Many children fear going to the orthodontist, which makes taking care of your child’s teeth much more challenging. But, it’s important that kids overcome this fear so they don’t put off important dental work that needs to be done to prevent future problems. How can you make your child feel more comfortable about visiting an orthodontist near Superior? Follow these tips:
Avoid Traumatizing Stories
Did you have a traumatic experience at an orthodontist when you were younger? If your child is scared of going to the orthodontist, he’s not the best person to share this story with. Instead, share positive experiences that you’ve had with an orthodontist. Talk to your child about how an orthodontist perfected your smile or fixed a problem that was causing you pain. Sharing these stories will show your child that there’s nothing to fear about a visit to the orthodontist.
Understand Their Anxieties
Many children fear going to the orthodontist because they think treatment will be painful or uncomfortable, but that’s not the only reason why kids are scared of dental work. Some children are worried that they will be picked on at school if they have to wear a bulky retainer or metal braces.
Before talking to your child, try to identify why he is feeling scared. It’s difficult to help if you don’t know what is causing your child to feel a certain way. For example, if you find out that your child is worried about being picked on, you can reassure him that many dental apparatuses are barely noticeable. But, this won’t matter to a child that is worried solely about the pain or discomfort of treatment. That’s why it’s so important to understand your child’s emotions so you can help him overcome his fears.
Role Play At Home
Another way to make your child feel more comfortable about going to the orthodontist is through role play. Pretend to be an orthodontist and let your child pretend to be the patient. Have your child sit in a chair and lean back so he feels as if he is actually at an orthodontist’s office. Then, walk him through what the orthodontist might do during the first appointment. Doing this will help your child become more familiar with what it’s like to be seen by an orthodontist so he’s not as scared when he arrives for his appointment. Read 8 tips to help kids overcome fear of dentists
Bring A Toy or Blanket
Is there a toy or blanket that your child clings to when he is scared? If so, this item should come along with him during his first trip to the orthodontist. The orthodontist will not mind if your child holds onto a toy during the examination, so if it makes your child more comfortable, bring it along. You may find that after the first few visits, your child will be so comfortable at the orthodontist that he will be able to go to an appointment without a security blanket or toy.
Don’t Bring Your Child to Your Appointment
Parents often bring their kids to their own dentist appointments so their kids can watch them be examined and see that there’s nothing to be worried about. But, this is not a good idea. The dentist may accidentally poke you too hard and cause your gums to bleed or he may use instruments that look sharp and dangerous even though they’re not. Watching this can be very frightening for a child that is already nervous about visiting the orthodontist, so leave your kids at home if you have a dentist’s appointment.
Find A Kid-Friendly Orthodontist
Some orthodontists primarily work with adults, while others often perform dental work on children. Be sure to find an orthodontist that caters mainly to children. These orthodontists are more likely to have kid-friendly offices that will immediately put your child at ease. But, orthodontists that primarily work with adults may have neutral colored walls with no toys or kid-friendly magazines in the waiting room. Orthodontists that have experience working with kids will also know exactly how to talk to them to make them feel more comfortable. To find a kid-friendly orthodontist, either ask your dentist for recommendations or do your own research by looking at online reviews for orthodontists in your area.
Visit the Orthodontist’s Office
Talk to the orthodontist to see if it would be ok to bring your child by for a visit prior to his appointment. Kids might start to feel more comfortable if they talk to friendly members of the staff, find fun puzzles or magazines in the waiting room, or see other kids that are being treated in the office. Be sure to coordinate with the orthodontist’s office instead of dropping in unexpectedly. If you drop by without letting the orthodontist know that you are coming, the staff may be too busy with patients to give your child the attention that he deserves. This will leave a bad impression on your child and may make him fear returning, which is why it’s so important to schedule a time in advance.
Don’t Cave In
It’s never a good idea to cave in and let your child skip a visit to the orthodontist just because he is scared about going. Not only will this teach kids that they shouldn’t try to overcome their fears, but it could also cause severe dental problems that will get worse as the child gets older. If a dentist has advised you to bring your child to an orthodontist, don’t ignore this advice.
Are your kids ready to see an orthodontist for the first time? If so, get in touch with our team today. At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact
us using the form on our website today!