Most children who need their teeth straightened and their bite corrected can do so with a combination of braces and retainers, but there are certain situations in which your child's orthodontist may indicate that your child will need to wear headgear for a brief period of time. This is a decision that won't likely excite your child, as he or she may worry about teasing at the hands of other children at school. As a parent, you're in the difficult position of wanting the orthodontic work to move forward, but also not wanting your child to be anxious about it. Here are some helpful messages that your child can benefit from hearing at this time.
The Results Will Be Worth It
If your child initially feels a little anxious about the idea of wearing headgear, he or she probably isn't thinking about the end results. Remind your child that this is part of the process of having straight teeth and a healthy bite, and encourage him or her to focus on these happy thoughts. Children can feel embarrassed when their teeth are crooked, so knowing that a straighter smile is going to be a part of your child's future may help him or her to feel better.
You'll Forget About The Headgear
As with any type of dental appliance, wearing headgear can be highly evident at first. When your child gets the headgear on, he or she may be focused on it, and understandably so. Make sure that your child is aware that in a short amount of time, he or she will largely forget about the headgear. Depending on the style of headgear that the orthodontist uses, it may not be easily visible to your child during everyday activities, and once he or she gets used to the feeling, your child probably won't be thinking about it much.
You Can Still Do Most Things
Your child may be concerned that the headgear will prevent him or her from doing certain things. While it's true that some sports will likely be a no-no for your child while he or she wears headgear, you should try to make your child aware that his or her lifestyle isn't going to be interrupted much. The child will still be able to do most of his or her daily activities without the headgear interfering, which may provide some level of comfort to your loved one.
For more information, contact an orthodontist, like Donald E. Snyder Orthodontics.