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Being a teenager with braces is much less of a big deal than it was say 10 or 20 years ago and teenagers often now don’t care about having braces, however, this doesn’t mean that getting braces isn’t a big thing and it can be overwhelming for some teenagers. Due to the length and frequency of orthodontic treatment, this can often put some teenagers off having the treatment altogether due to the fear of pain or discomfort, or the worry of how the braces will look to their peers.
Here at Dental Solutions, our peripatetic orthodontist Dr Marcin Piekara has over 15 years of experience and practices all aspects of orthodontics across Cheshire and Greater Manchster, with a range of children’s and teenager orthodontic services.
As a parent, there are some ways in which you can support your teenager whilst they are having their orthodontic treatment, from pain treatment to orthodontic hygiene. With this in mind, here are 3 ways that you can support your teenager with braces.
When your teenager has braces fixed, it’s important to encourage them to keep up with good habits and oral hygiene to maintain the longevity of their orthodontic treatment and to ensure their final results are unaffected. We all know that brushing twice a day is important for our oral health, but for a teenager with braces, they might find that they want to brush more regularly throughout the day.
Brace brackets and wires can cause food debris to get trapped in between teeth, which can then lead to poor oral hygiene. If your teenager struggles to brush in between their teeth with a normal toothbrush, then interdental brushes can help get to hard to reach spots. As well as this, using floss and mouthwash regularly is really important. Remember, chewing gum is not recommended for brace wearers as it can break the wire and brackets.
Teenagers with braces will likely have regular follow up appointments and checkups after having their braces fitted. These appointments often result in the braces and wires being tightened, in order to move the teeth into the right position as part of their treatment. This tightening can cause certain levels of pain and discomfort in the days following and leave teeth feeling sensitive, which can affect eating and drinking. Before any checkups, it may be necessary to take some painkillers to reduce discomfort and then follow this up with additional painkillers as and when required. If your teenager is being scratched or poked by wires or brackets, then this can also cause certain levels of discomfort and pain, so it’s important to let your teenager know that if they are in pain or discomfort, that they need to let you know so that you can help.
It’s important for teenagers with braces to understand the process involved and how long their treatment is expected to take. This can help to maintain and manage expectations, as some teenagers may not realise that their treatment will take as long as is needed, or will actually be much shorter than they imagine.
Your teenager might not realise that braces and orthodontic treatment is important for their long-term oral health and self confidence, or they might not fully realise the impact that braces can have on their day to day life and can impact things such as sports, food and drinks and oral hygiene habits. It’s important that, in order to achieve the desired end results, that guidance is followed to avoid breakages and discomfort.
If you or your teenager has any questions or queries in regards to getting braces, then during your initial consultation, Marcin can discuss these in more detail and help your teenager to understand. If you’ve been referred to an NHS orthodontist, but are faced with long waiting times, then here are Dental Solutions, we can provide immediate treatment. For more information on our teen orthodontic treatments, contact us today to arrange your initial consultation.