La Grange, IL – Braces, for many people, are just a fact of life. While this and other orthodontic procedures for teens are often not appreciated at the time, they will pay off in dividends later on. But how can parents get their children not just ready, but excited for braces? La Grange/Oak Park orthodontist Dr. Richard Battistoni offers some advice.
“Most of us have had braces ourselves,” notes Dr. Battistoni. “If at all possible, empathize with your child. If you have photos of yourself with braces on, now is a wonderful time to get them out to show your child! The two of you can laugh together, but more importantly, your child will see that your teeth turned out all the better for braces, and his will as well.”
For parents who have not had any orthodontic work done, just listening to their child can go a long way. Oftentimes, children simply need someone to hear them and allow them to vent.
Take Before and After Photos
With the advent of smartphones and cameras on every device from laptops to tablets, it’s easy and fast to take photos that can document the start-to-finish progression of the orthodontic treatment. Children can be encouraged to keep a scrapbook, blog, or YouTube channel in order to show their results over time. Visiting other such pages can show children that they are far from alone in this process.
In fact, many celebrities had braces when they were younger, including the likes of Justin Bieber and Emma Watson. Many websites also exist to show how braces can be a fashion statement and are worn by famous people everywhere. Parents might recall Tom Cruise, Faith Hill, Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry sporting what are affectionately referred to as “tinsel teeth.”
Demystify the Orthodontist
Some children simply fear going to the dentist or orthodontist due to a fear of the unknown. The initial visit to a practice can often be previewed online, or discussed on the phone when making the appointment.
“And if your orthodontist lets you, go with your child into the exam room,” encourages Dr. Battistoni. “That way, your child can see that you’re not afraid of the facility or procedures, and you can hold your child’s hand for support.”
Make It Fun
Many parents have found it helpful to make the day at the orthodontist a pleasant one afterward. Spending time together at the park, arcade, or at a picnic can help children associate the orthodontist visit with pleasant activities.
Some patients prefer to have colored braces for added personalization. The bands may be changed every visit to update the child’s look.
“Overall, help your child see that the orthodontist is here to help you. The more positive experiences you allow your child to have before and after the visit, the better the outcome for both of you,” Dr. Battistoni explains. “After all, you, your child, and the orthodontist all have the same goal: to get your child’s smile healthy and aligned.”
To learn more about braces for your children, schedule a complimentary consultation with a braces orthodontist at Battistoni and Beam Orthodontics or call 708.352.4500 in La Grange or 708.848.5900 in Oak Park.
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