Many parents and their children feel that summer is the best time to get orthodontic work done. Some kids complain that they do not like being trammeled with getting braces in the middle of a semester. Not only can wearing braces lead to self-consciousness as they interact with their classmates, the effort required for cleaning and maintaining braces throughout the day can also seem like a little too much for a newbie during a long day at school.
Obviously, as a parent, it is important to reassure your child that wearing braces is nothing to worry or be self-conscious about, and that your kids look just as awesome as they always did when they are wearing their braces. However, parents may have other concerns about kids getting braces during the school year. For example, they may worry that orthodontist appointments take their kids out of school unnecessarily and thus prevent them from learning as effectively as possible.
Should your kids get braces during the summer?
There are three key reasons why the summer time is often the best time for your kids to get their braces fitted. The three points below suggest that summer is the smart choice as it fits better with your children’s comfort, their ability to keep their teeth and braces clean, and their schedules.
1. Keeping things comfortable
Braces are designed to be totally comfortable once your child has settled into wearing them. However, for the first few days of wearing braces, your kids may find that they experience some initial discomfort and particularly that their mouth aches a little. Relieving this discomfort will be much easier when they can simply relax at home with an ice pack rather than having to concentrate on their school work at the same time. In addition, if your kids mouths are aching due to the use of braces, it is best for them to eat soft foods such as soups and smoothies rather than crunchy apples or things like breadsticks or hard candy bars. However, these soft foods may not be readily available in the school lunchroom.
2. Keeping the braces clean
Cleaning teeth with braces on involves a little more work than cleaning teeth without braces. Your kids will need to come to grips with brushing not only the teeth but the braces themselves several times a day – their orthodontist will be able to show them how to do this. It is especially important to clean braces after meals, as food can get caught in them. Thoroughly cleaning braces is much easier at home, when your kids have more spare time and are not rushing from class to class during the day.
3. Keeping up with their classwork
Getting braces fitted usually takes a series of orthodontic appointments: an initial consultation, the actual installation of the braces and then a visit to check that everything is going smoothly. That is three afternoons out of school – more if your appointments are at an awkward time or if your orthodontist lives far away. Thus, having braces fitted during the summer will provide the minimum amount of disruption to your child’s learning.
If you have any questions or concerns about your children’s teeth or are wondering whether or not your child needs braces, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you as well.