Friday, July 01, 2011

Bracing Yourself for Your Child’s Braces

Guest Post by Phoebe Lee
Author, Monkey Mind: A Captivating Bedtime Story for Children

Getting braces can be rough on kids, and an understanding parent can go a long way toward making them feel better. Here are five tips that will help you to help them adjust to braces:

1) Allow your children to be creative in choosing among the variety of colors available for the braces. This will make them feel they have a say in what is happening in the process. And it may make them a little more responsible about taking care of their oral hygiene if they’ve had some input into the process.

2) Acknowledge their pain. Their teeth will ache. Don’t make light of it. For a day or two after they initially get the braces, they may not be up to par. Their mouths will have sore spots due to the wires. It is good to have available a children’s pain remedy to help alleviate the pain. Your orthodontist will recommend what to use, but generally they recommend an over-the-counter remedy. Usually the pain will subside within a few days.

3) Keep putting in the wax. The orthodontist will give you beeswax to put on the ends of the wires where they come into contact with the mouth. Unfortunately, the wax falls out and must be continually replaced, making this both an unpleasant and frustrating experience for everyone. It seems that after all these years of using wax there would be a better approach, but as I write this, I am not aware of one. (Are you listening, inventors out there?)

4) Prepare or order foods specifically according to your orthodontist’s recommendations. Avoid gooey, sticky, and crunchy foods. Candy is always on the list of no-nos because it causes cavities. Smoothies and soup may be the best choices for the first few days while your child’s mouth is becoming accustomed to the new braces.

5) Make an investment in a Waterpik. The pressure from the Waterpik will remove food particles very effectively. Kids love the act of playing with water and the pressure of the pik relieves some of the discomfort.

After a few days, all will be well again, and life will be back to normal. But when it is time to go in for a tightening, prepare for the same aches and pain for a day or so. You will know what to do by then. Remind your children that having braces is a good way to learn the lesson of not always expecting instant gratification. When you must prepare, wait and take responsibility before you reach the much-wished-for goal, it is an abundantly more meaningful achievement.

By the time you finish, your children will have earned those perfectly aligned teeth and the beautiful smile they will sport, and they will be forever grateful to you for guiding them through the process!

About the Author

Phoebe Lee writes about ADHD, children’s sleep issues, and parenting from a Buddhist perspective. She is the author of the new children’s picture book, Monkey Mind: A Captivating Bedtime Story for Children, and the accompanying children’s audio, Monkey, Fish, Dragon.

* Phoebe Lee's children's picture book, Monkey Mind, is the only children's picture book on the topic of ADHD and Buddhist parenting
* ADHD is a problem affecting 10% of children, and that number is growing by more than 5% per year, according to the CDC
* The economic cost of dealing with ADHD is an estimated $46-$52 billion/year in the United States (roughly $12,000 to $17,000 annually per affected child)
* “Monkey mind” is a Buddhist term meaning unsettled, restless, or confused. It dates back at least as far as the later Qin Dynasty (384-417 AD) in China
* Phoebe's book, her first, has already been lauded by several top-10 Amazon reviewers
* Phoebe Lee writes frequently on ADHD, children's sleep issues, and parenting from a Buddhist perspective
* More details are available at
* Readers can buy the book in bookstores and via Amazon

To follow her blog tour, see or email her publicist at


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