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Preparing Your Child For Braces

Getting braces is an important and life-changing moment for children. For parents and children alike, this is an exciting time, but such a big change can also take some preparation. As a parent, there are several ways to help make this transition easier for your child, and get them on track to a beautiful smile:


  1. Talk to Them About What to Expect Before They Get Their Braces

    As a kid, the countdown to getting braces is usually filled with excitement or tinged with worry. Talking about what to expect before-hand can make a huge difference. Take the time to help them visualize the treatment process. Discuss pain and discomfort during treatment and what they can do to alleviate it. And most important of all: listen to their concerns. Answering any questions they have can help make those first few weeks of adjusting to braces that much easier.

  2. Stock up on Braces-friendly Foods

    One of the easiest ways to prepare for life with braces is to make sure the fridge is full of braces-friendly foods. Hard, crunchy, or sticky foods can possibly damage braces by snapping a wire or popping a bracket off. It’s best to avoid things like popcorn, nuts, hard or sticky candy, and gum. Food should always be cut into bite-sized pieces when possible. 

    Some foods that are friendly for braces are:

    • – Soup, yogurt, pudding
    • – Pasta, rice, mashed potatoes
    • – Cooked or steamed veggies
    • – Soft fruit
  3. Focus on the Benefits of Braces

    A great way to help put your child’s mind at ease is to focus on the positive changes braces will bring to their life. Not only will braces give them a better smile, but it will also be easier to keep their smile beautiful. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Braces can also help to correct bite problems and speech difficulties. Remind your child that even though a year or two may seem like forever, it’s just a matter of time before their braces come off and they have a great smile that will last a lifetime.

  4. Encourage Their Brushing & Cleaning Routine

    Having a hygiene routine planned out beforehand can make it easier for your child to keep their teeth and braces clean. It’s recommended to brush at least 2x a day with braces, but preferably after every meal and snack. You should also floss at least 1x a day, but it’s even better to floss every time you brush. An interproximal brush can help to get in between brackets and wires, and floss threaders or floss picks work great to make sure you can get between every tooth and bracket. Make sure to rinse with mouthwash to get an even deeper clean and kill those nasty bad breath germs.

  5. Prepare Your Child With a Braces Care Kit

    Another great way to help prepare your child before getting braces is to put together a braces care kit that they can easily fit into their backpack or pocket to take to school. This will allow them to brush their teeth after lunch or snacks at school, and also be prepared if something should happen while they’re not at home. 

    A good braces care kit should consist of:

    • – Travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste
    • – Interproximal brush
    • – Floss/Floss threaders/Floss picks
    • – Small dentist’s mirror
    • – Orthodontic wax

    These can all be purchased separately, and you can easily find complete braces care kits online for purchase.

At Carlson Orthodontics, we believe your smile has the power to change your life. Since 2003, we have helped create beautiful smiles for hundreds of patients – and we celebrate every single one. If you are looking for orthodontic work for yourself or a loved one, then Carlson Orthodontics would love to welcome you to our extended family. Contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation, or call us at the location nearest to you today!
  • Duluth Office: 1901 South Street, Suite 2 – Duluth, MN(218) 727-3789
  • Cloquet Office: 708 Stanley Avenue – Cloquet, MN(218) 879-3794
  • Superior Office: 3701 Tower Avenue – Superior, WI(715) 392-0229
  • Hayward Office: 10541 N. Ranch Road – Hayward, WI(715) 292-5148
  • Ashland Office: 1419 Beaser Avenue – Ashland, WI(715) 682-5958
  • Ironwood Office: 250 Roosevelt Street – Ironwood, MI(906) 932-9720