It is hard to believe that our adventure in brackets started one year ago. It was this time last year when I was trying to wrap my brain around having two middle school girls in braces, and the journey, or in my mind, the drama that we had ahead of us.

For this article, I wanted to share the top tips we have come across in the past 12 months, hopefully helping you keep your family’s experience all smiles.

The best and most important tip as a mom that I can give is to find a practice that fits your family. Not only is the quality of the orthodontist himself important, but the staff and other factors about the practice have become equally important. Between routine appointments, usually spaced out between six and eight weeks for a routine treatment, and the occasional extra/emergency trip in for a broken bracket or poking wire, you will spend a decent amount of time in the orthodontist office during your child’s treatment.

Important factors for us have been:

  • Being minutes away from our school and home.
  • Ease in setting appointment times that work for our schedule.
  • Having a staff that is friendly and compassionate toward patients.
  • The ability to be seen when something pops out of place or begins poking.
  • Staff who can answer questions over the phone, sometimes preventing a trip to the office.

tips for teens in bracesAnother important quality of a practice is what orthodontic options are offered. Orthodontic treatment options have grown to provide some great, as in some cases, extremely discreet options. While traditional metal braces were the best means of treatment for my girls, I know Invisalign, ceramic brackets, and lingual braces have become very popular.

Finding food that works well for patients with traditional braces may not have changed much from some 20 plus years ago. My memory of braces includes having to give up my two FAVORITE things – slushed and Jolly Rancher candy. Both of my girls have only had to make minor adjustments in what they eat, and more so how they eat it (somethings needs to be cut into small pieces). Taking out bright colored beverages and sticky candy can be beneficial on other levels as well. Oh, hindsight. Knowing in advance when we go for an adjustment, I try to have softer foods on hand for the next couple of days for home and to pack in lunches, and the drama ends there for us.

As “the mom”, the one thing that hasn’t changed over the past year is that I still seem to continually ask whether or not they have brushed their teeth. We are still using manual toothbrushes, although with all of this nagging, I am doing my research on powered toothbrushes. It might be time to put my nagging to rest.

Our orthodontic experience is at Starling Orthodontics in Brentwood, where we are receiving discounted orthodontic treatment in exchange for an honest review of my experience. All information and content are an honest review of my experience.