Getting Braces – A Kid’s Perspective

Teenager with booksGetting braces can be a big deal in some kid’s lives and they may not even want to get braces. However, it is very important that, if needed, your child should get braces and also manage them well. If people don’t get braces as a child it could cause serious health problems as an adult including increased risk of tooth loss and extreme discomfort. It’s also not very attractive looking.

Kids could need braces for crooked teeth, over spacing of teeth, or overbite problems. And you may not realize that your child needs braces. I had straight and near-perfect teeth, but I had a slight overbite and a little bit of a spacing problem. When I heard I would need braces for a short while I was perfectly willing and almost indifferent. This is because my mom had braces as an adolescent and has told me she was very glad about this; at the same time my dad did not have braces and his teeth are so crooked, one of them is practically facing sideways and he has always regretted not getting them.

The process for getting braces was fairly simple, on my end, at least. I visited the orthodontist for an assessment over whether or not I would actually need braces. He examined my teeth and showed me some before and after pictures (your child may see some friend’s teeth, I did!) then told me I would need them for about two years with no headgear (some kids wear headgear when they sleep). I later went for a mould of my teeth so the orthodontist could custom fit my braces (Try not to swallow the molding mixture; I hear from friends it’s nasty when swallowed). I got the top on first and the bottom braces on a few months later. I now visit about once every one to two months to get them tightened.

Getting-braces-from-kids-perspectiveWith the braces there are some food restrictions such as no popcorn or bubblegum and apples must be cut up, but you get used to it. Most food will get stuck in the braces, however. To deal with issues such as this the office arms each kid with an array of tools: small brush-picks, topical numbing agents for pain, wax to prevent the brackets from scraping up the gums, a convenient carrying case, etc. I carry my accessories in my backpack and make good use of them. On the note of numbing agents and pain, your child will want to use painkillers and eat soft foods for the first week of having braces and possibly after each adjustment depending on the sensitivity of their mouth. I play rugby, a contact sport for those that don’t know, and I had to get a specialized mouth guard to protect my braces. If your child plays a contact sport you will also have to get a specialized mouth guard but they are easy to find so don’t worry. They do not, however, guarantee the safety of your child’s braces so you may have to take them in for repair. For any parents concerned that their child will get teased or called brace face, don’t worry! Probably 99% of kids these days have braces so it would be completely stupid for a kid to pick on someone for the norm.

About the Author

Elliott is a thirteen year old 8th grader who lives in the Midwest. He has a wide range of interests from sports such as rugby, soccer and mountain biking to arts, cooking and video games. Elliott is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and was chosen to be a Junior Achievement ambassador. He has taken babysitting classes and looks after a boy with special needs. Elliott hopes to draw from his wide range of interests and many experiences to contribute a kid’s perspective to Pediatric Safety.


12 Responses to “Getting Braces – A Kid’s Perspective”

  1. Christel says:

    Hey Elliott , you are one cool kid! I am really glad to hear that you feel so positive about wearing braces. I am an older person who also should have had braces as a child, but I don’t believe we had any orthodontists when I was growing up. It is wonderful to see all the young people with perfect teeth these days. So keep up the good work and continue to be such a good role model!

  2. Christel says:

    Why does it need moderation?

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      Hi Christel – thanks so much for that terrific comment – it’s been forwarded on to Elliott and I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to read it. As far as moderation, it basically just means a live person has to approve that it’s not spam (it truly amazes me how much of that we get)…and that it’s ok to be shared with our “younger” readers. But we do our best to review everything quickly so it can be forwarded to the person it was intended for. Thanks again for a really wonderful comment!! Stefanie

  3. I remember when I had braces, and a convenient carrying case for all my tools would have been nice to have. My husband is considering getting braces soon, and I want to make it as easy as possible for him. Hopefully a little pocket kit will help him keep everything clean!

  4. Cal Driver says:

    Thanks so much for this! I had braces growing up, but I’d almost forgotten about how frustrating it was to not be able to eat popcorn. And yeah, the molding mixture is NASTY when you swallow it. Great to hear from someone living with braces instead of just someone talking about braces.

  5. Hazel Owens says:

    I didn’t realize that kids who need braces but don’t get them can be at a greater risk for tooth loss later in life. I thought that braces were only used for cosmetic purposes, and I didn’t realize they had medical benefits as well. I’ll definitely keep this in mind as my kids grow up so their teeth can stay healthy. Thanks for the information!

  6. Most parents make it a point to care for their child’s health and well-being as they develop. For those who work to maintain their children’s oral health, it’s important to consider braces to ensure that the teeth have proper placement for a beautiful and healthy smile. Although it can be difficult to determine when to get braces for your kids, there are a few factors to consider before making the step.

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      Elliott’s perspective is one I’m guessing most parent’s haven’t considered…but can be an interesting one to add to the mix 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! We love the input 🙂

  7. Silas Knight says:

    I have heard multiple stories like your dad’s before. People who don’t get braces seem to regret it in the future! I haven’t gotten braces before, but maybe I should look into it.

  8. Selina Marie says:

    Loved the article. Really great to hear the voice of kids on this subject.
    Keep the good work!

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