Motivating my Teenager with braces

This year has been dedicated to staying on top of health maintenance.

Due to covid, we were all behind on our dentist visits so I invested in a waterpik. But there is something about seeing your dentist and orthodontist. This year, Heaven received her braces. She was so excited, since her gap has been her biggest insecurity.

I wanted my daughter to be content with her smile so I shoved out the dollars to get her teeth corrected. With that being said, tremendous diet changes have to be made. We already knew gum was out of the question, but we didn’t consider things like corn on the cob or Texas toast. Then there were some tough blows like popcorn which is Heaven’s favorite. She now has to replace popcorn with Pirate booty.

We have learned that it takes a team to help a family member on her journey. So here are 5 tips that we use to help keep Heaven encouraged during her braces journey!

  • Follow the list- We are not cutting corners. If the dentist or orthodontist says “NO”, there is a reason and we stay away from it. We want Heaven to feel good while wearing her braces with as little discomfort as possible. Eating the wrong foods and creating bad habits can cause harm to her. We do not want a diet that will slow the process down or cause issues with her braces.
  • Find alternatives- For every little thing that Heaven cannot eat, there is something that she can eat. Daily, we are replacing some of the junk food with healthier alternatives that will keep her teeth strong and healthy. It is not easy giving up your favorite foods, but finding something else that you like can be a plus as well.
  • Don’t tease- Heaven has a younger brother who does not have braces, so there are things that they use to enjoy together that she can no longer eat. I encourage Lj to not tease her and to not eat things in front of her that she cannot eat. This does not always work, but I will continue pushing this so that Heaven will not feel tempted to revert to pre-braces life, LOL!
  • Remind her of the goal- When Heaven is feeling discouraged or disappointed about changes that have to be made. I remind her that she wanted the braces to correct her smile, and that this sacrifice temporarily on some of the foods that she loves will be worth it.
  • Stay on top of the progression- Heaven’s teeth are already moving beautifully and her gap is closing. Seeing the changes only motivates her to keep going. The positive reinforcement and seeing results reminds her that she is on the right track and that we will support her every step of the way!

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