Whether your child is dealing with a severe overbite or overcrowding of the upper teeth, an orthodontic expander can be a great option for repair. While this treatment is effective, it must begin in the early stages of your child's jaw development. Repairing issues with your child's jaw may begin as early as 14 years of age, which may cause your teenager to feel nervous and overwhelmed at the thought of wearing the expander in their mouth. Fortunately, proper planning and education can reduce the stress of your child wearing an expander, ensuring effective orthodontic treatment.
Discuss the Importance
Your child may believe they do not need the expander, which is partially true. Many children live with bite misalignments and overcrowded smiles, growing into adults with the same dental conditions.
Teach your child that early intervention using the expander can improve their smile drastically, allowing sufficient space for their adult teeth to develop. In addition to this proper development, your child will have an attractive smile that will aid in their confidence levels well into their adult years.
Be Open and Honest
Honesty is important when preparing your child for their expander. Your child should not expect any pain during the application of their expander or while wearing the orthodontic device. However, prepare your child for pressure and light discomfort while the device is placed.
While turning the key tool each day, your child will also experience some pressure and soreness in the mouth and jaw area. Thankfully, a warm compress, ice pack, or ibuprofen will quickly alleviate this soreness.
Make a list and head to the grocery store before your child gets the expander. This ensures they have soft, healthy, and delicious food to eat immediately after placement of the expander. Here are a few soft foods that your child will enjoy:
Your child should avoid eating foods that are hard and difficult to chew such as pretzels, whole apples, peanut brittle, popcorn, and corn on the cob. Also, skip sticky, gummy foods such as chewing gum, candy, peanut butter, and gummy fruit snacks.
While shopping, you should also purchase a few tools to aid in their oral hygiene. A new soft-bristled toothbrush is a great option, since they should continue brushing twice a day, two times a day. Lastly, purchase a water flosser to remove food from the expander. This tool forces water up under and in between the metal brackets of the expander.
For more information, contact Cazes Family Dentistry LLC or a similar location.
I have never liked my teeth. I had a lot of dental problems, including deep staining and oddly shaped teeth. Every tooth did not have the same shape, and some were rounded while others were more square. Not surprisingly, I never smiled in pictures and not even much in real life. This left people thinking I was mean before they even met me. My dentist told me my best bet to improve the look of my smile was a set of porcelain dental veneers. He said they could make all my teeth white and the same shape. I said I wanted them without any hesitation, and we scheduled my procedures. I love my new teeth, and they really did change my life. I created this blog to help other people living with teeth they don't like realize that they do have options that can improve their smiles and their lives.