For many generations of American kids, having braces has become a right of passage to adulthood. However, having braces for kids creates a big change in everyday life for young patients. Transitioning to braces can sometimes be difficult for young patients.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do as a parent to help your child to transition and to keep your child happy throughout orthodontic treatment. The following are six things you can do as a parent to help your child transition:

1. Stress the long-term benefits of braces

Orthodontic treatment takes time, but it can drastically improve a patient's quality of life. Not only is orthodontic treatment advantageous for cosmetic reasons, but it can also improve lifelong dental health and prevent certain dental conditions down the road.

Make sure your child is fully aware of all these benefits so that your child feels motivated to cooperate and get the most out of orthodontic treatment. 

2. Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities to ask questions

Your child may feel powerless in undergoing orthodontic treatment if the processes and commitment involved in treatment aren't carefully explained to your child beforehand.

Make sure that your child's orthodontist has answered all your child's questions and communicate with your child openly about what to expect in the years to come with orthodontic treatment. 

3. Promote healthy habits for having braces

You should do your best as a parent to instill good oral hygiene habits in your child so that having braces is easy. Make sure that your child is committed to brushing, flossing, and attending dentist appointments before your child makes the step to having braces put on. 

4. Stock up on the right foods

Talk to your child's orthodontist about what foods are good when your child is dealing with soreness after having braces adjusted.

Stock up on these foods and make a special effort to think of foods your child really enjoys eating that are also good for an orthodontic patient. 

5. Know how to treat discomfort

One of the most difficult parts of having braces is dealing with soreness after braces are tightened or adjusted. You can help by stocking up on painkillers like ibuprofen and dental wax that helps relieve pain from sores caused by braces.

6. Listen to any complaints and be sympathetic

Going through orthodontic treatment takes a big commitment and can involve discomfort along the way. If you've never had braces yourself, you might not understand what your child's going through.

Make sure you're not ignoring your child's complaints or concerns. Be sympathetic and do everything you can to appreciate and understand your child's experience.