Sunday, February 17, 2019

5 Ways To Make Braces Easier For Teens With Autism

Yup, people with autism can have sensory issues. My son does. For example, he can't wear certain clothes. He won't eat melted cheese so all his burgers have to be ordered without it. So I did wonder how he'd do with braces. I knew he'd need them, but I debated not bothering. How would he be able to cope with a bunch of metal in his mouth?

In the end, he did get braces, because I asked him if he thought he'd be okay, and he said yes. There are ways you can make braces easier on kids with autism, and I speak from personal experience.







1. Let them know exactly what will be happening. Before he got braces, my son would watch YouTube videos on what it would be like to get them on. I would also have soft foods for him to eat after each tightening appointment. He doesn't like ice cream because it's too cold in his mouth, but he does like soups, so I made a lot of those.






2. Make sure the dentist office is aware that your child has autism. I told this to everyone up front an explained ways to make my son's visit smoother. The dentist he would see actually left halfway through and before his appointment the receptionist let me know what was happening. That way I could tell my son he would be seeing someone new. If he knows a head of time that something will be different, he copes much better.





3. Explain to your child that they might have to wear the braces longer than stated. When my son got his, we were told they'd be on for a year. It turns out they were on for TWO years. My son was annoyed and would bring it up at each appointment. "Remember when you guys said I'd have these off after ONE YEAR and it's been nearly TWO?" He'd also walk in the office and instead of hello he'd be like, "When can I get these off?"



4. Be there for them. I could tell if my son was uncomfortable in the dentist chair, so I'd remind him I was there and to take deep breaths if it got uncomfortable. He would also clasp his hands together like this and squeeze.




5. Advocate for your child when you need to. We went to get my son's braces off and the dental hygienist was all, "I'll have to check with the dentist to see if she's ready to debond. I see a tooth she might want to look at." I could see my son begin to panic, because at the last appointment he was assured he'd get his braces off at his next one. I firmly said, "He was told he'd be getting his braces off today," and sure enough, that's what happened.









My son is braces free after two years! Now he has to wear a retainer, and so far that's been going well. Did you know these days the retainers are clear? In my day they were these clunky looking things with a metal band.


I'm proud that he did so well with the braces, and it reminded me that people with autism are just as capable of getting through things as anyone else is.









40 comments:

  1. Great post with a happy ending. I’m glad it was a pleasant experience for you both. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Wow I used to have braces to as a child. It was quite a pain. I'm glad to see a positive experience here!!

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  3. My daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD and Anxiety. I was super nervous about her getting braces put on her 4 top front teeth earlier this hear. Especially since she is 7. But I did the same things you did. Telling the staff, making sure she knows I’m there, telling her what is happening. Great tips! I love this post! And Tommy has a wonderful smile!

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  4. I never had braces. Thanks for the pointers though will keep in mind. I have a friend who will find this useful.

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  5. I really love how you deal with this- be there for them, let them know what they'll be going through and explain to the dentist. That's so sweet mom!

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  6. That's great that he got his braces off. I'm worried about Zachary getting braces for similar reasons. I'm sure it will be hard for him.

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  7. My oldest will need braces at some point, but he has to have his entire jaw reconstructed, so I don't think the braces will be until after that happens.

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  8. I hated getting braces and I Can't imagine what it would be like for someone with processing issues on top. Well done to your son for making the choice and managing it.

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  9. My son has been telling me he needs to straighten his teeth which I agree with but I remember when my daughter had Braces and how much they bothered here so I am not sure I want to go through that with my son.

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  10. This would help any child going to the dentist I would think. Heck this would help me I really don't like going to the dentist.

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  11. Even though there were some minimal bumps in the road, I'm so glad everything went well. He has a handsome smile. You are an amazing mom in being there every step of the way.

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  12. I'm sure there are a lot of challenges for parents whose kids have autism. Helping them better navigate the world can be difficult when things can be so overwhelming for them. It's great that people like you are reaching out and sharing helpful advice for others.

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  13. This is great for anyone who hasn't experienced braces and is especially great for teens with autism. Heck, I wish I would have had this before I had braces. My one year turned into 2-1/2 and I really wish I would have worn my retainer.

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  14. It is beautiful how, through a real story, you have told something so true that it can also help others. PS = your boyfriend is beautiful!

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  15. Both my kids had braces and thankfully they are through this now. I am so impressed by how you prepared your son for this issue in his life.

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  16. My niece has autism but I don't think she has needed braces as of yet. This is definitely something that I'm going to send over to my brother to read to help make their decision if she needs braces or not.

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  17. I never had braces but many of my friends did but i assume it is quite frustrating and difficult for kids in general. it is important that the dentist is aware of who is in front of him too so that he can better prepare himself

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  18. This was fantastic advice! My son who is 8 will probably need braces. He has sensory issues so this advice will help us in a few years. I am so glad your son did well with the braces! His smile is awesome! -Jessica Martin

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  19. This sounds like it will be really helpful for parents looking for any advice when it comes to braces for kids with autism. Thanks for sharing this.

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  20. What great advice. My favorite is that you are your kid's advocate. You may be the only one.

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  21. These are really helpful tips. It's so important to have that line of communication with doctors.

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  22. Braces suck for anyone. I imagine its definitely harder when you have sensory issues, it can get pretty loud while putting them on and that could be uncomfortable.

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  23. Man I can’t imagine braces are fun for ANYONE! My wife got them when she was 36 and it seemed like HELL

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  24. My oldest had braces and complained all the time. I can't imagine how much harder it was for your son. You did a great job though!

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  25. I noticed one thing, you are such a good mother. You have thought in detailed for your son and you seem to be always careful. Your son also shows cooperation. Congrats for both of you going well through it :)

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  26. You are an amazing advocate for your son! His teeth look so good now and I'm sure he's super happy to get his retainer!

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  27. I'm so glad that your son got through it all. My daughter had to wear braces for almost 4 years and even got two perfectly healthy teeth pulled! I cried and she cried it was so difficult but we got through it in the end.

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  28. Most of my kids classmates wear braces. Your son is a real trooper for going through it all without a fuzz.

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  29. Wow! Your son did such a great job with his braces. Loving all of your advice, you are such a great mama!

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  30. This is an amazing post--and something I never even considered before! My daughter is getting braces soon, and she is alredy nervous. I can't imagine if we had additional sensory, etc challenges to deal with, too. Go mama! :)

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  31. I really learned a lot from the advice you have shared in this post. Thanks very much.

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  32. Oh man, I remember going through braces as a teen. It was NOT easy because I had a very tough time with them. SO MUCH PAIN!

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  33. I have a friend who has a kid with autism and is planning to get his braces. I will pass this to her.

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  34. His teeth look great! These tips will help a lot of people. Some of my kids are very sensitive and knowing what to expect has helped them a lot.

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  35. My brother is 31 and autistic and he just got a root canal. I think as long as you talk to them and let them know its ok they are pretty strong!

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  36. You are an awesome mom! And What a great guide this is. I'm sure this will help families dealing with autism.

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  37. After reading the entire post I re-read it. I must say you are a great mother.

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  38. From one person who has braces now (second go around for me) I know how braces can hurt. It's so good that you are proactive with this. I love his long hair by the way.

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  39. I'm glad that he was okay to get braces. I remember having them as a teen and I didn't like it.

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  40. Yeah I think getting out in front and being honest with your child about all the possibilities is the best way. It's even good for those who don't have autism.

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Thanks for the comment!

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