April is a busy month here at Melton Orthodontics. The NHS funding starts on 1st April and this is when we start to fit braces for all the young people currently on our waiting lists.
It is quite likely that some children are afraid of the unknown when it comes to braces, while others are very excited to join their friends who already have braces.
Below are five of the most common questions that children are likely to ask about orthodontic treatment - along with answers that aim to satisfy their curiosity or concern:
1. Why do I have to wear braces?
The goal of child orthodontics is to make sure all the teeth are straight and not at crooked angles. Explain that if their teeth continue growing in the wrong directions, it can cause them to have problems speaking, chewing and biting. As parents, you don’t want your child to have those kinds of problems; you want them to have a beautiful smile that’s just as amazing as they are.Talking to someone who has braces and having them explain their experience can help a child know what to expect before they get braces themselves, so encourage them to talk to their friends who have braces too.
2. Will it hurt?
This is the most common question we get asked and we are able to say "only a little bit at the beginning as the teeth begin to move and sometimes when the brace has been adjusted". Giving a little pain releif at these times takes any discomfort away and keeps children free from pain.
3. How long will I have to wear them?
Okay, so this is a bit tricky, it depends on what we need to do and each person is different. But we can normally say 12- 18 months for fixed braces.
4. How will I eat with braces in?
Eating and drinking habits will need to change a little when your child has braces. Hard foods that you normally bite into should now be cut up into small pieces or grated to prevent snapping the brace off the front teeth. Stcky and chewy foods will need to be avoided to stop breaking the brace on the back teeth. Also we encourage any habits to stop like nail biting or chewing pens/pencils.
Other things that are generally bad for teeth should be avoided especially when braces are in place to help your childs teeth remain healthy. So we asked that sugary snacks and foods are kept to a minimumand fizzy drinks due to high sugar and acid content should be stopped. We encourage healthy foods and where possible drinking water or milk.
5. Can I still do sports?
Wearing a brace shouldn't get in the way off any activities your child is currently involved in, swimming, playing football or netball etc should all carry on s normal. However, we recommend investing in a custom made sports mouthguard for any child doing contact sports and particularly for fixed brace wearers . For children who have removable braces, we ask that the brace is taken out and stored carefully in a brace box while taking part in a sporting activity and then put back in as soon as it is finished. You can ask reception or any of the team for more information about sports mouthguards.
If you, or your child, have any other questions about orthodontic treatment then please do not hesitate to call us on 01664 481048 - and our friendly team will be able to help.