Posted on 4/20/2019 by First Impressions Orthodontics
|Kids, especially teens, may dread the thought of getting braces. The part that they dread the most is having to miss out on their foods.
Popcorn, sticky candy, gum, and fruit snacks seem like a rite of passage for kids and teens, yet they are the foods that are off limits when they have braces. Rather than letting braces feel like a punishment, make it fun for your child so that orthodontic treatment is fun and successful.
Use Special Plates and Cups
The first few days after getting braces or following the subsequent adjustments, kids may have a harder time eating anything that seems appetizing. Rather than letting him sulk in his sorrows, make his meals fun. Have special plates and cups that are reserved strictly for times like this.
For example, make him fruit smoothies and serve them in your nicest stemware or similar stemware that makes him feel grown up and special. If he is eating pudding, oatmeal, or ice cream, serve it in a nice bowl that would not be used on an everyday basis. Anything that will make him feel special during this time of pain and suffering will help him to forget about the food he is missing.
Let him Eat What he Wants Before his Braces
During the week or so before your child is due to get his braces put on, let him have whatever he wants. Turn into that "yes mom” by letting him eat basically any food that he asks to eat. Of course, every parent will have their limitations, but try to let loose a little so that your child can get his fill of these foods that will be off limits for a while. To make it even more fun, make a fun gift bag for him to enjoy during that week filled with the foods that you know he will not be able to consume once those braces go on.
Find Delicious Alternatives
There are many delicious alternatives to your child's favorite foods that he will not be able to eat. For example, even though he cannot have most candies, there is nothing that delicious homemade chocolate cookies cannot make up for; especially when they are made by mom!
For healthier alternatives, because you don't want your child eating cookies every day, let him help you choose ingredients for fun yogurt smoothies, or find recipes for soft cakes that are made with healthier alternatives such as pumpkin, Greek yogurt, and natural sugar alternatives (maple syrup or honey).
Get him Involved
When your child's food choices are so limited, he can feel imprisoned with the lack of options he has. Instead, let him be involved in the shopping, preparing, and cooking of his foods. When he plays a role in the food he eats, he is less likely to be upset and miss his favorite foods. This is a time for him to get creative and maybe even learn the art of cooking.
The key factor is working with your child to make the braces process much less overwhelming and more about achieving the straight, healthy teeth that are necessary for his future. Whether you make it fun for him, give him special treatment, or just let him get involved in food preparation, your child will learn to love the attention he gets while the braces work on providing him with proper oral health, allowing him to enter adulthood with teeth that set him up for success.
If your child is ready for his orthodontic consultation, call us for an appointment today!