Samantha Gets Braces

Understanding braces

Samantha has always been a happy and healthy girl. She loves school, and her favorite subject is science. Right now, she is in 6th grade and is learning all about the human body systems. And recently, she learned about the digestive system. Samantha’s teacher spent some time talking about the nose, ears, and mouth. 

During the lesson on the mouth, Samantha learned all about her teeth and her salivary glands, and it reminded her of a day when she was in Kindergarten where a dentist came to her class to tell her about how to take care of her teeth. As she was walking home from school that day, Samantha thought it was funny that she had just learned about the mouth because she would be going to the dentist that afternoon to get braces.

Samantha is ready for braces!

Some kids get scared and nervous when they find out that they will get braces. But not Samantha. Samantha has been keeping up with her dentist appointments by having her mom or dad take her to see Dr. Mo every six months. Dr. Mo has been working with Samantha and her parents to ensure she is getting the best orthodontic attention. Even though Samantha does a great job taking care of her teeth, Dr. Mo knew that Samantha would need orthodontic intervention. 

At her dentist appointment a few weeks ago, Dr. Mo told Samantha and her mother that the time was now to get the best results with the least amount of effort. So tomorrow, Samantha will get her brand new braces put on! Samantha isn’t worried in the least.

Samantha has a great relationship with the team at the dentist office.

Because Samantha has been going to the dentist every six months since before she can remember, she knows Dr. Mo and the team at Must Love Kids quite well. She feels comfortable and cared for every time she visits and today will be no different. Not only that, but she feels respected because Dr. Mo talks to her like a grown-up and doesn’t just look at her mom and dad whenever it is time to discuss important information. For this reason, Samantha knows what to expect today at her braces appointment.

Here’s what Samantha should expect when getting her braces on.

Samantha recently read some books about what to expect about getting braces. Her favorites were Emma Gets Braces and Braces Made Easy. She learned that her appointment would take about as much time as watching a movie. So that doesn’t seem so bad! She also knows that some parts of the process could involve a sensation of slight pressure on her teeth, but that overall, getting braces put on won’t hurt. However, Samantha’s mom already told her that she could take some children’s Tylenol about 30 minutes before her appointment, just before they left the house. And that is exactly what she did.

Before your orthodontist puts your braces on, your teeth should be really clean. The dentist or orthodontist cannot apply the braces until your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned and dried. When Samantha arrives at her appointment, her mom checks in at the front desk, and Samantha heads to the sink to brush her teeth. Next, one of the dental assistants comes to get Samantha and brings her to a chair where she can rest comfortably for the duration of her appointment. The assistant gives Samantha a bag of colored rubber bands and explains that they apply gentle pressure to the teeth and help move them into the correct position.

As the assistant prepares Samantha’s teeth for the braces, she explains everything Samantha and her mom need to know about how to care for braces. Samantha is surprised to learn that caring for her braces is a little different than just caring for her teeth. But the assistant does give her a google floss threader and shows her how to use it to maneuver around the wires. Finally, they discuss the foods that Samantha should avoid during her orthodontic treatment period. Specifically, Samantha learns it is best to avoid chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard foods. She also knows that corn on the cob will be best left for after the braces come off.

What foods can Samantha eat with braces? 

Before Samantha knows it, Dr. Mo has come and gone, and Samantha’s braces are in place. And everything Samantha had expected went exactly as planned. Easy peasy. Now it’s time to head home, but first, Samantha’s mom has a surprise planned. It is time to make a quick trip to the grocery store so that Samantha could pick out some braces-friendly treats. When Samantha wasn’t looking, Dr. Mo had given her mom a list of braces-friendly foods.

At the grocery store, Samantha picks out items from the following list of foods that are good for braces:

  • Dairy – soft cheeses, milk-based drinks, pudding
  • Breads – pancakes, muffins without nuts, soft tortillas
  • Grains – pasta, soft-cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry – meatballs, lunch meats, soft-cooked chicken
  • Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats – Jell-o, soft cakes, ice cream without nuts, milkshakes
  • Vegetables – mashed potatoes, beans, steamed spinach

Samantha has always enjoyed grocery shopping with her mom and dad, but today was especially fun because she got to pick out anything she wanted, as long as it was on Dr. Mo’s list. And even better, Samantha got to pick out what her family would have for dinner that night. Tonight’s dinner would be none other than spaghetti and meatballs. Since it was a special occasion, braces day, they would even have milkshakes for dessert.

So they picked out some lunch meats, some tuna and soft crackers, and some soft tortillas. Of course, Samantha picked up a few packs of applesauce and pudding too. Samantha’s mom even helped her pick out some items to pack for lunch for the next few days as her mouth adjusted to her new braces.

And now it was time to head home.

Braces day was a huge success! 

After dinner, Samantha got her pajamas on and padded off to the bathroom to brush her teeth. She carefully positioned her soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to her gums and moved the brush in short, circular strokes over her teeth and braces. She brushed the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of all of her teeth, taking a total of two minutes to complete her brushing. She even took a few seconds to brush her tongue to remove bacteria that had built up since she had brushed her teeth earlier that afternoon.

She used her floss threader to get in between the braces to remove food particles from dinner and finished off her oral care routine by rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash. After saying goodnight to her parents and little brother, she tucked herself into bed and grabbed a book to read while she relaxed before falling asleep.

It had been a long day, and she was ready to get some rest. But as she lay her head back on the pillow and reflected on her day, she thought about how well things had gone while she got her braces. She was proud of herself. And now, she couldn’t wait to see her happy smile at the end of her orthodontic treatment. After all, kids’ braces mean a straight smile, which means a happy smile.

Does your child  need kids’ braces? Don’t delay, schedule an appointment today.

If you think your child might benefit from braces and you live in the Vancouver, Washington area, then Must Love Kids might be the right kids dentist for you. It’s time to book an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Come see us and learn how kids orthodontics can give your kids the happier, healthier, and straighter smile they (and you!) have always wanted.