Here Are a Few Ways to Help Your Child Get Used to Their Braces

When almost 20% of the population doesn’t have an ideal bite, braces are a very common treatment option. And if your child is preparing to get braces, you might be wondering how to make them feel a little bit more comfortable, especially while eating. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Take Time to Explain Problem Foods

One of the biggest changes for your child when they get braces will be taking foods out of their diet that could interfere with their orthodontic treatment. While orthodontic technology may have advanced in the last few decades, that doesn’t mean traditional metal braces are immune to breakage if you’re not careful! If you’re not sure what kinds of foods are off-limits while your child had braces, make a point to do a little bit of research together. That way you’ll both have an idea of what’s considered a problem food. Here are a few common problem foods to start you off:

  • Chewy foods like licorice
  • Crunchy foods like popcorn
  • Hard foods like nuts
  • Sticky foods like caramel
  • Sugary foods like candy
  • Foods you need to bite like corn on the cob

Hard fruits and vegetables can also be a problem when it comes to braces. It can be a tough change to stomach, but give your child reassurance that these changes aren’t permanent. Even the teens who can afford Invisalign (some 5 million of them!) need to make these sorts of dietary changes in order to protect their investment.

Provide a Little Bit of Food Assistance

When it comes to dietary changes for your child with braces, it’s easy to think that it means eliminating all of these foods from their diet entirely. While foods like popcorn and nuts should probably stay off the menu for a while, there’s no reason you can’t make a few modifications to the way you serve meals and snacks to help your child maintain a balanced diet and protect their braces at the same time. For hard fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots, simply cutting them into thin slices or cooking them first can ensure that your child can still eat their favorite healthy snacks.

Likewise, foods that require you to bite them to eat them don’t necessarily have to go away forever. If you’re cooking chicken on the bone, consider simply removing the meat from the bone before serving it to your child with braces. Corn on the cob can be cut off the cob and still remain just as delicious.

Remind Your Child They’re Not Alone

When your child is the only person in your house with braces, it can make them feel a little bit alienated from everyone else. The specific dietary changes they need to make don’t necessarily make that feeling go away, either. Part of helping your child get used to their new braces is letting them know that they’re not alone. You’re here to help! And one small way you can help is to cook softer foods for the whole family. Soups, stews, and roasted vegetables provide a plethora of options for you to choose from in the kitchen.

Another way to let your child know they’re not alone is to show them old pictures of you when you had braces. It’s awkward for everyone when they first get braces! And if your child is having trouble with their new orthodontic equipment maintenance, make a point to complete some of those tasks with them. For example, it’s recommended to brush your teeth twice daily, but your child may need to brush and floss more often to keep their braces clean. Complete these tasks with them to help them get into the routine! You just might be surprised at how much it helps.

Having braces for the first time can be tough! As a parent, it’s your job to help your child adjust by offering different kinds of support for them.

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