Although having braces is a big privilege that will allow your child to have straight teeth, it is also a big responsibility for a young child. Here are three ways you can help your child manage this large responsibility. 

Check In With Your Child

Braces often require a degree of regular maintenance. If your child currently has to wear rubber bands, make sure you check in with your child on a daily basis. If you see that your child has put on their rubber bands as they are getting ready in the morning, let your child know that you see and appreciate their effort. Even saying something as simple as "I can see you put in your rubber bands today" or "I like the color of rubber bands that you chose today" will provide your child with the positive reinforcement they need to keep up this important dental habit.

If your child is struggling to remember to put in their rubber bands, talk with your child and work together to devise a plan to help them remember. You could have them set an alarm on their phone to remind them when to put on and check their rubber bands. You could talk to your child about where to place the rubber bands so that it is easy for your child to remember to use them. If your child wants, you could also provide them with a daily reminder. 

The key is to check in with your child and provide them with positive support. In order for their braces to be effective, they need to follow all of their orthodontist's instructions.

Emphasize The Importance Of Good Dental Hygiene

Good dental hygiene is a habit you should already be working on with your child. However, once your child gets braces, good dental hygiene habits become even more important. Food can easily get stuck in and around your child's braces, making it extremely important that your child keeps up on their dental hygiene.

Here are a few ways you can reinforce good dental hygiene habits:

  • Let your child choose their next toothbrush. If they like their toothbrush, they will be more likely to use it. Keep up this good energy and allow your child to choose a new toothbrush every three months or so.
  • Let your child pick out the type of floss that they want to use. There are many alternatives to just using a string of floss. Let your child experiment with different floss instruments until they find something that works well for them. 
  • Create a sticker chart that tracks when your child brushes and flosses their teeth. Reward them with a fun activity when they reach a certain number of days where they took care of their dental health habits on time. Slowly increase the number of days that it takes for them to earn a reward in order to increase your child's responsibility for their health habits. 
  • Compliment your child when you see them brushing and flossing their teeth without being reminded by you. Positive reinforcement is a great way to cultivate good habits.

For more information, contact Wright Center For Orthodontics or a similar location.