This is a sponsored post. But all thoughts and opinions are mine. Boy do I wish they had Invisalign when I had braces.
I recall these stages in my own life. Maturation class scared the living begeebers out of me. (I don't even know if begeebers is a word. Probably not). Deodorant made me feel grown up, and braces made me feel vulnerable, ugly and made my mouth hurt. But now in hindsight I am grateful for all three, every day.
My mouth was filled with braces for 2 years. They came off when I was 16 and I can still remember how my mouth ached when they were tightened and how smooth and slimy they were when they came off. I have always loved turkey sandwiches. I remember trying to eat one for the first time with braces. It was horrible and the bread and turkey jammed behind each bracket. I didn't eat another turkey sandwich for two years. It was the first thing I put in my mouth when I got them off.
Our son has already had his first round of braces. He will have to have another round, full mouth, in a few years. Our daughter will be going in to get her first set of braces in the next two months.
Between my braces, my husband, who had braces after we were married, and now our kids, I have had some experience. Here are some helpful tips if you or your children are thinking about braces.
Braces are a commitment
Whether you are going with traditional braces or new technology like Invisalign, braces are a commitment. For parents and for children. Help your children understand the commitment that is being made before you move forward. My husband and I chatted before he got his braces, and then the two of us sat down with our son and talked about the time and energy that go into braces. We talked through the hygiene commitments, the need to keep appointments and how certain foods needed to be cut out of diets. We also talked about the monetary commitment. The conversation gave my husband and our son a chance to ask lots of questions, express concerns, and better understand the commitment. I even had a friend in high school who had to sign a contract with her parents and orthodontist before she got her braces. Whether you write up a contract or not, sit down and discuss that braces don't just magically take care of themselves.
Educate yourself about all your options
When I got braces, there was just one choice. Braces. Metal mouth and all. Now there are lots of different options. Invisalign is a new alternative to braces and even offers options for pre-teens and teens. The system uses a series of clear aligners made of lightweight plastic that sit smoothly on the teeth. They are comfortable and as effective as traditional braces. Plus, there are no food restrictions, they make it easy to maintain healthy brushing and flossing habits, they don't interfere with sports or other activities, and you can straighten your teach there are no metal wires or brackets to break. Kids can even remove the trays when they eat, brush, or floss. Where was Invisalign when I got braces?
Let them know what to expect
Be sure you take time to talk to your children about what to expect. Don't trick them. Braces do hurt a bit. Not always, but when they get tightened. Explain what it will feel like and what they can do to help. Explain food restrictions, what will happen at appointments, and how to protect their mouths in sports and activities.
Help them understand the end result
Braces take time. The end result is usually years away. Help them see the long term.
Be ready to help
Your children will need help with their braces. They will need help flossing, tightening things, even brushing and dealing with pokey wires and brackets that rub on sensitive gums. Prepare yourself to be okay with the "hands on". And let your kids know that you will always be there to help.
Don't complain about what they can't eat
I have heard parents that complain about the things their family can't eat because someone has braces. This just makes our kids feel bad. Don't do it. And don't buy all the tempting treats that have to be given up and keep them in the house, or let the rest of the family eat then while the one with braces can't.
Braces seem to be a right of passage for our children. With some preparations and good communication, we can make the experience a good one for our children and families.
What food did you miss the most when you had braces?
Anyone use Invisalign?
If you want to know more about Invisalign, you can visit their website, follow them on Facebook and catch up with them on Twitter.
This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are mine.