Getting orthodontic treatment may not seem a barrel of laughs but it’s possible to make braces fun for your kids or for yourself as an adult patient. Braces nowadays can be far less conspicuous than those of yesteryear, and some are virtually invisible – so that’s definitely something to smile about, no matter what your age.
Modern braces are also more comfortable and reliable, leaving you free to enjoy your life. The greater choice of braces today means orthodontic care can be tailored to suit different personalities and tastes.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make a fun style statement with your braces, whose bracket bands come in a wide range of colors – especially popular with fashion-conscious teenagers. If you want to make braces fun for your kids, the first step is to find a fun-focused orthodontist. Yes, there are such orthodontists!
The best family-oriented orthodontic offices take the stress out of their young patients’ visits by providing a host of fun features.
How Orthodontists Can Make Braces Fun for Kids
It’s estimated that more than 30 percent of children need orthodontic treatment, and, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), youngsters comprise 80 percent of orthodontic patients.
While the clinical expertise of orthodontic specialists is crucial – gained through extensive extra training – looking after children’s teeth demands a special approach with soft skills such as compassion and empathy, and the ability to make dental visits an enjoyable experience.
Good family-friendly orthodontic practices make braces fun for kids with attractions and diversions to keep them entertained – and make the parental role easier during dental appointments.
Orthodontic offices designed to make braces fun for children typically have:
- A cool atmosphere and friendly staff.
- Bright and colorful decor.
- Fun sunglasses to counter the glare of lights during examination or treatment.
- Stuffed animals for cuddling.
- Games and snacks in reception.
- Free Wi-Fi.
- Rewards programs.
Some orthodontic practices even install free ice cream1 machines and photo booths with fun props and play your child’s favorite music as a soundtrack to their appointments.
How You Can Help to Make Braces Fun for Your Kids
Besides locating an upbeat child-friendly orthodontic practice, there are other measures you can take to help make braces fun for your kids.
Here are a few ideas:
Throw a party. Before your child gets their braces, hold a party for them including foods they’ll have to avoid once they begin treatment. This fun occasion may help to make it easier to give up some of their favorite snacks later.
Share the experience. If you’ve been putting off orthodontic treatment yourself, getting braces alongside your youngster can help to motivate and support them, and create a bonding experience for you both.
Teach them to make smoothies. Braces can make teeth a little sensitive each time they’re tightened, and smoothies are a fun drink that are also soothing, and nutritional if you keep the sugar content low. Encourage your youngster to help you make their smoothies, experimenting with different vegetables and fruits.
Stay supportive. Braces can make your child more self-conscious. To help them overcome this, encourage them to smile, and talk to them about the positives of orthodontic treatment and how exciting and how much fun the end goal will be – an awesome smile.
Encourage customization of their braces. Regular appointments are necessary for adjustments to braces. This gives your child the chance to ring the changes at each visit, with different styles of fun, personalized bracket bands – giving them something to look forward to.
Making Braces Fun by Adding a Splash of Color
Many youngsters – and some adults too – like to make braces fun by customizing the bracket bands, which are available in an extensive spectrum of colors.
Every time your orthodontist tightens your braces – typically every six to eight weeks – you get the opportunity to opt for a new color scheme, either just for the fun of it or to let your personality shine for special occasions like parties and vacations.
You don’t have to stick to one color at a time for the rubber bands – aka elastic ligatures – that surround the brackets of your metal or ceramic braces. These bands come in every color of the rainbow and then some, and you can mix and match to create your own color combo.
This can allow you to:
- Show support for your favorite sports team.
- Show off your school colors.
- Get festive – with red and green braces for the holiday season.
- Get scary – with black and orange for Halloween.
Bear in mind, though, that depending on how your braces appointments fall, you’ll be sporting your festive or scary colors for some time before or after the event.
Adults often choose braces colors to complement their complexion – tones like violet or turquoise for darker skin tones, or lilac or blue for fairer skin, for instance. You might want to avoid colors such as yellow and green – they may look like bits of food have got stuck in your teeth!
Carry on Smiling!
Whether you’re young or older, orthodontic treatment doesn’t have to be a negative experience that cramps your style and stops you from enjoying life.
Custom color choices2, for instance, make braces a fun way for kids to express themselves, and can actually enhance the appearance of adults.
If you find an orthodontist for your child who believes in making braces fun, they’ll be more likely to stick to the treatment plan and look forward to their orthodontic visits.
If you or your youngster feel more comfortable if people don’t notice your braces, the best solution may be clear plastic aligners3 – the most discreet type of braces, with the further advantage that they’re removable.
Whichever type of braces you or your child opt for, the end result will be healthy teeth revealed by the smile you’ve always wanted – and that should help to keep you smiling throughout your orthodontic treatment.