A Quick Guide to Helping your Kiddo Adjust to Having Braces


Getting braces is a sort of milestone for many teenagers, and it’s that final step towards a beautiful smile.

Braces; however, are not as easy to adjust to wearing as you would believe. We recently had a
consultation with a local Orthodontist and we were blown away at how thorough they were with their
explanations of what was needed for my son’s treatment plan and what role he had in its success. They spoke directly to him and explained each step and what its purpose was. 

A week later we had a mouth full of brackets and rubber bands and were sent on our way with our new patient emergency kit and the rest was up to my fifteen-year-old (until our next appointment in 6 weeks).

Managing Discomfort

The first thing your child will have is pressure and discomfort from the wire beginning to do its job of adjusting the teeth. By taking either Tylenol or Advil before their appointment, and regularly afterwards, this will help cut down the discomfort. Remember this each time you go back for wire adjustments. The brackets themselves will cause irritation on the inner cheek until your child’s mouth adjusts to them, Orthodontic wax will be your child’s best friend. By placing a small ball of wax on brackets that are irritating the cheek this will allow the mouth to heal. A topical analgesic such as Orajel or Ambesol can also help if the irritation has turned into an ulcer or mouth sore. If this happens have your child swish with warm salt water two to three times a day to keep the mouth clean and soothe the areas that are irritated.


Getting a teen to brush and floss regularly is difficult on good days, but it is so important for the integrity of your child’s teeth to brush and floss thoroughly after each meal and snack. If the teeth and gums are not properly cleaned then the gums can become irritated and infected which according to my son’s Orthodontist, will slow the progression of the teeth which in turn adds time on the duration of wear. Sitting with your child as they brush and floss with their braces for the first time will allow you to address any areas that are being missed. Make it fun, don’t yell or make it an unpleasant experience. Just keep reminding your child that in the end they will have an even more beautiful smile than they do now!

Food Choices

By managing what foods your child eats, it will help prevent breaking off brackets, snapping wires or getting cavities while wearing the appliances. Your Orthodontist will give you a comprehensive list of foods to completely cut out, and foods to eat carefully. Pay close attention to this list and modify your meals accordingly.


If your child is active in contact sports which may result in a mouth injury either from a fall or a thrown elbow, you will need to make sure they have a proper mouth guard to wear during practice and games. This will not only prevent your child from having a nasty cut inside his or her mouth, but also from cutting another child if they contact the mouth. If you are unsure which to purchase, you can always ask your child’s Orthodontist for a suggestion, they will be happy to assist you! 

As a parent, you are watching your child’s smile change before your eyes, and in the end all your support and guidance will be well worth it. Keep reminding your child to smile wide and show off that beautiful confidence!

What are some of your tips and tricks to managing braces? Be sure to tag and share your with us on Facebook and Instagram using #ccmbkids

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Melanie is a working wife and mother of a high school freshman and second grader as well as their beloved 12 year old Doug the Pug! She met her amazing husband through mutual friends and with a lot of love and laughs, they are celebrating 10 awesome years together. She has worked in the Human Resources field for over 15 years and currently spends her days working for the Corpus Christi Independent School District. She loves to travel, and is a voracious reader who can always be found with a book or five to recommend, and it is her dream one day to publish a work of her own. Melanie also loves holiday décor. Whether it be Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, she loves decking the halls of her home in fun festivity and celebrating with her family. She is so excited to have joined the CCMB team and can’t wait to share her experiences with the group.