So your child got her braces and you made it through week 1, as documented here when my child finally got her braces. Now what?
It seems that getting braces is a right of passage that is fully embraced by teens today. When I was younger, nobody wanted braces. As soon as you got them off, you erased them from your memory. No way would you wear a retainer and don’t even mention head gear. And it shows today. How many of us have gotten Invisalign as an adult? If we wore our retainers regularly the first time around, we would not need a second correction. Or a third.
But the teens today, they’re no dummies. They get it. They are begging to get braces by 5th grade because they can do the math. They know the first ones to get the braces on, are the first ones to get them off. And they are off to the races with their new perfect smile. No gear in high school, just pure beauty! However, what they don’t realize is how long the treatment is and how it varies for each person. And the novelty of having braces/getting straight teeth wears off pretty quickly.
Here’s what happened in my house. My child was B-E-G-G-I-N-G to get braces for a full year before she got them. She promised me she would do her part and would be patient and do everything Doc Coleman told her. Which she has done an excellent job. But she is now in the “when am I getting my braces off” mode and it has been going strong for a solid six months. And we’ve got another year to go, Lawd help me! I’ve come up with a few tips to keep them in the game for the long haul for those of you behind me with either newbie braces or soon-to-come braces.
My Smarty tips to keep the braces honeymoon going strong:
1) Let them get Starbucks or Chipotle each time they have an appointment. I SWORE I would not cater to this. But I totally lied. It’s the right thing to do. Keeps ’em happy and excited for their endless appointments. You’ll be happier in the long run.
2) Always pack Motrin in your purse on ortho appointment days. I always forget to do this. And we are always running in CVS on the way back to school. Why can’t I remember this?!
3) Throw in a few mid-day ortho appointments so you can grab lunch together, just the two of you. Your child will love this one-on-one time and you will too. No distractions. Just the two of you. Plus, she will bow down to you because she got to miss a good bit of school that day.
4) Encourage them to engage in the orthodontist’s contests – these are the bomb.com. You can score Beats headphones, Beats speakers, mini iPads, movie tickets, mall gift cards, the prizes are endless. And PERFECT for teens. I wish I could enter. Actually, I think moms should definitely be able to win this stuff.
5) MAKE THEM WEAR THEIR RUBBERBANDS. This is the one part of their orthodontic treatment that they have full control over affecting their outcome. If they wear their rubberbands exactly as the ortho tells them to, they will definitely reduce the length of time in braces. This should not be hard to do, but every kid fights it. We’re just getting started with the bands. I know I’m going to get major pushback. But my response will be simply “do you want to wear braces to your prom? I didn’t think so. Wear your bands:-)”
6) Take lots of braces pictures. These will be your last pictures of your child’s youth. Once these come off, it’s as if they become adults overnight.
If you’re in the market for braces, I highly recommend getting a consult with Drs. Hull & Coleman. We have had the best experience – me as an adult Invisalign patient a few years ago, and my oldest currently in braces. I am confident we are in the right practice. They have three more Plyms coming their way, those lucky ducks:-)
Share in the comments below your braces experiences! Did I miss any good tips?!
You can find Hull & Coleman Orthodontics at:
7800 Providence Road, Suite 201
Charlotte, NC 28226
Wesley Chapel Office
5941 Weddington Road
Wesley Chapel, NC 28104
You can always find them on facebook.
I can remember getting braces as if it was yesterday. Dr. Barkett’s office looked like a space ship and I came out looking like an alien – headgear and all! I couldn’t wait until the day I got them off and joined the wall of celebrity (all his patients that endured braces). It was a right of passage as a teenager.