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5 Tips to Prepare Your Teen for Braces

teen prepared for braces

Teens already have enough changes happening in their lives. Think pimples… awkward dates… and bad hair days. They’re basically a rite of passage. Some teens may see braces as a part of this unfortunate transition phase—but we’re there to correct that! We want teens to feel good about getting braces and undergoing a life-changing transformation.

Our orthodontists (Dr. Justin, Dr. Andrew, Dr. Ian, Dr. Daniela, and Dr. Carlos) and our team have the skills, experience and tips your teen needs to achieve a beautiful smile without the awkward experience.

Here’s what you can do to help your teen prepare for braces or Invisalign® treatment.

1. Remind them how common braces are.

Braces are really common. Children, teens and adults undergo orthodontic treatment all the time. Show your teen pictures of their favorite celebrities wearing braces. These won’t be difficult to find; plenty of celebrities have worn braces and Invisalign to achieve a Hollywood smile.

(Justin Beiber used Invisalign; Emma Watson and Kendall Jenner had braces, and so did Zac Efron and Tom Cruise!)

If your teen is still self-conscious about teen braces, maybe it’s best to start their treatment during the summer months. School is out and your teen will have some time to adjust to their new life with braces.

Don’t forget, your teen can choose Invisalign too! Teens aren’t limited to traditional metal braces.

2. Discuss the treatment, so they know what to expect.

Before our team of orthodontists can start braces treatment, your child will need to have their teeth cleaned by a general dentist no less than six months before getting braces. Clean teeth and gums assure us that there are no underlying oral health issues, like gum disease or cavities, that may prevent or delay braces treatment.

Teens may wonder if braces are painful, but our orthodontists have years of experience and training fitting thousands of teen braces. We’ve completed thousands of successful treatments over the years! Braces treatment with us will not be painful.

We can assure your child that we do everything we can, providing you with all of the resources and information you need, to make the adjustment phase most comfortable.

3. Start adjusting the family menu early on.

One of the more difficult adjustments that teens will have to make with braces is the temporary dietary adjustment. Foods and candies that are especially sticky, hard or chewy, will take a temporary hiatus from the menu.

While your teen’s teeth and gums are adjusting to their treatment, their mouth will be a bit more tender than usual. Eating softer foods can help minimize this discomfort. Stock up on easy foods like mashed potatoes, chopped or sliced fruits, mac ‘n’ cheese, applesauce, oatmeal, etc.

4. Prepare a braces kit.

Having braces requires a little more discipline in the dental hygiene department, and you don’t want your child to neglect their teeth while they are out and about. It’s a good idea to create a braces care kit that they can carry with them whenever they go out or head off to school. Things you should include in your teen braces kit are:

  • Travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste to keep braces free of debris after meals
  • Dental wax to ease irritation or protect the mouth from wires or brackets in the event that they become loose
  • Floss to clean between the teeth after meals
  • Tylenol or another over-the-counter pain reliever if your teen is experiencing some soreness
  • Small pocket mirror to floss or brush teeth on-the-go

5. Make sure they have a mouthguard for sports!

Your child doesn’t have to sit on the sideline during their orthodontic treatment! A mouthguard is essential for protecting the teeth and braces during an impact. If your teen incurs an impact by colliding with another player or taking a ball to the face, there’s a chance that they damage their mouth or another player—with or without braces.

This is why mouthguards are critical for creating a barrier between the object of impact, and your child’s mouth. By purchasing a mouthguard ahead of time, before your child gets braces, he or she won’t have to sit out on any practices or games.

(Your child should be wearing a mouthguard with or without braces anyway.)

Still have questions about preparing for teen braces?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, West Boca Raton, East Boca Raton, Coconut Creek, Pembroke Pines, and Coral Springs, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.