Summertime is here! When school is out, things slow down for a while and the long summer days can be enjoyed with family. Spending time outdoors swimming or hiking or just being lazy are things to be savored. No school also means fewer commitments such as extra-curricular sports or academic activities and less rushing around to get everything done. Because of this, the summer break is an ideal time to have your child evaluated for braces.
The AAO (American Association of Orthodontics) recommends that children have an orthodontic exam by the time they are 7 years old. Most kids don’t actually need braces until they are between 11 and 14 years of age, however it’s a good idea to take them in for an evaluation before then. Even though many of the baby teeth are still in place, your orthodontist can spot anything that might need early intervention. If this is necessary, it saves both time and expense to address issues earlier when they are still easily correctible.
Benefits to Getting Braces in the Summertime
- Fewer commitments and no school make it easy to get the first few orthodontic visits out of the way. These are typically a little longer than a check-up appointment or a visit to have braces adjusted. We offer a free consultation which includes a full exam and can provide you with the various options available for treatment, and provide you with help with insurance or financing. The next appointment is also a little longer since it involves actually placing the braces on the teeth. Getting these appointments out of the way in the summertime make it much more convenient once school starts back up. Follow-up appointments are quick and usually require a minor adjustment to the braces as they begin moving the teeth.
- There will be an adjustment period for your child as they adjust to having braces in their mouth. This usually only lasts for a week or two, but their mouths may be sore and teeth may feel a little achy. It’s a good idea to eat soft foods such as rice, soup, and pasta during this time. Kids also will love “having” to eat chilled foods such as ice cream and popsicles!
- There are going to be some changes to eating habits in general as well. For example, harder foods such as apples and carrots and the likes will need to be cut into smaller pieces rather than bitten into. Foods that are sticky such as popcorn, toffee, caramel, etc., will need to be avoided all together.
- Dental hygiene is going to take a little bit of additional time too. We will show your children the proper way to brush and floss with braces so that they will be pros by the time school starts!
Orthodontic technology has come a long way. While the initial adjustment period might be a little uncomfortable, it’s easily manageable by making some small changes and if needed, some over-the-counter pain medication.
The transition to braces will be easier on your child as they establish new habits while they ar home for the summertime. As soon as school starts, they should have their new routine down and be ready to begin a new year!