life to be convinced of anything, especially by their parents. Here is how to make your kids understand the necessity of an orthodontic treatment.
Many pre-teens and tweens are extremely conscious of their looks. This does not mean that they cannot be convinced of getting braces. There are more options.
First of all, tell them that taking care of your looks is a long term project. Show some Google image searches for things like micrognathia, crowding, periodontitis, and other problems that can result of having crooked or overlapping teeth. This should be enough for them to understand that a little bit of discomfort and dental treatment now will be worth it in the long run.
Second of all, there are aesthetic options available. Even with fixed braces, you can get ones that are aesthetically pleasing, or ones that are near invisible and for a bit more, you can get lingual braces that remain completely invisible.
Health consciousness and orthodontic braces
Some young teenagers are very conscious of their health. These kids should be the easiest to convince, as they can easily be made of aware of the long term problems that may result from having improperly aligned teeth. Explain to them the proliferation of bacteria, the interconnectedness of the human system, and how the health of each part affects and boosts the other. Tell them that improper alignment can lead to back pains, migraines, lockjaw, and of course the many kinds of dental problems that can occur.
Social teens and braces
If your child has a very important social life, it is also easy to get them to understand the importance of orthodontic treatment. Simply tell them that the ability to smile and the frankness of your smile is something that is extremely important for both your career and personal life, and has an effect on absolutely everything in your life. Explain to them about the stigma associated with bad teeth, and how appearances can affect success.
The most important thing is to talk, and let your child talk about their feelings. Try and not diminish the importance of how they feel, and validate their feelings, but also tell them why they have to have an orthodontic treatment. With good communication and a child friendly and understanding orthodontist, this can be a minor episode in your relationship with each other.