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Stuttering Shell: BRACE FACE - Welcoming Braces

Sunday, May 24, 2009

BRACE FACE - Welcoming Braces

This is the 2nd discussion in my "Brace Face" series and I'd love to hear from you all - whether you are a parent or not!

For many parents (myself included), the thought of putting a child in braces can seem quite daunting...socially (for the child), physically (for the child), emotionally (for both) and financially ( & dad's poor bank account!). If you wore braces, what do you remember about your first experiences with them? How did you feel at first? I remember when I first got my braces it was pretty strange and I most definitely remember how sore my mouth was, too! I didn't feel too awkward because, luckily, most all of my friends were in braces, too. Besides, all of the cool rubber bands in different colors (fortunately) made wearing braces seem almost fun.

For those of you who aren't parents, but do have experience with braces, what kind of advice would you pass along to parents & children about braces? Do you have any fun memories to share or any words of wisdom?

Below is a post that I am using with permission from Rachel at American Pop (remember, their company is working with the AAO)...enjoy!

Tips to Help Your Child Welcome Braces

Catherine Manabat is a guest blogger, writing on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontists.

The American Association of Orthodontists is a resource for parents to learn more about orthodontic treatments and provides general tips on how to achieve healthy, beautiful smiles, get braces-friendly recipes, and find an orthodontist near you by using the Find an Orthodontist Locator service. Why should you choose an orthodontist? Orthodontists receive an additional two-to-three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.

Catherine is also a proud former “braceface” and smiles every day to prove it!

Each year, a considerable number of children are fitted for braces to straighten and guide wayward teeth to their proper places. The result is a healthy, beautiful smile. When gaps and crowing are eliminated, teeth are sure to last longer and fight cavities more effectively.
Each child can have a different reaction to the process of getting braces and having a new look for 18 to 24 months (the actual length of treatment for your child depends on his/her individual case). If you have been informed that your child will need braces, it’s good to get him/her used to the idea even before they get their brackets placed.

Ask family members who might be able to offer their own tips or positive experiences for you and your child. To find an orthodontist near you, visit the Find an Orthodontist Locator service or ask your dentist for a referral.

Be open to the questions and concerns your child may bring up. Being sympathetic is a great approach. Also, keep a positive outlook, and focus on the results—a healthy, attractive smile! Point out celebrities, especially kid or teen stars, and classmates of your child who wear braces to show them that they are not the only one with braces.

Take some time to familiarize your child with each step of getting braces. From taking impressions and x-rays to getting the actual braces, knowing how each step works and why it’s important will better prepare your child for what’s to come.

It’s a good idea to celebrate the day your child receives braces by taking them out for a treat or write in a journal about the experience. Pledge to do the same on the day the braces are removed to look back on a great childhood memory!

Once your child has his/her braces on, be sure to remind them about brushing and flossing correctly and the additional rinsing that will help keep their teeth clean. Soon enough, they’ll get used to the new routine.

Braces can be integrated into your lives quite easily with a little preparation. It can be a great experience for your child, and soon enough they’ll be enjoying the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I *may* have a bad way! I wore braces for 2.5 years and had to have many a tooth pulled before getting a 'metal mouth'.
...not good times...

That being said-if your child needs braces-regardless of the social awkwardness, your own hangups or finances-figure it out and get them.

Happy Sunday!

May 24, 2009, 2:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

completely unrelated
Shades of Green is now A Different View and my address has changed from to


May 24, 2009, 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I got the top braces put on first. They HURT! My mouth was so sore and raw. They were so rough. When I got the botom ones a week or two later, I had just begun to adjust to the top. I was given strips of wax to put on them to help, but I don't think it helped much. It didn't really bother me socially because there were so many kids at school with them.

May 25, 2009, 6:02:00 PM  

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