Getting braces is a big adjustment for anyone. But for teenagers, it can be particularly challenging and stressful. At a time when many teens are already self-conscious about their appearance, the addition of metal braces can make them feel even more insecure.
At Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, we know that getting braces is one of the best ways to enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles — but we also know it’s not easy to hear that your teen needs braces when all they’re worried about is how they’ll look in selfies with friends. Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, and our team are here to help.
As a parent, there are things you can do to help your teen cope with the idea of needing braces. Here are a few ways to make the experience more manageable for both of you.
Choose the right orthodontist
Your teen’s orthodontist can make all the difference in their experience with braces. Start by looking for an orthodontist who has experience working with teenagers and has a good reputation in your community.
Dr. Touni is a board-certified orthodontist and he specializes in braces for teens. Our team strives to be patient and understanding every step of the way.
Explain the process
One of the best ways to help your teen cope with getting braces is to explain the process thoroughly. At their first appointment, we discuss how long the treatment will last, what to expect during appointments, and how to care for their braces.
You can help by asking questions and encouraging them to do the same. If your teen knows what to expect before treatment starts, they’ll be better prepared to deal with any challenges that come their way.
Emphasize the benefits
It’s no secret that braces can be a hassle, but it’s important to make your teen aware of all the benefits they offer. Straightening teeth with braces improves your teen's appearance, corrects bite issues, and helps prevent more significant dental problems down the line.
In short, a few years of wearing braces can deliver decades of health benefits. Emphasizing the positives of braces can help your teen see the bigger picture.
Your teen may feel self-conscious about their braces, and that’s normal. You can make the transition easier by offering them support and encouragement.
Let them know you understand how they feel and that you’re there to support them throughout the process. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns, and listen to them without judgment.
Encourage healthy habits
Braces require a lot of care, but developing healthy habits at the start helps your teen keep their braces clean and in good condition. In fact, healthy oral hygiene habits help keep your teen’s treatment plan on track and minimize their treatment time.
This includes brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding sticky and hard foods, and wearing a mouthguard if they play sports. Encourage your teen to take responsibility for their oral health, and remind them that the effort will be worth it in the end.
Achieving a picture-perfect smile with braces can be a long process. To make the journey more enjoyable, try celebrating milestones along the way. These milestones can include the day they get their braces on, the day they get them off, and any other significant steps in their treatment process. Celebrating these milestones helps your teen stay motivated and feel proud of their progress.
If your teen is particularly self-conscious about the idea of braces, it might be worth considering alternative options. At Touni Orthodontics, we also offer clear aligners. Clear aligners are a popular alternative to traditional braces, and they can be a more discreet option for teens who are concerned about their appearance.
Getting braces can be a challenging time for teens, but it doesn't have to be a negative experience. There are lots of ways you can help your teen cope, and we’re here to help too. Schedule an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Touni by calling our office or requesting an appointment online today.