Starting orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign® for the first time is undeniably an adjustment! 

If you recently scheduled your child’s free consultation and your child is feeling a bit nervous about what’s to come, or your child just started orthodontic treatment and has some concerns about their new life with braces, we’re here for you. 

Here are 5 tips to help your child brace for change, and ease their fears about braces for kids, Invisalign for kids, or orthodontics:

How to prepare for braces

1. Start with an open and honest conversation!

Communication is key. When you and your child visit us, we’ll do our part to help resolve any preconceptions about braces or orthodontic treatment, but it’s helpful for you to start the conversation at home too!

Explain why your child needs orthodontics and how it’ll benefit them – in terms of their health and self-esteem. Tell them that orthodontic treatment is common, and many of the people they know will undergo orthodontics in the future or have already gone through it. 

From our experience, children who feel in-the-know and in-the-loop about the decision to start treatment tend to feel more comfortable with the process!

2. Explain the process of getting braces or Invisalign.

If your child is anxious about what to expect when you visit us, use our website as a resource to prepare them for the experience. Head over to our “Your First Visit” page to find out what you and your child can expect during your complimentary consultation and orthodontic exam. 

You can learn about the process in detail on that page, but here’s a quick summary to familiarize you:

  1. First, we’ll welcome you and your child with smiling faces! We’ll acquaint you with our team and office to ensure that you’re both comfortable. 
  2. Once we’re ready to begin the orthodontic exam, your friendly, experienced orthodontist (Dr. Saxe) will assess your child’s smile by taking some quick digital x-rays and digital impressions. 
  3. After gathering all of the necessary smile data, Dr. Saxe will design a personalized treatment plan for your child! It’s that easy!

We’ll help you decide whether braces or Invisalign is best for your child, based on his or her lifestyle and preferences.

3. Talk about the coolness factor in orthodontic treatment!

Orthodontic treatment is cool!! Many of your child’s favorite celebrities, actors, actresses and influencers have worn braces or Invisalign to achieve their movie-star smiles. It may be helpful to research a few celebrities who proudly and publicly went through orthodontic treatment and talk to your child about them. 

Justin Bieber, Zac Efron, Miley Cyrus, Khloe Kardashian, Zendaya and Billie Eilish all went through orthodontic treatment! If your child knows that someone he or she looks up to has gone through the same process and come out successfully on the other side, this may give them the confidence and motivation they need to start their own journey too.

If you’ve worn braces or Invisalign, talk about your experience with them too!

4. Address the misconceptions.

There are a few misconceptions about getting braces for kids or starting treatment with Invisalign, and these may be hindering your child from feeling the true excitement of transforming his or her smile. Let’s address them!

Does it hurt to get braces?” No! We hope your child will be relieved to know that getting braces at any age does not hurt. The process of placing braces simply involves a bit of dental glue, a tool to hold the cheeks and lips back while placing the brackets, and a wire threaded through the brackets. No part of this process is painful. 

“Can I still eat snacks with braces or Invisalign?” Yes! While your child’s diet will require a few minor changes with braces, Invisalign doesn’t require any dietary changes. If your child is a foodie who doesn’t want to give up his or her favorite foods, you may want to consider Invisalign for a smoother transition! 

5. Consider a positive reward system. 

If your child is still apprehensive about getting braces, consider implementing a reward system to encourage them to give orthodontic treatment a try. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Take your child to a pre-celebratory lunch of their choice before you visit us for your consultation. 
  • Reward them with a new book after getting their braces or Invisalign. 
  • Create a Smile Sticker Chart and add a new sticker after each orthodontist appointment. Once they accumulate a certain number of stickers, they can redeem them for a reward of their choice – like a new toy, a video game, or their favorite dessert!
  • Let your child pick out a cool new toothbrush and handheld mirror to reward them for starting treatment but also to encourage great oral hygiene!

Rewarding your child with small prizes can help your child feel excited about getting braces, and keep them motivated to continue to progress throughout the treatment process!

Still have questions about helping your child Brace for Change?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’ve seen many young children who were apprehensive about starting orthodontic treatment when they arrived on their first visit. 

Dr. Saxe and our team at Saxe Orthodontics have the experience and expertise necessary to help your child feel comfortable as they transition into their new life with braces or Invisalign.

Ready to schedule your child’s first orthodontic exam? Request your complimentary consultation at our orthodontist office in Summerlin, Las Vegas!