Your child is all set to get their braces and begin straightening their teeth—but now that the
appointment day is approaching, you’re having some anxiety about what the experience will be
like for your child and what to expect.
Even if your orthodontist has prepared you for your child’s appointment, the following tips will
help you to create an even smoother transition for your child to adapt to life with braces after
Preparing for Discomfort
Your child should be informed that there will be some pain associated with getting braces.
While teeth are shifting, especially during the first few days after getting braces, your child’s
teeth will be very sore and your child may be more irritable because of this discomfort.
In order to help alleviate your child’s pain, you should have the following on hand before your
child gets their braces:
Orthodontic Wax. This dental wax will help your child’s gum tissue adjust to the braces
by softening edges that may, at least in the beginning, rub painfully on your child’s
Cold Foods or Ice. Keeping cold foods such as ice cream, popsicles, and even frozen
yogurt on hand can help reduce discomfort while providing a soft, easy-to-eat snack.
Some children may also want to suck on ice, just be sure they don’t chew it as ice can
actually fracture teeth.
OTC Pain Medication.
Your orthodontist can recommend an anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen to help manage your child’s pain.
Not every child will experience the same level of pain when getting braces, but by keeping
these items on hand and preparing your child for the discomfort to come, you both can be
better prepared for adjusting to life with braces.
At Your Appointment
During your child’s appointment to get their braces on, you should expect to be there for
approximately one to two hours. Appointment time will vary by the type of braces your child is
getting, but typically, at least one hour is to be expected. Plan to be at the office for this
amount of time and don’t fret—your child’s orthodontist is doing his or her best to ensure the
application goes smoothly.
Stock the Fridge and Pantry
Be sure to stock plenty of soft foods for your child to eat in those first few days after they get
braces. Due to the level of discomfort children can experience with their new orthodontia, soft
foods are a must during those first tender days. Some good meal options and snacks include:
Bread products such as muffins or pancakes
Soft fruits such as bananas, watermelon, or ripe peaches
Keeping some of your child’s favorite soft foods on hand can help them better cope with the
discomfort of their new braces and keep them nourished during this time of transition.
Within a few days, your child’s teeth should begin to feel better. Most children adjust to their
braces after just a few weeks, so be patient while also being encouraging and prepared.
Is your child getting braces today? By being prepared with the necessary items including food,
orthodontic wax, and anti-inflammatory OTC medication, you can help your child adjust to their
new orthodontia and look forward to that straight smile when the braces finally come off!