Treat your teen right: The power of a pretty smile

Teenage years are years of change and opportunity. Body changes, mental changes, emotional changes. Times of great opportunity as well as great uncertainty. Despite their often apparent bravado, teens need the strength of stability, and comfort of praise to grow into the men and women they are going to be.

Often times teenage years concur with the time for dental corrections. Despite great advances in the cosmetic aspect of dental care and orthodontics, wearing visible braces is still not high on the list of any teenager. Fretting over every spot and blemish, or the hair curling not just right, they need special encouragement to not feel even less attractive because of visible dental treatment that – in the long run –  is not only going to enhance their smile, but also make sure their teeth function properly.

As a parent:

  • Facilitate food. That can be as simple as NOT buying the kind of food that would affect brace wearers: Nuts, popcorn, corn on the cob etc. What is not around won’t make them feel like they are missing out on as much. Besides, if you don’t indulge either, it may create a feeling of solidarity that can strengthen family bonds.
  • Don’t make your child’s brace treatment the topic of your conversation with your friends or even often with the teen. If you can treat it as a normal part of life, it will soon appear normal, and make the season pass quicker.

As a teen:

  • Don’t fret, it’s just a season. Think of it as a long term future investment that is sure to pay great dividends.
  • Create your own look. Whether you want to ask you dentist for invisible braces, or make them bright and colorful, this is part of YOU.  If you ‘own’ your braces like an extra accessory, they become less frightening and by your attitude can even be attractive.
  • Faithfully follow the instructions your dentist gives you. This will ensure you will wear your braces the shortest amount of time possible. If there are certain things you cannot do or eat: You’re just learning to grow up sooner than some. Nobody can always have what they want!

Braces are not just a means of (re)building a part your body to be better and more beautiful, but if you dare to let it, can also be a time to build great character.  Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.



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