Telling your teen that they have to get braces can result in many reactions. If their friends have them, then they may not mind the thought of getting them so much. However, if not many of their classmates have had braces put on yet, then they may not like the idea so much. Here are a few ways to lift your teen's spirits about the idea of wearing braces.
1. Tell Them They Can Choose Their Colorful Elastic Bands
Your teen likely thinks that braces have to be solid silver-tone, but there is an array of colors available in braces' elastics that they can choose from and change often. Every time bands are changed, they can then pick a new color.
Remind them that they can not only choose a color they love, but they can pick colors that bring out their eye color, kind of like makeup does. If your teen is not allowed to wear makeup yet, then the idea of bright purple or pink braces may lead to surprising excitement.
Elastic colors can also be chosen to represent an upcoming holiday, match their school's team colors, or even match their favorite swimsuit or handbag. Choosing white elastics that resemble a natural tooth color is also an option to disguise braces slightly and make them less noticeable.
2. Hunt Down Photos of Their Favorite Celebrities Wearing Braces
Teens strive to fit in, and although they may be happy about the fact that their teeth will be straightened by braces, they often just fear that they won't fit in with their friends who don't wear them. However, showing your teen a few photos of their favorite celebrities wearing braces can help remind them that wearing braces can be cool.
You can even find "before and after" photos of the celebrities pre and post braces to show your teen just how much better everyone looks with straighter teeth.
3. Create Fun Soft Foods Diet for Times when Teeth Are Sore
If your teen does know anyone with braces, then they likely heard that teeth can be a little sore when the orthodontic appliance is first put on and after subsequent tightening sessions.
Take advantage of this opportunity to create fun meals with your teen based around their favorite soft foods. If your teen loves sweet potatoes, then let them know that you will be happy to make whipped sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping for a special treat during sore-teeth times. Also remind them that ice cream sundaes can be eaten a bit more frequently after braces are tightened, but only if they promise to brush carefully after eating them.
Some teens don't like hearing the news that they need braces to help them achieve straighter teeth for life, so when you break the "bad" news, couple it with news of what fun braces can be to help keep everyone upbeat and ready for the first appointment for orthodontic treatment.