Life skills are learned during orthodontic treatment
Going to the orthodontist can be an overall positive experience in the development of our children. There is more to it then just straight teeth, they can learn a few life lessons such as; responsibility, independence and following directions. Who can deny that we want all these skills for our kids? So here is how.
Getting braces comes with a great deal of responsibility. Without compliance, negative consequences can occur. Patients quickly learn that they need to brush several times daily and thoroughly to prevent cavities, white spots and gum disease. Not to mention avoid walking around with embarrassing food stuck between your teeth and bad breath! Another responsibility includes keeping your braces intact. Sticky and hard foods will break your braces, resulting in extended time in treatment every time they need to be repaired. Finally, appliances must be worn in order for them to work. Children that actively participate in the teeth straightening process and follow the specific advice given to them for their treatment have far superior results than patients who believe their orthodontist is doing all of the work. Cooperation will leave you with an amazing smile.
Independence is another great skill our kids learn. When they come into the office, they get to sign themselves in, letting us know that they have arrived. An assistant will greet them and take them back to the clinical area while their parents relax in our reception area. By leaving their parents behind, our patients learn to speak for themselves and tell us of any problems they have had or how well they are doing. We totally encourage this, yes human to human conversation! A chance to put down the cell phone and interact with people face to face.
Lastly, our patients learn how to following directions. Instructions are giving as to how many times a day to change their rubberbands, what teeth to hook the rubberbands to, how often to wear the retainer, how to take the retainer in and out, how to wear your Invisalign aligners. These are just a few. Wearing an appliance incorrectly or not at all will hinder orthodontic progress. Some orthodontists offer reward programs to patients where they earn points or “wooden nickels” for coming on time, brushing their teeth, wearing their appliances etc. These incentives encourage patients to be their best.
Going to the orthodontist is a great overall life experience for kids and they will come away with more than just straight teeth. I love to celebrate these milestones with our patients.